In the most recent of more than 1,000 cases involving police officers who were accused or convicted of being dismissed citywide, Manhattan's top prosecutor on Tuesday overturned over 300 convictions related to NYC police officers who were themselves found guilty of high-level crimes.
The most recent abandoned convictions date back to 1996 and were almost all misdemeanors. Each consists of one of the nine police officers who were ultimately found to have engaged in improper behavior, such as taking bribes, selling weapons without a permit, lying under oath, and injecting narcotics into suspects. The force no longer employs these officers.
According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the prosecutions resulted in the imprisonment of more than 50 people and the levying of 130 fines.
The Negotiation Of The Dismissal of More Than 1,200 Cases
Bragg and at least three of New York City's four other district attorneys, in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, have reportedly negotiated the dismissal of more than 1,200 cases involving officers who had been found guilty or charged since the start of 2021, according to a tally kept by The Associated Press.
The dismissals started with drug convictions obtained by Joseph Franco, a former narcotics detective, who was charged with lying before the case against him was dismissed in the middle of the trial this January. When Bragg's office admitted that it had failed to provide his defense with the necessary evidence, the case was over.
The Public Defense And Exoneration Advocacy Organization's Response
By that time, prosecutors in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx had successfully overturned hundreds of convictions tied to Franco, and a number of public defense and exoneration advocacy organizations had sent a letter encouraging the city's district attorneys to follow suit in instances involving 22 additional officers.
The legal organizations claim that twenty of them had been convicted of crimes and that two others had participated in serious misconduct linked to their jobs. They included the nine police officers involved in the cases that Bragg is dismissing this week.
Elizabeth Felber of the Legal Aid Society, who wrote one of the letters, praised the dismissals and urged Bragg and his fellow DAs to continue their work.