Cops' alleged lie leaves 17 cases in jeopardy, Seattle Times, March 30, 2007.
Two Seattle bicycle officers arrested a man on a drug charge. After he was released a few hours later, he complained about their conduct. Among other things, he said that they had also handcuffed and detained another man -- a fact not mentioned in their report. The officers denied it, but a store surveillance tape showed that they had done it. So the police department is investigating them.
The department has also taken the unusual step of sending a letter to defense counsel in 17 cases where the officers could be witnesses, alerting them to possible problems with the officers' credibility.
An SPD spokesperson cautions people not to jump to conclusions and the president of the police union says the incident has been blown out of proportion.
One of the officers has been accused by defense attorneys of lying in the past. Two defamation cases he filed in response were dismissed.
Update: Drug suspect released; trial delayed, Seattle Times, March 31, 2007.
- In one federal case, an alleged drug dealer has been released until the investigation of the officers has been completed.
- In another federal case, a trial was delayed from April 2 to May 14.
- 15 cases in King County Superior Court, most involving cocaine possession, may be affected.