Just a reminder that calling for criminal prosecution of cops is only a first step and a short-term victory.

We do not talk about prosecutor’s role in police violence enough or how the prosecutor-police codependence enables police misconduct.
Many prosecutors around the nation have a toxic, co-dependent relationship with police. Prosecutors and police are more than just institutional allies in law enforcement; they are often partners in the police’s crimes and will be as long as it remains mutually beneficial.
Police exert significant control over prosecutors in both formal and informal ways. Prosecutors often receive overt pressure to comply with police culture of silence and violence, making it normal and all but required to look the other way when police misconduct is present.
Questioning an officer’s version of events, is generally seen as a sign of “disrespect” to the officer. Even when shown the officer outright lied, the preference is to quietly drop it and say nothing/do nothing about the misconduct.
After an officer lied during a grand jury and it was proven, prosecutors still prosecuted his cases without question as to his version of events. When we could prove he lied again, quietly dismissed the case and hope he didn’t notice so they weren’t confronted with why.
When shown evidence of extreme police brutality, it may get a case dismissed but never even so much as a asterisk next to whether the ADA charges another of that officer’s arrests.
Prosecutors who question the legitimacy of a police report or the word of an officer received resistance from officers in their cases, marginalized by colleagues and superiors, and often behind the scene moves from police chiefs and officers to get them fired.
Every ADA I’ve ever worked opposite of refused to openly question an officer’s testimony even in the face of the most egregious misconduct. Decisions to utilize prosecutorial discretion against police wishes, tho rarely done at all, were done in a way that the cops couldn’t blame
the ADA. A decent part of my job (after convincing the ADA to reduce charges or offer a plea or something else) was often presenting the ADA with a way that thing could be accomplished so the ADA wasn’t punished. Without this, it was a given the ADA wouldn’t budge.
And the times I’ve witnessed an ADA refuse to charge because the law wasn’t there, the arresting officer bypasses that ADAs office going straight to his boss, the DA, using their leverage to have the ADA ordered to do exactly what the cop wanted.
And often then placed under close watch of the DA now that they know the police are watching that particular case. Once this happens, the case always becomes hell— defense being fought every step of the way over the smallest things because the ADA knows their job is on the line.
Anytime I was given a look of defeat and told “I can’t”. I immediately understood it to be officer pressure preventing the ADA from doing that thing and acknowledgement that they must now fight me with everything they have (despite agreeing with me only days before).
Prosecutors also actively use their power to protect police like failing to disclose a witness statement that contradicts a favorite officer; quietly but effectively lobbying against police reform;
Not turning over evidence that reveals police misconduct or in the cases of really egregious misconduct quietly dropping charges so it goes away. These subtle manipulations of the criminal justice system allow the train to keep running
and, eventually, make the failure to charge an officer not a momentary lapse, but the natural culmination of a career-long partnership. Prosecution will not prevent the next police murder as long as their relationship is mutually beneficial.
The seemingly unending list of Black people killed by police without local repercussions—Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, George Floyd, Trayford Pellerin and more—speaks to this phenomenon’s persistence and national scope.
We need a complete overhaul of the prosecutor-police relationship.
These are just some examples and a condensed version of the many problems with CJS— while many individuals are a problem, like individual police and prosecutors, the reason individual prosecution won’t change things is the same reason getting rid of the “one bad apple” won’t.
It’s systemic. The codependent relationship between prosecution and police prevents accountability for police violence and misconduct. Prosecutors nationwide enable police misconduct on an institutional level.
Police misconduct reform must be undertaken with attention to how police and prosecutors play a shared role in that misconduct.

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More from @fodderyfodder

16 Sep
In which Judge Smith knowingly issued an improper and unconstitutional restraining order barring the City of Lafayette/Mayor from showing body camera footage to Trayford Pellerin’s family at the request of officers who shot Trayford Pellerin and their union...
walks it back after pressure mounts. Judge David Smith issued the restraining order Sept. 8 at the request of lawyers representing three unidentified officers.
They requested the order after Mayor-President Josh Guillory agreed to allow Pellerin's family to see body camera footage, with identifying images of the officers blurred out.
Read 18 tweets
16 Sep
This article. In which you will see the Police Union requested and was granted a restraining order against THE CITY not allowing the mayor to show body camera footage of the murder of Trayford Pellerin to his family.

Note: the city did not intend to make the footage public, the family were to be showed in a private session. Upon hearing the city/mayor planned to show the family of Trayford Pellerin, the Police Union’s attorneys requested and was granted an emergency restraining order.
It also bars the release of any other information including officers names, attorneys representing officers, and broadly covered any information regarding the shooting. This court record is sealed effectively limiting the public to relying on police for information.
Read 4 tweets
16 Sep
Great advice. I do the same. Being neutral isn’t our job, being on my client’s team is. So I’m going to establish that I am their teammate fighting for them from the first meeting in my language choices as well as body language choices.
To expound on @msolurin advice and state a given— authenticity is a must. Trust me, clients can see thru your shit. Whether you are on their side generally shows through in your body language. I’ve seen attorneys sit far away or have all but their head turned away from client
Or instead of sitting next to client at all, they stand. Or while client is shackled they call the client over to them making them hobble across the room...And many other body languages for “I don’t trust you”, “I don’t like you”, “I think you’re less than me” etc.
Read 4 tweets
16 Sep
Someone tell me what the magic words are to make current and future clients understand with their whole BEING that talking to the ADA will NOT help their case.
I just need to know what the miscommunication is before I lose my mind after listening to a 25 min. explanation of all a client’s efforts to contact the ADA to “work the case out myself the last couple weeks...but I couldn’t get it done.”
This after sending a letter explaining not to do this then at least an hour cautioning him against contacting the prosecution when he mentioned he wanted to...then later on explaining why he should STOP calling the ADA and the DA after he said he had. Now he tells me...
Read 7 tweets
15 Sep
My favorite part is: to justify their assertion that “clearly some protestors had violent intentions” they use an officer kicked in the face during the arrest of a protestor “armed with a handgun (later found to be a replica).” 🧐🧐

“Her comments incited other protestors to demean officers and encourage them to continue to verbally abuse officers."

She’s unethical because she said mean things and then other people said mean things. WE WERE ABUSED WITH WORDS (while we beat protestors with batons)!!
“CdeBaca told us to look up the laws pertaining to slavery. The statement directed at me insinuated I am racist because I am white." 

She said the word slavery and I’m offended because I’m white. I felt like a racist while I did racist things and that’s her fault!!!
Read 13 tweets
15 Sep
Hard disagree. Didn’t your mom ever tell you two wrongs don’t make a right?
Y’all know this cop has a recourse for the crime he just watched being committed, right? That recourse is issuing a summons or arresting him for the misd. crime to his property.
But y’all are over here cheering on this cop extrajudicially avenging the violation of city property with this shit. Shit that were roles reversed would be charged at minimum agg 2nd battery up to attempted 2nd degree murder (if he lived).
Read 6 tweets

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