Hundreds of Police Officers Will Not Be Called to Testify as Prosecution Witnesses in Cook County Criminal Courts
Although many believe that law enforcement officers are prone to lying in court as a means to an end, statistically most law enforcement officers are honest and hardworking individuals. However, every industry has its share of bad apples, a fact known to Cook County prosecutors. Earlier this year it was reported that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office keeps a list of hundreds of officers that they refuse to call to testify in criminal cases because of their past conduct, which they eventually released, containing the names of numerous active police officers. The reasons for being placed on the list can vary, but the general idea is that the officers in question have a history or past incident(s) of misconduct or untruthfulness that would ultimately undermine the state’s case. As many as 300 officers are currently listed, with roughly 60 added this year, although that number is just a small fraction of the thousands of law enforcement officers in the Chicagoland area.
Cases Often Dismissed Due to Officer Conduct
Once an officer is on the list, it can make it extremely difficult for the state to proceed with any case in which they were the arresting officer. As a result, sometimes over 100 cases could be dropped once an officer’s conduct is revealed and known to prosecutors and defense attorneys alike. However, this does not automatically occur, as the facts of the case, the officer’s role, and other factors will be evaluated before prosecutors decide which direction they plan on taking any case. Nonetheless, any individual charged with a crime should hire the best criminal defense attorney they can afford, who can zealously defend them, appropriately investigate all issues surrounding the crimes accused of, and utilize all tools, such as the so-called “Do Not Call List,” to provide the best possible defense.