AND IN OTHER NEWS, BATMAN MUGGED A NUN
by Rob Lopresti
It has not been a great week for the forces of law and order, has it? One story after another has suggested we can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys without a scorecard, or at least an unsealed indictment. Here are the news reports that caught my eye.
The peril of a slump in crime
When Sherri Rasmussen was robbed and murdered in her home her father told the police to investigate his new son-in-law’s former girlfriend, a Los Angeles policewoman. The detectives reportedly told him he had been watching too much television.
Twenty years later a drop in the homicide rate gave the crime lab a chance to re-examine the evidence. DNA tests proved the attacker had been a woman.
It probably wasn’t too hard for the homicide detectives to investigate Detrective Stephanie Lazarus, because she was working in the Art Fraud office, just across the hall. After sneaking a DNA sample from her they asked her to come to the jail to help question a suspect. Once she had turned in her gun at the jail house she was told that she was the suspect. She is awaiting trial.
Who are you going to believe: me or your lying eyes?
In Queens, New York, undercover cops spent two hours in a bar and then had six men arrested for selling them cocaine.
Two of the arrested men were brothers, José and Maximo Colon. While they were in jail the convenience store they owned went out of business because they lost their licenses to sell tobacco, alcohol, and lottery tickets.
Finally José got out of jail and went back to the bar where he had been arrested. He and the owner went through the surveillance tapes which showed that he and his brother had been sitting at the bar, minding their own business, during the time the undercover officers claimed they had been selling cocaine.
The Colon brothers’ attorney, a former prosecutor, said that when she saw the tapes “I almost threw up.” She was thinking of the thousands of cases she had prosecuted on similar undercover testimony.
Officer Henry Tavarez and Detective Stephen Anderson are awaiting trial on charges of drug dealing, among other things. The vindicated brothers are suing the city for ten million. Sometimes Big Brother roots for the little guy, I guess.
So, these stories demonstrate that things can get a little odd on the crazy coasts. But surely in the Midwest, America’s Heartland ™, nothing like that goes on, right?
Don’t tell that to a woman in Martins Ferry, Ohio. She is the surrogate carrying the baby of Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. Now it is being reported that someone conspired to break into her house, hoping to find souvenirs that could be sold to a tabloid newspaper.
By now you are probably suspecting it was a policeman. Well, you’re wrong. Apparently it was two of them, and not just any cops, either. The alleged conspirators are Martins Ferry Chief of Police Barry Carpenter and Bridgeport Chief of Police Chad Dojack.
A presumption and a happy thought
Of course, all of these folks are innocent until proven guilty.
And who would know that better than them?