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R1pilot
11-21-2008, 02:06 PM
Recently, I've been hearing a lot about officers perjuring themselves in court and/or testifying to reports that they have written that contain "mis-information."

My question is, what happens after an officer is caught lying? Are they fired? Get days off? I realize that the newspaper is 90% BS but from what I've been reading there doesn't appear to be too much discipline involved.

I would think that once you compromise your integrity in open court or submit a false report you would be toast.

SgtCHP
11-21-2008, 02:26 PM
Generally speaking, aside from the fact that perjury is a criminal offense, if you are testifying, under oath, in a court of law and are caught in an INTENTIONAL act of false testimony the case will immediately be dismissed. From then on, if you are not prosecuted, jailed, fired or the like, when you are called to court your testimony will be immediately suspect and unacceptable within the scope of that and all future cases.

In other words, if you were not fired, you will be because you are no longer trustworthy and are unable to fulfill the requirements of the job.

pulicords
11-21-2008, 02:45 PM
Recently, I've been hearing a lot about officers perjuring themselves in court and/or testifying to reports that they have written that contain "mis-information."

Any officer who would deliberately provide false testimony in court or falsify a police report is a fool and should be fired. That said, sometimes officers testify to certain things based upon memory (which is fallible) and might conflict with what they wrote earlier in a police report. This doesn't mean they lied in either situation, but people forget things or recall things differently over time and the time between when a report is written and testimony is provided in court might involve years.

The only time I've been encouraged to put something on paper that wasn't true was when a Deputy District Attorney demanded that I write a search warrant indicating I believed evidence of a crime might be found at a location, he wanted searched for "CYA" purposes. I didn't believe the items he thought "might" be there were and refused to put his "belief" as my own, under oath. The search warrant was written to state, "It is the opinion of Deputy District Attorney _______ that evidence might be found at................."

The judge asked if it was my belief too and I replied that it was not. The judge then told me that it was only the reasonable belief of the affiant that matters on a search warrant and if the DDA was a peace officer, he could write his own warrant or find another peace officer who agreed with him to write one. I took some heat for my stand, but (IMO) integrity means telling the truth under circumstances where sometimes lying would be the easier thing to do.

avalon42
11-21-2008, 03:25 PM
Just look at what happened during the Rampart scandal at LAPD. Perez screwed the cj system big time. Not only were lots of convictions thrown out, but millions of dollars in damages paid big time to dirtbags.

Even during the jury selection for his trial, one woman stated that she could not be on the panel because he was too good looking. If one bad apple gets in, they can do a lot of damage.

1tyme
11-21-2008, 05:49 PM
"You lie, you die." That saying is so basic yet so many peace officers get caught up in lies; not only in court but in administrative reprimands. If you lie in court, and get caught, you could face criminal charges and / or termination. If you're lucky and get to keep your job, you'd better believe that every public defender in the county is going to have your name written down so that when you hook their client a Brady issue could force the validity of the case to sway towards dismissal. I've heard stories of this where an officer makes a hook, and his beat partner has to testify on his behalf, as per Prop 115. I don't know how true that is but I don't want to find out.

It takes a lot for a civil servant to be terminated but lying is probably the quickest way...I know of several people, with shiny things on their collars, who have fallen on their swords and avoided termination by telling the truth.

SoCalSheriff
11-21-2008, 11:11 PM
Yeah....the truth sometimes hurts. But the truth will always be found, and it hurts a lot less in the begining than after the fact.....

andy5746
11-21-2008, 11:30 PM
Recently, I've been hearing a lot about officers perjuring themselves in court and/or testifying to reports that they have written that contain "mis-information."

Really?? Funny, I havent. A few are idiots and they deserve to be fired. Once you are found to have commited purjury your credibility is ZERO in court and you are useless as an officer - and generally out of work because that is a fireable offence in most agencies.

But your statement is vague and inflamitory, bordering on trolling... I testify on a weekly basis in traffic court, and I've been called a liar by the defendant often. I never assume they are lying, their perception is just different than mine, and it's up to the judge to decide who's recollection of an incident best represents the facts. I say he didn't stop for the red, he says he did. If I fail to prove my case beyond a reasonable doubt, that doesn't make me a liar or make the other party "innocent"...


My question is, what happens after an officer is caught lying? Are they fired? Get days off? I realize that the newspaper is 90% BS but from what I've been reading there doesn't appear to be too much discipline involved.

See above. On my department, lying is a fireable offence. Period. The first time, regardless of the situation. FIRED. We know this, which is why we don't make stuff up. There is enough crime out there that I don't have to invent anything. It just isn't worth it. The few that get mixed up in all that were questionable to begin with and slipped through the cracks of the hiring process.


I would think that once you compromise your integrity in open court or submit a false report you would be toast.

Yup. Which is why the T.V. shows and movies we see are so full of B.S. - but it make for good entertainment. A movie cop has as much in common with a real cop as a Sushi Chef has with a plumber.

R1pilot
11-22-2008, 09:22 AM
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-drug-dealer-dismiss21-2008nov21,0,3767637.story

I'm kinda hesitant to post this link, because as I mentioned before, I know the newspaper is 90% BS. But the above story illustrates what I'm trying to get at. Not so much the parts about the defendant's cases, but specifically the officer in question's history.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_11036059?source%253Dmost_emailed.26978592730A3B 8C7F471EACE0DA4EF2.html

Here's another.

"But your statement is vague and inflamitory, bordering on trolling..."

Pretty harsh judgement. I simply asked a question; I didn't state anything with the intention of bashing or accusing anyone of anything.

LA DEP
11-22-2008, 09:43 PM
I refuse to use the LA SLIMES as anything but litterbox liner (which is redundant anyway).....I think they gave up calling me for a subscription after I told the last one what I REALLY thought of their so called paper......

As far as the OPs question, lying under oath; falsifying reports ect will get you fired......maybe even procescuted......

Which is alot less than the reporters will get for falsifying or leaving info out of stories......

L-1
11-23-2008, 04:04 AM
If you want a better understanding of how lying affects us, take a look at http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=118&issue_id=102003

jato
11-23-2008, 04:23 AM
Here is a recent one from my old substation:

Play 0:03:41 item #2 to hear the Civil Service Hearing (http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/civilservice/media/WebArchive/CSC_Meeting_06-04-2008/index.html)

The matter was made public. Basically one of our deputies falsely arrested a person for PC 647(f) drunk in public while the "suspect" was inside his own residence and then lied about the facts on his PC Declaration and Arrest Report.

jato
11-23-2008, 04:28 AM
Forgot: The deputy was fired. Don't ask me how I know about it ;)

Long Gun
11-23-2008, 05:36 AM
My agency fires for lying. It should be obvious why. Some have stated the reasons above.

SD Sheriff Recruiter
11-23-2008, 12:05 PM
no radio call, investigation, crime, crook, or victim is worth your reputation.