On behalf of Raymond V. Giudice, P.C. posted in Criminal Defense on Friday, February 8, 2013
Here in Atlanta, most of us like to think that the police are out there keeping our communities safe. In fact, many police officers are doing just that. Unfortunately, sometimes police officers do make mistakes or fail to follow protocol, and this can result in unlawful arrests. And, even more unfortunately, there are of course some bad police officers who knowingly violate the rights of citizens in the course of duty.
Whenever anyone is charged with a crime in Georgia, it is important for a criminal defense attorney to review the circumstances of the arrest and the evidence to learn whether the defendant's rights were violated and whether the police broke any laws in the course of the arrest. When this is the case, depending on the allegations, it may be possible to have the case dismissed or the charges reduced.
An investigation in Missouri illustrates some of the prejudices that can lead to unlawful arrests all over the country. In St. Louis County a police lieutenant has been accused of racial profiling and he is now under investigation by the internal affairs department.
A county police officer reportedly tipped off the county's chief and lieutenant colonel to the wrongdoing. In an anonymous letter, the officer said that the lieutenant gave about 20 officers orders to target black people near a certain shopping center and Walmart. Specifically, the officers were supposed to run the license plates of any black drivers in order to arrest people on outstanding warrants.
Although the lieutenant has denied the allegations, according to an area news report, multiple officers who have been interviewed by internal affairs have confirmed them.
Regardless of the outcome of these accusations, this investigation reminds us that police are not perfect. They make mistakes and some of them harbor prejudices. When this results in criminal charges, it is very important for defendants to seek experienced legal counsel.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "St. Louis County police lieutenant put on leave following claims of racial profiling," Christine Beyers, Feb. 7, 2013