In 1963, the murder conviction of John Brady was overturned by the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that that prosecutors had not disclosed all known facts pertinent to the case.
Specifically – that Brady didn’t commit murder. Prosecutors – eager to get yet another conviction – had decided not to share with Brady and his lawyers, a letter written by another man who took sole responsibility for the act.
Since then, the “Brady Rule” has required prosecutors to pass along material related to guilt or to punishment, known as “exculpatory evidence,” to defendants before a plea is entered.
Failure to do so is said to be a violation of due process.
Less than a decade later another case – Giglio v. United States – strengthened the Brady Rule by mandating that defendants and their lawyers had to be told about information that casts doubt on the credibility of government witnesses involved in the case.
Police employees – being political actors – who have questionable integrity, are supposed to be kept on a Brady List.
Qualifications for inclusion include lying under oath – what’s known as testilying, or other misdeeds done when “in an official capacity,” which in plain English means that when a person has on a police costume.
So where are those Brady Lists?
They’re certainly not readily available on the website of your local cop shop or district attorney’s office.
The simple truth is that there is no set process on how this information is to be shared, thus the norm is censorship on behalf of those who keep those lists.
And even though prosecutors are tasked with informing the defendant that a police employee set to testify is indeed, included on a Brady List, that doesn’t always happen. It’s ultimately contingent on the decision reached by a handful of senior prosecutors.
Regardless of the lip service given to “justice” and to transparency, the injustice system and its actors rest filmy on double-standards and censorship.
As said Mary Ellen Reimund, a Washington-based lawyer, “Although the case is 50 years old, how prosecutors and police are complying with Brady in regard to dishonesty and police officers is in its infancy.”
In LA, a process to comply with the Brady List was created only after a massive police scandal – dozens and dozens of police employees active with the Rampart CRASH unit, planting evidence, testilying, dealing drugs, beatings and shooting, and bank robbery, which cost area taxpayers 125 million federal reserve notes for settlements.
Within five years that process had been adopted by a handful of other police outfits in SoCal.
In San Diego, Jeff McDonald of the San Diego Union-Tribune solicited the Brady List from the local attorney.
Since the DA claims to be “dedicated to the pursuit of truth and justice” and to strive for “open and forthright communication,” one would think that the request would quickly be granted, right?
The response received said that “Any information that may lead to the identification of the officers… is confidential.”
As opined Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, from the San Diego ACLU, “If officers are unreliable in court, are they reliable in our communities?”
This default to protect the identities of police employees who have questionable integrity is not surprising.
After all, we’re talking about an institution that does not have to respond to market signals.
All police employees, and their outfits, rely on a claimed legitimate right to extort you to then protect you.
And prosecutors, who are supposed to maintain the Brady Lists, tend to rely on donations and support from police unions to get elected.
Many, therefore, are hesitate to rock the boat, and call into question hundreds or thousands of convictions that relied on testimony from someone known to lie.
Such is the norm when justice is said to be provided by a coercive monopoly. That institution and its actors are inherently unaccountable.
Yet according to Richard Bradley, the president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, had the audacity to claim, that “in 27 years on the Boston force he had never encountered the practice” of testilying. Sure.
Honesty among police employees in legaland is not absolute. Anyone truthful – including some police employees – readily acknowledges that fact.
Joseph D. McNamara – when head of San Jose Police Outfit, stated, “as someone who spent 35 years wearing a police uniform, I’ve come to believe that hundreds of thousands of law-enforcement officers commit felony perjury every year testifying about drug arrests.”
In fact, during the legaland venture Ademo Freeman and I had a few years ago in Greenfield, Mass., it was a lie by a police employee on the stand that one juror cited as the reason he determined that Ademo and I were “not guilty.”
That police employee – Todd M. Dodge – had been asked by Ademo if he’d ever broken the law. Dodge replied “No.”
There exists thousands of pages of legalese conflated to be law, much of which is contradictory. The average person “violates” a handful of felonies each day, and Dodge claims he’s never broken a law?
Dodge should be included on the Brady List, and maybe he already is – but good luck finding out that information.
As Richard Lisko, a Baltimore Police employee noted in Police Chief Magazine – “Even though the Brady decision is nearly 50 years old, law enforcement agencies across the country are reluctant, if not defiant, to disclose potentially damaging information about police officers within their ranks.”
Earlier this week I called the Attorney General offices for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.
For the most part, that communication was fruitless. Despite the passage of almost a week, I’ve yet to hear back from anybody, about how the Brady List kept could be obtained.
Even the one time I was told that I could file a FOIA request, that was quickly followed-up with the statement that it was not-likely to be fulfilled.
