This is Part 2 of the Blue by Day, White by Night case study. In this post, you will read about the verdict for my client (L.H.) who was facing drug delivery charges in Philadelphia.
Officer Testifies as the Drug Possession Case Continues…
The Officer who was previously disciplined for the offensive KKK stickers in his locker was then called to testify against my client, L.H.
While the DA chose not to ask him any questions about the racist stickers found in his locker, the fact was revealed during cross examination. The officer admitted to having the items in his locker, but said that the stickers were there because someone had put them on his locker.
The officer claimed that he didn’t throw the items away, but put them inside the locker, because another officer would have just put them back up.
He claimed it was “just a joke” among the narcotics cops.
L.H. Testifies: He Attempted to Purchase, Not Sell Drugs
L.H. decided to testify, and the jury was presented with bank records that showed he withdrew his last $20 from an ATM machine 3 blocks away from where he was arrested.
My client claimed he went to purchase heroin and not to sell drugs. Either he was telling the truth, or he is the world’s most pessimistic drug dealer and didn’t think he would be able to make any money selling drugs in one of the busiest open-air drug markets on the East Coast.
Closing Arguments: Summary of Remarks to Jury
- What was the punch line to the “joke”? A joke without any conceivable punch line is not a joke, it’s something else. And it should be considered as evidence of bias and motive to lie. Furthermore, you cannot separate out the other officers from this case and be asked to believe them. Their testimony was not credible either, and they were the investigating officer’s minions.
- The officer’s excuse for possessing the stickers had as much validity as the ones that are given on “To Catch a Predator”, where a guy travels 100 miles with condoms in his pocket to the home of an 11 year old girl, just to make sure nobody else took advantage of her..
- The only thing proven beyond a reasonable doubt in this case was that the Philadelphia police union is the strongest in the country. How did someone come to decide that they are okay with the message that the police/DA would “Stand With the Klan?
- Putting aside the stickers, the facts so strongly suggested that the police were lying and that L.H. was indeed only trying to buy drugs, that 12 card-carrying members of the KKK would find him not guilty.
The jury deliberated less than ONE MINUTE before returning with a Not Guilty verdict. L.H. was found “Not Guilty” for intent to sell drugs.
While major strides have been made, there are still vestiges of racism within the ranks of law enforcement. Allowing cases like this to go to a jury does nothing to instill confidence in the criminal justice system. They only make the jobs of the many honest and dedicated police officers more difficult, and undermine the credibility of prosecutors.
When cops lie citizens are powerless.
If you have read about this case and learned of other Blue by Day, White by Night occurrences, please post and comment here to help make a difference in the city of Philadelphia.