I'll post more on this tomorrow. This is outrageous, though. Jury found a PD 100% liable when the defendant was framed by LAPD. No liability apportioned to the cops or city. Of course, when she tried the case, the judge shut her down and prevented her from mounting a real defense, but of course, the court and DA are both immune, so take your best shots at us PDs.
Here's some background on this case, and why it's so outrageous.
This stems out of the Rampart scandal in Los Angeles. In that case, Rafael Perez was caught stealing cocaine from an evidence room to resell it. After his first trial hung, he offered up a bunch of information on his fellow officers in the anti-gang unit he served in (Rampart Crash) to get himself a deal (don't think his snitching did him all that well, his offer was 7 years, serve 3 1/2, snitching got him 5, serve 2 1/2, and ended up serving far more than that). He told stories about planting drugs and guns, making up cases against people, framing defendants, lying in court, even killing people. Most of what he said was corroborated. From the very start to the very end, though, the LAPD and DA's office sought to contain this as narrowly as possible, and they succeeded, so that it's basically been forgotten. When a few of the officers involved were brought up for trial, the DA's office did such an abysmal job of prosecuting (essentially trying the case with one hand behind their back and the other holding their nose). The Judge in the case, Jacqui Conners, had been publicly humiliated by Perez when he admitted lying on a trial in her court where she had recommended him for a citation for his great work. She bent over backwards to give the officers the fairest trial she's ever given a defendant, even granting them a new trial after 2 were convicted. The new DA buried the case for a few years before finally dismissing it instead of retrying it.
Despite all the claims that this scandal was limited to just Perez, or Perez his partner and a few bad cops, it's evident that it involved many more. One officer from the unit, while the scandal was erupting, began dealing drugs and formed his own little crime gang after he was transferred somewhere else. He was arrested trying to buy a bunch of kilos of coke near the Mexican border, was found to be involved in other robberies and a murder, and is now serving life. He was one the so-called "clean" officers, according to the police and DAs who buried this case.
The most sensational case involved Javier Ovando, who stumbled into an empty apartment Perez and his partner Nino Durden were using as an observation post. When he did, they both shot him, then planted a gun on him and claimed they shot him in self-defense. He's now partially paralyzed. They had him charged with assault on a cop with a gun, and he was eventually convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Perez claims that it was his guilt over that case that led to him turning snitch, that he had vowed to himself that he wanted to get this guy out of prison at some point in his life.
The lawyer who represented Ovando was a PD named Tamar Toister. When faced with the lying Perez and Durden, her client was convicted at trial. She fought the good fight, but the judge screwed her left and right (he wouldn't even give her a continuance when she claimed she needed more time to investigate), and she lost the case. Hey, big surprise, lying cops got someone convicted.
As much an outrage this was, it is an even bigger outrage that she was found 100% liable for Mr. Ovando's predicament, as if the police who shot him, framed him, and lied at his trial had nothing to do with it. How, exactly, is someone supposed to represent someone when lying cops can expose you to unlimited liability? And, the fact is, as much as we bring this stuff up, the DAs still pooh pooh our claims of lying cops, Judges still refuse to call a cop on lies, and juries still find people guilty even though it's obvious cops were dishonest.