Alcohol

Video Catches Acclaimed DWI Cop in a Lie

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A Chicago police officer who has won praise for having among the most DWI arrests in the city is now under investigation for lying about one of his stops.

The video from top DUI cop Joe D. Parker's squad car shows a man walking a straight line, without stumbling or flailing his arms.

But Parker, a Chicago Police officer who has won acclaim for being among the leading DUI enforcers in the state, told a different story in his police report.

He wrote that Raymond L. Bell lost his balance and used his arms to steady himself. And he arrested the 33-year-old Oak Lawn man on charges of driving under the influence, speeding and negligent driving.

Now, after reviewing the squad-car video, Cook County prosecutors have dropped the July 2008 charges against Bell.

Parker is the second top Chicago DWI cop to get caught lying. The city had to drop 156 DWI cases after Officer John Haleas was caught lying about one of them. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Parker himself was arrested for drunk driving in 1996. The charge was later dropped.

I've written before about the problems with the use of boilerplate on DWI reports. The story also reinforces the importance of video to check against police misconduct.

NEXT: Keith Olbermann and the Ring of Assassins!

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  1. Parker is the second top Chicago DWI cop to get caught lying.

    Applying a Pareto, that would mean you still have about at least EIGHT other Chicago DWI cops that have lied and not been caught, yet.

  2. Just because he lied
    About this one traffic stop
    Means he’s crooked? Yes

  3. Color me astonished.

    Shit like this is why I will not drink a single drop of alcohol if I will be driving. Not one.

  4. Never submit to a breath test. Ever.

    I learned that from Congressmen, city council members, State Supreme Court justices, county council members, cops… all manner of public officials taught me that.

    They’e set the example, I’m just living by it.

  5. I agree Paul. You can also add field sobriety tests to that list as well. Those things are vodoo and cops rarely know how to do them properly anyway. Take your chances losing your license and tell them to get a warrent. If everyone did that, the system would clog up and they would be screwed.

  6. Take your chances losing your license and tell them to get a warrent.

    The problem is that signing the application for your driver’s license says you will submit to anything the kind officer asks you to do under penalty of immediate loss of license for refusal to cooperate.

  7. Personally, I would decline to take a breathalyzer and request to have blood drawn for a real blood alcohol test. Its the most accurate test, and it can be validated later if need be. Just make sure they draw extra samples.

  8. Kinnath,

    But at that point, there is some manner of due process. Those license forfeitures can be appealed, challenged, etc. That is why 100% of public officials refuse to take a breathalyzer when they’re pulled over. If you blow over the legal limit on a breathalyzer, that becomes your guilty plea. The only thing left is the sentencing. At least if you refuse, there’s still a trial:

    A fascinating read from the Austin American-Statesman looked at state DUI records for recent years and found that 100 percent of elected officials – from state senators to judges to commissioners – refused to submit a breathalyzer test when pulled over for drunk driving.

    From the story:

    “Among the general public, the refusal rate is about 50 percent, but at the Capitol, the refusal rate is about 100 percent,” said Shannon Edmonds, governmental relations director for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association.

    Police and prosecutors say politicians fall into a larger category of savvy citizens – such as Longhorn baseball coach Augie Garrido, who declined to give a breath sample when he was arrested Jan. 17 on suspicion of DWI – who know that while there technically are consequences to saying no, they are often mitigated with skilled legal advice.

  9. “The problem is that signing the application for your driver’s license says you will submit to anything the kind officer asks you to do under penalty of immediate loss of license for refusal to cooperate.”

    those laws have exceptions. You can go through an appeal process and get your license back for limited purposes like going to work. It is a tough fight but it can be done.

    Those clauses are blatently unconstitutional. It is fucking joke they haven’t been struck down. It just shows that courts care about politics and placating the mob a lot more than they do about protecting people’s rights.

  10. Balko –
    Why the wordy post?

    Here, I’ll rewrite it for you.

    “A Chicago police officer.”

  11. I don’t get this: Didn’t the cop know that there was a camera in his cruiser?

  12. signing the application for your driver’s license says you will submit to anything the kind officer asks you to do under penalty of immediate loss of license

    If you don’t say anything to the officer and don’t submit to any exams you might have a better chance of having your license seizure/arrest reversed by a lawyer. I would think.

  13. So refuse to take the breath test, say NOTHING, and get a lawyer ASAP.

  14. a better chance of having your license seizure/arrest reversed by a lawyer. I would think.

    And you would be 100% correct. There was even a Judge in Seattle who was, for a while, refusing to admit all breathalyzer tests into his courtoom which were submitted under the ‘implied consent’ laws. Needless to say, the prosecutors office was none too happy.

  15. sage,

    All that may only help. A lot of judges will take the officers word at face value. Thus the reason for the story.

  16. A lot of judges will take the officers word at face value. Thus the reason for the story.

    Which is why you don’t want to hand them any more ammunition. Since they come to the courtroom preloaded, why give them more help?

  17. I’ll go with Paul and all of my state elected officials: Never submit to a breathalyzer. They’re about as reliable as a polygraph.

  18. I’m surprised they didn’t just give the officer a warning and railroad the guy anyway. Radley has jaded my view of justice forever.

  19. Paul,

    True. And what Nick said.

  20. There was even a Judge in Seattle who was, for a while, refusing to admit all breathalyzer tests into his courtroom which were submitted under the ‘implied consent’ laws. Needless to say, the prosecutors office was none too happy.

    What happened to him? I’m assuming cause you wrote in the past tense that he no longer does this…?

  21. I’d like to know what this guy did to be pulled over and checked.In my area it’s usually driving after dark.

  22. “I will not drink a single drop of alcohol if I will be driving”

    Since there is always a great than 0 percent likleyhood that you will drive, should we assume you never drink period, or that you have a time machine?

