Police Officers Charged for False DUI Arrests

The following excerpt from the Chicago Sun-Times sounds like something from Bizaro World. DUI cases are being dismissed by prosecutors who reviewed in-car videos, finding that two Chicago police officers were fabricating drunk driving arrest records. And the prosecutors aren’t simply dismissing drunk driving cases. One officer is actually facing criminal charges. This is unreal. I feel strange and light headed. I’ve fallen down the rabbit’s hole… Quite frankly, this could never happen in Michigan. Michigan prosecutors only review videos to prepare counter arguments, routinely referring to the same tired arguments irrespective of what videos objectively reveal. Of all the motions I have filed, only a few prosecutors have ever honestly watched the video and admitted that the officer made a mistake. Consider too the 18th District Court judge’s comments quoted in my posting, “Westland DUI: ‘Desires Urgent Income’” from a few days ago and the desire to increase the number of DUI cases to raise revenue. Clearly, what is being pursued criminally in Chicago is being encouraged here locally. What if these Chicago prosecutors took the same position that police officers can “see more” than the evidence recorded on in-car cameras? The bottom-line is that officers who make unlawful DUI arrests don’t get charged with perjury in Michigan. They get promoted. Our prosecutors and judges need to wake up to the problem and address it before the constitution disappears in Michigan.

2nd top DUI cop accused of false arrests
February 23, 2009 BY FRANK MAIN Crime Reporter/fmain@suntimes.com           Another Chicago cop is suspected of framing drivers with false arrests for drunken driving, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.           Joe D. Parker, 59, an officer in the Chicago Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit, has been placed on desk duty pending an internal police investigation.           The Cook County state’s attorney’s office, which is also investigating Parker, has moved to dismiss dozens of DUI arrests he made, according to sources who said investigators began scrutinizing the 23-year police veteran’s DUI arrests after video from his squad car did not appear to match an account he gave in an arrest report.           . . . .           The scrutiny over Parker’s DUI arrests comes almost a year after another Chicago cop, Officer John Haleas, was charged by Cook County prosecutors with perjury, official misconduct and obstructing justice, accused of failing to take important steps in making a DUI arrest in 2005. Prosecutors said Haleas failed to perform a field-sobriety test and lied in his reports. As a result, they dropped more than 50 cases stemming from DUI arrests made by Haleas.           The criminal case is still pending against Haleas, who was honored three times by the Schaumburg-based Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists as the cop with the most DUI busts in Illinois.           Parker also made the private organization’s top DUI cop list when he made 153 drunken-driving arrests in 2006 — fourth-highest among Chicago officers that year, according to the group.

Originally posted Tuesday, February 24th, 2009