Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story 12/6/02

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The years-long scandal in the Los Angeles Police Department's Ramparts division, where rogue cops in an anti-gang unit rampaged through the near downtown neighborhood, is not news. What makes Ramparts worth a mention this week is the news that Los Angeles County prosecutors have decided not to file charges in dozens of cases involving officers implicated in the scandal.

Prosecutors rejected 82 cases presented to them by LAPD detectives assigned to the scandal, in which officers stole and resold drug evidence from police lockers, beat suspects, stole drugs from dealers, and even shot and paralyzed one unarmed man, planted a gun, and provided sworn testimony sending their victim to prison for 23 years. He has since been released.

Prosecutors told the Los Angeles Times they decided not to prosecute because the statute of limitations had expired, but mainly because many of them cases either involved testimony by main offenders Rafael Perez and Nino Durden or were directed at them. The two former cops agreed to plea bargains that sent them to federal prison, but also protected them from further prosecution. Perez and Durden, as convicted liars and thieves, were not credible witnesses, said prosecutors.

The Ramparts scandal, one of the most shocking in recent years, resulted in the convictions of six LAPD officers beside Durden and Perez for obstructing justice, although those cases are still being appealed. Another two dozen officers were fired or resigned. More than 100 criminal cases were dropped because prosecutors didn't trust police witnesses, and the city is preparing to spend $100 million on Rampart-related civil rights claims.

Meanwhile, three allegedly unjustified shootings that the LAPD failed to properly investigate remain pending -- awaiting further LAPD investigation. And the findings of a Los Angeles County Grand Jury report on leadership failures within the LAPD were prepared, but never released.

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Issue #266, 12/6/02 DRCNet Needs Your Help! | Editorial: Crimes and Minor Accidents | MPP Files Complaints Charging Drug Czar Violated Election Laws | Wisconsin Rave Rebellion: Racine in the Hot Seat as Hundreds Demand Trial on Bogus Bust at Electronic Music Benefit Concert | Bye, Bye, Asa: DEA Chief to Leave for Homeland Security Gig, Will Be Replaced by Career Narcocrat | The Lone Horseman: Texas Ex-Cop Hits the Trail for Marijuana Legalization | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Radical Party Anti-Prohibitionist Wins European of the Year in European Voice Magazine Online Vote | Newsbrief: Study Says Terminal Patients Don't Get Adequate Pain Treatment | Newsbrief: New Jersey Weedman Still Jailed for Thought Crime | Newsbrief: Study Says Few Medical Marijuana Users, Little Impact on Law Enforcement -- Feds, Some Cops Disagree | Newsbrief: Study Says "Gateway Theory" is Bunk | Newsbrief: US Accuses North Korea of Drug Trafficking | Newsbrief: Illinois Prosecutors Use Ecstasy Law to Charge Partiers With Murder | Newsbrief: Canadian House Panel Will Call for Cannabis Decriminalization, Newspaper Says | Newsbrief: Swiss Marijuana Potency Becomes an Issue | Newsbrief: Pennsylvania Set to Increase Ecstasy Dealing Penalties | Anniversary of Alcohol Prohibition | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision, Tulia, Salvia Divinorum | The Reformer's Calendar
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