  23. In my area it’s usually driving after dark.

    In mine, it’s driving after dark in a car whose apparent value suggests that hiring a lawyer would financially destroy you.

  24. Parker is the second top Chicago DWI cop to get caught lying. The city had to drop 156 DWI cases after Officer John Haleas was caught lying about one of them.

    What’s the next scoop? Rabbits like to fuck?

  25. My previous was not intended as criticism of the post. I’m just getting weary of unaccountable cops sxcrewing over innocent people.

  26. I’m just getting weary of unaccountable cops sxcrewing over innocent people.

    Then you will love this story:

    TENAHA, Texas – You can drive into Tenaha, a dusty fleck of a town near the Texas-Louisiana border, if you’re African American. But you might not be able to drive out – at least not with your car, cash, jewelry or other valuables.

    That’s because police have stripped motorists, many of them black, of their property without charging them with a crime. Instead, out-of-towners were offered a grim choice: Sign over your belongings to the town or face felony charges of money laundering or other serious crimes.

    Gives you a warm fuzzy, don’t it?

  27. sage, that’s one of my reasons for being weary this week.

    I’d punch you in your lying cocksucker if you told me that asset forfeiture laws absent conviction laws do more good than harm.

    Don’t look for them to be repealed though. Like most politicians Mr. Hope and Change lacks the stones to stand up for liberty and due process in the face of the drug warrior lobby. Just look at his VP.

  28. Remome either of the laws in the post above. I really am discouraged this week for some reason.

  29. Just a little DWI/DUI advice. One thing that I think a lot of people do that gets them in to trouble when pulled over after having a few drinks is when the cop says

    “So have you been drinking tonight?”

    People reply “Yea I only had one or two drinks though”.

    This is one of the dumbest things you can do because you’ve immediately given them probable cause to continue investigating you. People think that by being truthful with the officer they’re going to be treated more leniently. Just continue to say that you haven’t had a single drop and it really does make it more difficult for them. Obviously they can ultimately do what they want if they’re really out to get you (then make up something in the police report like this guy was doing) and its not going to help you if you stink to hell of booz and are clearly intoxicated but its a concession that a lot of people make when talking to the officers without even thinking that makes it way easier for them to proceed against you.

    Just food for thought especially since the BAC limit is so ridiculously low most people can be passed it in a few drinks even if they aren’t really intoxicated. Continuing to insist innocence is always in your interest and believe it or not it actually does work sometimes.

  30. If I ever get pulled over and I’m sober, I’m demanding the cop do every step of the test before I do it.

    Can’t have a drunk cop administering the test, after all.

  31. What happened to him? I’m assuming cause you wrote in the past tense that he no longer does this…?

    I think the prosecutors office complained so vigorously, they had him reassigned to Civil Court. Lemme find the linky…

    Found it.

    Oh, he was technically a King County Judge, not specifically in Seattle.

    Meat and potatoes:

    For several years, King County District Judge Peter Nault has refused to admit results from breathalyzer tests in drunk-driving cases. That made him popular with defendants accused of driving under the influence. Now because of objections from the King County prosecutor’s office, Nault is being reassigned. Defense lawyers say that’s unfair. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

    WHEN POLICE OFFICERS PULL SOMEONE OVER ON SUSPICION OF DRUNK DRIVING, THEY TYPICALLY READ THEM AN “IMPLIED CONSENT” WARNING BEFORE ADMINISTERING A BREATHALYZER TEST. SOME JUDGES RULED IN 2005 THAT THE WORDING OF THOSE WARNINGS WAS MISLEADING, AND REFUSED TO ADMIT THE BREATH TESTS AS EVIDENCE. KING COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE PETER NAULT WAS ONE OF THE JUDGES WHO OBJECTED.
    […]
    RECENTLY, THE KING COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE REFUSED TO TRY NEW CASES UNDER NAULT. THIS WEEK THE DISTRICT COURT DECIDED TO TRANSFER NAULT FROM REDMOND TO SEATTLE, WHERE HE’LL PRESIDE OVER CIVIL CASES. PHILLIPSON SAYS HE’S DISAPPOINTED OVER JUDGE NAULT’S TRANSFER. HE SAYS DEFENSE LAWYERS MAY OBJECT TO SPECIFIC JUDGES, BUT THEY DON’T HAVE THE CLOUT OF THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE.

    Don’t aks me why this story is in all-caps.

  32. Just a little DWI/DUI advice. One thing that I think a lot of people do that gets them in to trouble when pulled over after having a few drinks is when the cop says

    “So have you been drinking tonight?”

    People reply “Yea I only had one or two drinks though”.

    This is one of the dumbest things you can do because you’ve immediately given them probable cause to continue investigating you.

    Ever more, the general “correct” response to a cop who asks you anything is “No.”

  33. Ever more, the general “correct” response to a cop who asks you anything is “No.”

    Uh, close, but…no. The correct response is “Officer, I know you’re just doing your job, but I have nothing to say to you. I need to be on my way; am I free to go now?” Any further questions should be met with “are you detaining me or am I free to go?” The key is to (respectfully) answer a question with a question of your own.

    See flexyourrights.org for some vids demonstrating this.

  34. These field sobriety tests are complete bullshit. Get rid of them entirely and just use breathalyzers.

  35. It’s easy to say “refuse all testing,” but some states allow your driver’s license to be pulled if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or submit to other testing.

    One of the things I don’t understand is why a cop would lie to convict a non-drunken driver. There’s plenty of valid traffic stops for an ambitious cop to make. Was there some sort of incentive program to get more DUI arrests?

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