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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Saturday, September 29, 2012 8:11 AM
Quote:LAS VEGAS -- A group of Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and a retired police sergeant have filed a racketeering complaint against the NHP and Las Vegas Metro Police in U.S. District Court.
The complaint alleges that after then-Gov. Jim Gibbons approved a K-9 program to target drug runners on Nevada's highways, Nevada Highway Patrol Commander Chris Perry intentionally undermined the program.
The complaint alleges that the drug-sniffing dogs used by troopers in the program were intentionally being trained to operate as so-called trick ponies, or dogs that provide officers false alerts for the presence of drugs.
The dogs were being trained to alert their handlers by cues, instead of by picking up a drug's scent by sniffing, the complaint said. When a dog gives a false alert, this resulted in illegal searches and seizures, including money and property, the complaint said.
The 103-page complaint alleges that Perry, along with others, used the K-9s to undermine the program to systematically conduct illegal searches and seizures for financial benefit.
The complaint also alleges the defendants, which also includes the state's Public Safety Department and individuals in NHP and Metro, were involved in a Federal RICO conspiracy, also known as the Federal Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act.
NHP, Metro and the state have not returned calls from 8 News NOW for comment.
Allegations also include corruption, abuse of office and official cover ups.
Saturday, September 29, 2012 8:13 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Saturday, September 29, 2012 3:45 PM
Saturday, September 29, 2012 9:36 PM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 1:30 AM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 5:07 AM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 6:50 AM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 7:38 AM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 8:42 AM
Quote:you'll just be another little rappy making unsupported comments about whole groups of people.
Sunday, September 30, 2012 10:26 AM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 1:22 PM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 1:31 PM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 1:34 PM
Sunday, September 30, 2012 11:16 PM
Quote:Credible tests done credibly shouldn't be an issue for you.
Quote:I thought you were all for private firms b/c they were somehow better. The people who caught this firm were the big bad EPA government goons.
Quote:Fraud is fraud, and police don't have a lock on it, and private firms aren't immune.
Quote:So, to get back to the areas that really are a problem: forensic testing that's not scientifically based like fingerprint analysis, blood spatter, ballistics and toolmark analysis; and a system that lets police and prosecutors get away with fraudulent testing. What should be done about them?
Quote:In this particular instance the problem went back to a single individual - an analyst - not to overall corruption, or a lab 'playing along' with prosecutors, or other generic factors. Don't conflate individual malfeasance with systemic problems, or you'll just be another little rappy making unsupported comments about whole groups of people.
Quote:Worthy, who urged the city to close the lab after an audit found serious errors in evaluating evidence, said police assured her that the evidence was removed to a safe location.
But a Free Press report this morning revealed that authorities left behind evidence, chemicals, gunpowder, buckets of bullets, computers, fax machines, phones and police reports with the Social Security numbers of rape and other assault victims.
"When the Detroit crime laboratory closed, we inquired about where the existing evidence would be housed," Worthy said this morning. "The day the lab was closed, and repeatedly thereafter, we were told that the evidence had been inventoried, packaged and moved out of the old crime lab to a secure and appropriate location. We were told this was being done by the lab scientists under the direction of DPD. The old lab was supposedly vacant."
Quote:The stunning discovery of piles of evidence in a rotting old building last week put Detroit on a growing national list of crime labs accused in recent years of making big mistakes.
The Motor City joins labs in Houston, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington plagued with similar problems.
"This is just another glaring example of what is now an epidemic in crime lab negligence," said Drew Findling, chairman of the Forensic Discipline Committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Of Detroit's lab fiasco, Findling said: "It's really one of the most shocking stories."
The Free Press discovered last week that evidence sat in a decaying old school for months, the remains of the city's crime lab that was ordered closed in 2008 because of shoddy police work. Among the rubble -- susceptible to thieves and vandals -- were thousands of rounds of live ammo, sealed evidence kits and case files
Quote:The reviews found hundreds of cases where incompetence, inadequate training and resources, lack of guidance and even intentional bias on the part of a crime lab - which is not independent from the HPD - contributed to mistakes.
"It's really a complicated issue not just for this crime lab. With this crime lab, almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong," said Marie Munier, chief of the Public Service Bureau with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, which prosecuted Sutton and others whose cases are still being examined to determine the extent of mistakes and whether they led to wrongful convictions.
Some problems with the HPD Crime Lab - such as underfunding, poor staff training and close ties to police and prosecutors - also may be inherent in crime labs across the country.
A 2004 investigation by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer found 23 DNA testing errors in serious criminal cases handled in a Washington state lab. In North Carolina, the Winston-Salem Journal recently ran a series of articles about many DNA testing errors by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. In Virginia, it took an outside investigation to clear Earl Washington Jr., who was falsely convicted of capital murder and nearly executed. An independent lab reused the same samples that led to his conviction but found contradicting results.
That's not all. DNA testing errors are cropping up nationwide: California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Nevada have documented major problems recently.
Munier agreed the troubles are widespread. These issues have prompted critics to call for greater independence among the nation's crime labs, which typically are run by law enforcement agencies.
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