As a criminal defense attorney, I sometimes have to walk a fine line. On one hand, I respect those good police officers that try to protect the lives and rights of all of us on a daily basis. Their contributions to American society are extremely important.
On the other hand, I have seen firsthand the effect that bad cops can have. Their actions can lead to unnecessary injuries to those they are arresting, humiliating and life-changing charges to those that are clearly innocent, damage to the already-vulnerable trust that the public has for those that enforce the peace.
Charges against an Edison, NJ police officer highlight these problems. Already facing an attempted murder charge for allegedly burning his supervisor's home last year, the officer was arrested again last week for a litany of unrelated crimes. The facts behind the arson charges are almost beyond belief. At the time of the alleged arson, the supervisor's wife, children, and elderly mother were also in the home.
These new charges strongly suggest that the officer had no business carrying a badge.
They include conspiring to sell drugs, slashing a woman's tries, and using the police database for personal use. The officer also carried prohibited weapons—brass knuckles and a blackjack—while on duty. Perhaps most shockingly, the charges also detailed that the officer bought a quantity of marijuana in uniform in December.
The investigation is ongoing.
Cases like these highlight the need to be skeptical about the actions of police in any criminal investigation. It is likely that the number of so-called “good” police vastly outweighs the number of police officers that abuse the criminal justice system and, in turn, the rights of private citizens.
The officer here clearly has issues. This serves as a reminder that police officers are people that can make mistakes like anyone else. It also reminds us that some people simply should not work in law enforcement.
If you are charged with a crime, it is incredibly important that you retain defense counsel that has experience evaluating the actions of investigating officers. It is far too common for investigations to go beyond what is legally acceptable when building a criminal case.
Seattle Attorney Steve Karimi has decades of experience evaluating the conduct of investigating officers. Through his time serving the public as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has learned in what situations officers are likely to overstep what is permissible. He knows how to protect his clients' rights.
If you have been charged with a crime in or around Seattle, do not hesitate to contact Mr. Karimi for a free consultation. He will do his best to make sure that the police have not abused their power in investigating and building their case against you.