The Officer Aledda case is in limbo. Five jurors rejected the prosecution's theory of the case, illustrating just how hard it is to ask citizens to second guess officers who make split second decisions in the line of duty. That two prosecutors with unimpeachable integrity- Don Horn and Reid Ruben- believed Officer Aledda acted criminally is good enough for us. Their view was not supported by the jury, but we accept their decision as the product of thoughtful investigation.
Now it is time to move on Ms. Rundle because officers who improperly pull and fire their weapon is NOT what is destroying this community. For every questionable police shooting, there are 100-500 cases (or more) where police officers demonstrably lied and we have yet to see ONE prosecution by the Dade County State Attorneys Office against a police officer for perjury during a deposition or court testimony. And it is the dishonesty of police officers that destroys the integrity of the criminal justice system and our community, not the one questionable shooting case.
Every week the Dade Public Defenders office sends emails rightfully congratulating their lawyers on a victory at trial. And some of those wins are because of weak evidence, unsure witnesses and the like. But there are enough cases discussed where the body or police vehicle camera and audio completely contradict what the officers have written in police reports and given depositions under oath about that shows we have a decades old epidemic that your office turns a blind eye too. How many times have prosecutors lost a case because the defense demonstrated that the officer(s) lied? And how many of those cases has your office followed up on and conducted an investigation for perjury? We cannot think of any.
Defense attorneys often will tell clients that prosecutors do not lie because no case is worth their career. But we cannot say the same thing for police officers. We see the booking photos with our clients beaten bloody and read the arrest forms where the officers charge battery on a police officer and they have nary a scratch. We read the reports of drug investigations and then we get the police radio transmissions that show the officers were not where they say they were at the time- but that doesn't happen much anymore because now those same lying officers just use their phones instead of official radio communications.
The danger and damage to our community is not the rare and indiscriminate police shooting- although those get the headlines. The danger to our system of justice and to our community is the epidemic of officers who lie and perjur themselves with no fear of being caught and prosecuted. The worst that ever happens in the case where officers are caught lying is the case is dismissed.
Where is the Dade County State Attorneys Office when a law enforcement officer is caught lying? Why aren't prosecutors like Don Horn and Reid Ruben and legions of other dedicated prosecutors assigned to cleaning up the real scourage of our community?
Miami is watching and waiting and the silence is deafening.
Should you or a representaive of your office care to respond in writing, it will be posted without edit or comment. The blog is yours to explain what is going on.
H. Roark, Esq. Blog proprietor.
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