Had others experienced more success? I scoured the web, and found only a handful of examples when Brady Lists that were sought, were provided:
In Florida, the Brady List was provided to The Sun Sentinel earlier this year, which listed police employees convicted of crimes, those under criminal investigation, and those being investigated for discharging their firearm.
In 2010, the writers at the Phoenix New Times obtained the Brady list for Maricopa County, which listed hundreds of police employees, including Jeffeory Hynes, then the head of the Phoenix Police Outfit’s internal affairs department, who now teaches about Police Management at nearby Arizona State University.
In The Shire, where I now reside, the Brady List is referred to as the Laurie List.
In 2013 Elizabeth Dinan of the Portsmouth Herald and the Seacoast Media Group filed Right to Know Requests – New Hampshire’s version of the FOIA – with each county’s head prosecutor to obtain the Laurie Lists.
Though much of the information received was redacted, it was learned that more than 60 police employees were included. Said Dinan: “the process tracking them is so secretive it is virtually impossible to identify them or even say for sure exactly how many there are.”
Thanks to a submission made to Cop Block – the identities of a few of those police employees are known – Matthew Jajuga, Micheal Buckley, and Jonathon Duchesne – who all partook in the unjust beating Chris Micklovich (a name that may be familiar to you, if you’re aware with the Chalking 8 incident).
That trio attempted recently to get their names removed from the Laurie List, but their request was denied.
So, with lack of rigor surrounding Brady Lists, and the less-than-willing disposition of prosecutors to share them, why was it thought worthwhile to address this topic?
Because it acts as yet another data point to underscore the failure of a centralized, coercive monopoly to provide safety or accountability or any such idealistic goal.
If a police employee is known to be of such questionable character, shouldn’t that information be made public? Would you choose to hire a known liars and predators to protect you?
Anthony Arevalos who, despite being named in a dozen lawsuits that cost area taxpayers millions of federal reserve notes, was still employed as a San Diego police employee when he sexually molested a woman in the bathroom of a 711.
And, just a couple hours to the north, Vince Mater – who worked for the Fullerton Police, the same outfit where the killers of Kelly Thomas are employed – who’s inclusion on the Brady List wasn’t made public until he was quietly dismissed after he destroyed crucial evidence – his department issued audio recorder and the chip that had captured his exchanges with Dean Gochenour, who was shortly afterwards said to have committed suicide in his cage.
Would you choose to employ a person of such disrepute?
That’s what this conversation is ultimately about – choice.
Today, with the failed “injustice system” there is no choice. There is no accountability. And there never will be, as that institution is based on a double-standard – that some people have the “right” to extort others.
It’s been over 50 years since the Brady List was kicked-off, it’s failed to curtail the very real, and very negative actions done by dishonest police employees.
If you know of a dishonest police employee, let others know. And that includes you too, current police employees. Your silence is acceptance.
To bring about real change, shed any vestiges of legitimacy you grant to that corrupt institution, and to the bankrupt idea that positions some as rulers, and others as ruled.
LINKS INCLUDED IN VIDEO
- DA keeps secret list of bad cops by Jeff McDonald on July 26, 2014 at UTSanDiego.com
- Three Manchester, NH Police Officers Request to be Taken off Laurie List Denied by John Brady on December 13, 2013 at CopBlock.org
- Officers on list for honesty concerns by Nancy West on October 06, 2012 at UnionLeader.com
- Maricopa County’s Brady List Includes Phoenix PD Internal Affairs Commander by Stephen Lemons on October 22, 2010 at PhoenixNewTimes.com
- Agency Policies Imperative to Disclose Brady v. Maryland Material to Prosecutors Feb 2011 at PoliceChiefMagazine.com
- Are Brady Lists (aka Liar’s Lists) the Scarlet Letter for Law Enforcement Officers? A Need for Expansion and Uniformity by Mary Ellen Reimund, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 3 No. 17; September 2013
- A (Limited) Look Inside New Hampshire’s ‘Laurie List’ by Brady Carlson on January 17, 2013
- Broward’s Brady List full of accused cops by Brittany Wallman on January 10, 2014 at Sun-Sentinel.com
- What is a Brady Cop? And What Did Vince Mater Do to Become One? by Travis Kiger on October 16, 2012 at Friends For Fullerton’s Future
- Brady Cops at Youtube.com by 1109studios uploaded June 08, 2014
- Former Fullerton officer charged with destroying evidence by Denisse Salazar and Lous Ponsi on March 13, 2012 at OCRegister.com
- Police Perjury on Wikipedia last updated July 22, 2014
- Pete and Ademo’s Trial P1 at Youtube.com/TheCopBlock uploaded July 25, 2011