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The case that drove me out of public defendering: client, a Black Latino man, was pulled out of a ticket line at Penn Station by DEA agents. For no good reason. Taken to their office and his bag searched. I filed a motion to suppress. /1
At the suppression hearing 3 DEA agents told 3 different stories. All patently inplausible. One had been found not credible in past similar case by another judge.

Of course the court, who I believe had never granted a suppression motion in all her life, denied our motion. /2
I had warned my client, who had never been arrested in his life, that in the SDNY (federal court in Manhattan) the prosecutors routinely would accuse defendants of obstruction of justice and argue for higher sentence, based solely on declaration iso suppression motion. /3
He had told me, Ms. Wang, it’s the truth. They pulled me out of the line for no reason and searched my bag without asking. I want to file the motion. /4
My hopes crept up as the agents contradicted each other on numerous details. My client and I have each other nervous tight nods as hope sprang up in our hearts. /5
When the judge denied the motion, I was not surprised. When she sentenced my client to four years, with a significant bump for “obstruction” I wasn’t surprised. When my client finished serving his time and then was deported to a country he had never been to, I wasn’t surprised./6
But dear reader, when after sentencing my client the judge said, “thank you, Ms Wang, as always for your excellent advocacy,” I went outside and sat on a bench and wept.

Yes. Cops lie. The system is built on it.
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