Credibility of officers caught lying can hurt court cases
By Eric Flack
One group of Louisville Metro Police officers have records that could end up hurting their cases in court. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A strong criminal justice system is the backbone of any safe community. That takes police and prosecutors working together. But one group of Louisville Metro Police officers have records that could end up hurting their cases in court.
Louisville Metro Police Officer Randy Moore reports for duty in the traffic division despite wreckage in his past that could be a roadblock for prosecutors.
[VIEW: Brady List]
Moore has been suspended seven times since 1999 for violations such as clocking in late, leaving work early, skipping court and disobeying orders.
The department's newest traffic officer has even been suspended for causing an accident with his cruiser.
Moore also has been caught lying to Internal Affairs during one of their many investigations into his misdeeds, making him the police officer with the longest disciplinary history on what's known as the department's "Brady List."
The "Brady List" is made up of 15 Louisville Metro police officers still on the force despite incidents where they have been caught being biased or not telling the truth. LMPD created the list in 2013 to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that requires prosecutors to disclose credibility issues to the defense.
If Moore, or any of the other "Brady List" officers are ever called to testify at trial, their past histories of lying can be used to discredit what they say on the witness stand.
It's something Moore wasn't saying anything about when we tried to speak with him recently. He declined comment for this report.
Defense Attorney Brian Butler, who spent years working as a prosecutor, said juries always look at a Brady List police officer in a different light.
"If you have a disciplinary history involving dishonesty, that is absolutely something that can impact a case," Butler said. "Why should I believe them if they have lied before?"
There are officers on the Brady List in nearly every division of the department, some for things that happened years ago. Others, just months ago.
Deputy Police Chief Col. Ozzy Gibson said there haven't been any cases where the involvement of a "Brady List" officer led to a criminal walking free since the list was created in 2013, and hopes that continues.
"I would find it hard to believe that point right there would make or break a case," he said.
Colonel Gibson said all the Brady List officers have served their punishment and deserve a second chance. Or in Officer Randy Moore's case, a third, fourth, fifth and sixth chance.
"So my question is do we continue to hold a man down?" Gibson asked. "No human being is perfect."
Prosecutors may hope a jury feels the same way.
So why doesn't the department just fire these police officers? They can't.
The Supreme Court ruling doesn't call for officers with honesty issues to be thrown off the force -- just identified. And union rules limit what the chief can consider when disciplining officers to the last couple years, meaning misconduct that happened five, six or seven years ago has to be set aside.