By Jay Syrmopoulos on February 18, 2015
New York, N.Y. – Defense attorneys have a new tool at their disposal to question the credibility of police officers in court, thanks to the largest organization of public defenders in the nation.
The Legal Aid Society is a New York-based nonprofit with a staff of over 650 attorneys that represents over 230,000 people yearly. They have created the “cop accountability” database as a means of systematically tracking rogue actions by officers.
By creating a database that records accusations of officer misconduct it becomes easier for defense attorneys to identify problem officers. The database allows the defense to bring these credibility issues to light. This subsequently forces judges and juries to take this information into consideration when passing judgment.
Cynthia Conti-Cook, a former civil rights lawyer, joined the Legal Aid Society last spring with the idea for the database, formally called the Cop Accountability Program, already in mind, according to Slate.
The impetus behind the project is that during a criminal case there’s typically a “big red arrow that says ‘criminal’ pointing to the defendant.” There’s very little the defense can respond with other than to say, “my client denies the charges,” according to Conti-Cook.
With the database in use, any past misconduct by an officer can be discovered if it has been entered into the system. With that information, the defense attorney can “start shifting that red arrow toward the police officer, by showing that they’ve also been engaged in activity that deteriorates their credibility.”
Maybe our countrymen are starting to come to grips with our institutionalized corruption. It's about time we rolled-back the bad guys.....