Chicago Prosecutors Drop Cases That Relied on Officer Accused of Perjury

Chicago prosecutors are dropping cases that relied on a Chicago police officer’s testimony after that officer was accused of perjury. The officer testified that his girlfriend had stolen his car in order to get dozens of traffic tickets against him dismissed. The officer is accused of perjuring himself 44 times in a bid to get traffic tickets dismissed. The tickets involved running a red light, speeding, and parking violations. 

Perjuring yourself under oath is considered a criminal act. But more so, any defense attorney who tried a case involving the officer would bring up the fact that he was willing to lie under oath. In many cases, the facts of the case rely entirely on an officer’s testimony. Since the officer is no longer considered a reliable witness, this places the cases involving his testimony in peril. It could also result in appeals for convictions in which the case hinged on his testimony. 

An assistant state’s attorney has declined to pursue seven cases in which the officer made the arrest. Some of these cases dated as far back as 2021. The assistant state attorney offered no reason for refusing to pursue the cases, but defense counsel made mention of the officer’s credibility problems. 

The officer was noted for making several DUI arrests. Many of these cases are now in peril because the officer lied under oath. In many cases, the initial arrest for DUI is related to reckless driving. The officer must establish probable cause to pull the vehicle over. If the driver was not doing anything wrong, then the officer cannot pull the vehicle over. So many DUI cases involving the officer rely on the fact that the officer saw that drivers were recklessly operating their vehicles. 

Officer Faces Misconduct Complaints

The officer retired in January, just before the criminal perjury cases were filed against him. He faced nearly 100 misconduct complaints filed by citizens and fellow officers. He is facing four counts of perjury and five counts of forgery related to the aforementioned traffic tickets. 

Chicago prosecutors keep a list of officers with serious credibility issues. In 2022, this officer was added to the list. Prosecutors are leery about calling officers with specific issues related to their credibility. This puts their cases in jeopardy and makes them more difficult to win. Prosecutors don’t like losing cases, and they do not like calling witnesses that defense counsel can impeach on the stand. 

Prosecutors are unlikely to drop all of the cases that this police officer initiated. They are likely to drop only those cases that rely exclusively on his testimony. This can include several traffic violations. At present, seven of 18 cases in which this officer was the arresting officer have been dropped. More may follow.

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a serious crime in Illinois, call Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100. We can help defeat the charges in court or arrange for a plea bargain that you can live with. Call today to learn more. 

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