Five Cops on Desk Duty After Dashcam Video Contradicts Their Story About Drug Bust

dramatization of desk duty"The Other Guys"/Columbia PicturesFive cops in Glenview, Illinois, were put on desk duty after dashcam video shown at a hearing to determine charges against a man accused of having marijuana in his car contradicted their testimony. The ABA Journal reports:

[Cops] had said Joseph Sperling was arrested after officers who pulled him over in a traffic stop smelled marijuana, searched the vehicle and found nearly a pound in a backpack lying on the back seat of his car. But the Glenview police video showed the search occurred only after Sperling was taken from his car, frisked and handcuffed....The newspaper dubbed it "a 'Perry Mason' moment rarely seen inside an actual courtroom."

Castigating the officers for their "outrageous conduct," Cook County Circuit Judge Catherine Haberkorn granted a defense motion to suppress the search, which eliminated a basis for his arrest and resulted in a swift dismissal by prosecutors of the felony drug case against the 23-year-old.

"All the officers lied on the stand today," said Haberkorn, who herself is a former prosecutor, at the March 31 hearing. "So there is strong evidence it was conspiracy to lie in this case, for everyone to come up with the same lie."

Despite the evidence of their malfeasance, the cops remain on the job, placed on desk duty while they're under investigation.

This isn't just an isolated incident: Something similar happened in February. Prosecutors in New Jersey dropped charges against a man accused of eluding police, resisting arrest, and assault. Instead, they charged cops with falsifying reports and assault after dashcam video contradicted their testimony.

Some cops say dashcams offer them protection as well, but others have proven quite hostile to being recorded.

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  • UnCivilServant||

    I'm shocked. Normally the poor sod would be convicted regardless.

  • Brett L||

    Whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Cook County? Well I'll be damned.

  • ||

    Why were they not immediately charged with perjury?

    Ha, I'm just kidding. FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY

  • Brett L||

    But they were slapped on the knuckles with a ruler and made to sit at a desk and play with their cell phone rather than driving around in what I call the "cop pose". You know, right elbow propped on passenger seat with phone wedged in ear.

  • Loki||

    "cop pose"

    I thought that was gun raised and shouting "STOP RESISTING!"?

    Also, keep in mind that to a cop, being on desk duty is the second highest punishment they can recieve. It's not a job, it's a lifestyle, and being deprived of the opportunity to crack skulls on the street is torture to a cop. The only thing worse is being put on paid administrative leave vacation.

  • ||

    Nah, desk duty is worse than paid vacation. They still have to show up to desk duty and take phone calls and crap like that. At least paid leave means they can be at home getting sympathy.

  • Dave Krueger||

    Castigating the officers for their "outrageous conduct"...

    Wow. Castigation. That's scary. I bet that must have hurt for as long as a minute or two.

    Anyone know the penalty for false imprisonment when done by a non-cop?

  • sloopyinca||

    Anyone know the penalty for false imprisonment when done by a non-cop?

    I'm sure Warty does.

  • R C Dean||

    I thought Warty was the penalty for false imprisonment.

  • seguin||

    Better than nothing, but less than ideal.

    Throw the book at em for perjury.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Another case of "but for video...."

    Shocking.

  • R C Dean||

    Despite the evidence of their malfeasance, the cops remain on the job, placed on desk duty while they're under investigation.

    You've had a judicial finding that all these cops lied. That's not "evidence" of malfeasance. That's proven malfeasance.

    So what, exactly, are we still investigating?

  • sloopyinca||

    So what, exactly, are we still investigating?

    In all likelihood, the union contract to determine where the "additional training needed" part of the discipline continuum can be applied here.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm sure that "additional training needed" involves disabling the camera before violating someone's rights.

  • wadair||

    Is that "additional training" to better fit one's story to the dashcam video?

  • datcv||

    I propose mandatory minimums of 20 years in prison for every cop caught framing someone for a crime. No separation from the general population, and they have to wear a tee shirt explaining why they are in prison.

  • Invisible Finger||

    T-shirt AND tattoo.

  • Tonio||

    "All the officers lied on the stand today," said Haberkorn, who herself is a former prosecutor, at the March 31 hearing. "So there is strong evidence it was conspiracy to lie in this case, for everyone to come up with the same lie."

    So, the USDOJ is going to swoop in and hit those cops with a RICO prosecution, right? LOL.

  • thorax232||

    Cops commit crimes, try their hardest to destroy the lives of honest and peaceful people and what? Nothing. They get their wrists slap in the worst of cases. And people want to say public police are worth having? This is what that lack of incentive causes.

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