When you are in danger, you expect the police to protect you; when someone is breaking the law, you expect the police to act accordingly, and above all, when the police make an arrest, you expect them to do so with a strong sense of morality and for the betterment of society. These expectations are usually met during most police-civilian interactions, but that is not always the case. When corruption occurs, it makes it difficult for citizens to believe that the police truly have their best interest in mind.
In a recent case involving two former sheriff deputies, the former deputies allegedly did not act accordingly and in doing so, breached the public’s trust.
The Crooked Cops Incident
In a 2011 police report written by former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Anthony Manuel Paez and Julio Cesar Martinez, the deputies are said to have arrested Antonio Rhodes and Johnny Yang after they “witnessed” a narcotics transaction between the suspects involving a person with a gun. According to the report, deputy Martinez followed one suspect into a medical marijuana dispensary and immediately located two firearms, one next to a trash bin and the other on a desk near ecstasy pills. As a result of these alleged findings, both Rhodes and Yang were charged with a number of crimes including possession of an unregistered weapon and possession of a controlled substance while armed with a gun.1
Investigators became suspicious, however, when video of the incident was inconsistent with the reports made by the arresting deputies. Prosecutors in the case reported that deputy Paez maneuvered around a desk to disassemble the video surveillance machine and then proceeded to plant two handguns in the room. The deputies were unaware that other working cameras were placed throughout the room and that all of their illegal activities were in fact recorded.
As a result, the former deputies have been charged with conspiracy, perjury, filing a false report and altering evidence.
What Does Wallin & Klarich Think?
The recent case involving former deputy Paez and Martinez demonstrates police misconduct at the highest level. It becomes increasingly difficult to achieve justice in our courtrooms when our law enforcement officials are the ones committing crimes. With the continual rise in police corruption not only in California but throughout our nation, something needs to be done to hold the police responsible for their actions.2
One suggestion we have heard is to require police officers to wear cameras at all times while on duty and during interviews of suspects and witnesses. If officers know that their every move and action is being monitored, they are less likely to abuse their power.
Another way to tackle the problem is to enact harsher punishment on the police officers that are found guilty of crimes such as conspiracy and perjury. If Paez and Martinez are found guilty, they face up to seven years in state prison. If the victims they attempted to frame were found guilty, it is likely that they would have faced a much longer prison sentencing.
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have seen far too many instances where innocent individuals are the victims of police injustice.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love is being charged with a crime as a result of police misconduct, contact the law offices of Wallin & Klarich today. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience with police wrongdoings and will use all available defenses in order to provide you with the best opportunity to win your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide you with the very best legal representation. We will help you get the best possible result in your case.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. [Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Police corruption is aiming higher” – Chazin, Abdelwahed; May 1, 2014]↩