A New York City judge is essentially protecting dirty cops following a recent ruling which will prohibit the names of NYPD officers on the “bad cop” list. According to a report from the New York Post, city district attorneys no longer have to publicly disclose the names of officers who have lied on the job.
The list, which consists of officers “whose testimony could weaken cases because they are being sued, accused of misconduct or gave prior testimony that was later tossed,” should diminish an officer’s credibility. However, thanks to Manhattan civil court Judge W. Franc Perry‘s ruling, that is not the case. The officers are exempt from being made public under New York’s Freedom of Information Law.
And now, these officers’ names are merely scribbles in an attorney’s private notes.
“The adverse credibility finding is ultimately assessed by the attorney, familiar with the particular facts of the case, and must be analyzed within the context of a particular criminal case where a police officer may testify,” Perry wrote in his ruling.
He also considered prosecutors’ requirement to reveal findings to a defense attorney, “attorney-work product.”
Additionally, Perry did not challenge the DA office’s failure to maintain a list when it was requested by former Manhattan prosecutor Andrew Stengel in 2018. In court filings, Stengel argued that the Manhattan DA’s office kept a list for years, however the office begged to differ. They claimed that the first list of names was made just before it was released in January.
When the Manhattan DA’s office released the list, it consisted of 61 names, but did not include ranks or assignments, according to The Post.
“The inclusion of an officer’s name in the document does not necessarily mean that the District Attorney’s Office (‘DANY’) concurs with the court’s conclusion,” the DA’s office said in a statement at the time.
The outlet notes that the “bad cop” list released last month omitted “some of the officers with the worst history, including five cops who had been found guilty of lying and nonetheless called to testify as recently as last year.”
It is unclear why names were left off of the list. However, Stengel requested the list be released in full afterwards.
Stengel’s attorney told The Post that he is “confident that the decision will be overturned on appeal.”
It is interesting that the New York City judge would rule against disclosing the names of dirty officers considering the controversy surrounding the now-Exonerated Five and the evidence, or lack there of, used to place five then-teenagers in jail. Not to forget the ongoing case of Barnard College student Tessa Majors, who was stabbed and killed in Morningside Park, which has often been compared to the Central Park 5 case.