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Michigan case provides an example of how public trust is eroded when police lie

DETROIT (AP) — A black man was detained by police during an early morning walk in a quiet northwest Detroit neighborhood after the white officer threw him into a police car, handcuffed him and accused him of planning Breaking into a car. Told a huge lie.

Brian Chaney said he asked for a supervisor during his arrest in Keego Harbor, Miss., and Officer Richard Lindquist told him that Another police officer at the scene was in charge. Here’s the thing: That second officer was neither a supervisor nor a member of the Port of Kego. Police station.

Lindquist was never disciplined, and his supervisor said that while the suspect had the right to request supervision, what the officer did was OK.

“An officer can lie on the scene without being sworn,” Port Kego Police Chief John Fitzgerald said during Chaney’s $10 million deposition. wrongful detention action.

But as Americans’ trust in police plummets, bolstered by cellphone and body-worn camera footage that can reveal lies, the reputation of a profession once widely considered blameless has been tarnished.

“It is widely accepted that the weakest and most vulnerable members of society are the greatest victims of coercive behavior, such as when police officers Dishonest and deceptive conduct at trial.” Defense counsel.

in a Last year’s Gallup poll43% of respondents said they have a lot or a fair amount of confidence in police, down from 51% in 2021 and 64% in 2004. Gallup said 43% is an all-time low.

“We need police officers who can be trusted. We need to start envisioning a police force that is centered around integrity,” Craven said.

Several recent cases highlight this need.

In May, a Washington, D.C., police officer has been arrested He was accused of obstructing the investigation and falsely claiming to have leaked confidential information to Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys extremist group.

A white police officer and union leader in Portland, Oregon, Fired in 2022 For leaking a false 911 caller’s report claiming a black city commissioner was involved in a hit-and-run incident. The department later reinstated him.

A former Army officer from Louisville, Kentucky. court admitted She and another officer falsified information in a search warrant that led to the 2020 police shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman.

According to police, police can use deception and present false evidence during interrogations and investigations to get suspects to confess. 1969 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

New York state Consider legislation to ban police from lying to suspects during interrogations, while also Illinois,Colorado and Oregon Banning police from lying during interrogations of juveniles.

Chaney, a licensed therapist and certified hypnotherapist in suburban Detroit, said in the lawsuit that in July 2021, he sent his two teenage sons to the gym. He was walking for exercise along a strip mall in Port Keygo, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of Detroit, when Lindquist followed in his car and exclaimed: “Get your hands out of your pockets!”

According to the lawsuit, Lindquist told Chaney, “I’m going to search you because you look like you’re armed and going to break into cars.”

Lindquist called him a “dog,” pushed him in the back and pushed him into the police car, injuring his groin. Chaney’s complaint said his wrists were injured by the handcuffs during the ordeal, which lasted more than 20 minutes.

Chaney said Lindquist asked him, “What are you going to do next, put your knee on my neck?” before releasing him. george floyd By a white Minneapolis police officer.

Fitzgerald said in a July 18, 2022 deposition that Lindquist had not been disciplined for lying about his supervisor, describing it as “brief speculation in an attempt to deescalate a tense situation.” He insisted Lying was not his department’s policy, but “it was something they were allowed to do.”

A detained citizen can request a supervisor — in this case, Fitzgerald — who the officer should call. Fitzgerald said Lindquist did not call and he believed the officer did not call him. Chaney his phone number.

The chief declined to comment to The Associated Press, citing pending litigation, and several national and international groups advocating on behalf of law enforcement did not return messages from The Associated Press.

Lindquist no longer works for Port Kego police and The Associated Press could not contact him. The attorney representing Lindquist in the Chaney case did not respond to a request for comment.

“You should not have the right to lie,” Chaney’s attorney Leonard Mungo said. “We are building this into the moral fabric of the most powerful institution in our society, which has the power to put you in jail. . ”

Detroit-area attorney David A. Robinson said the lies were disappointing.

“People have a lot of respect for police officers,” said Robinson, who has been a police officer in Detroit for 13 years. “When a police officer is caught lying, he falls out of favor even more than the average person does, just because of that perception.”

Robinson, who is black, and his clients, who are mostly black, have accused police of civil rights violations.

“My professional experience has shown that police officers often seem to take liberties in their reports to justify force or support an arrest. Therefore, it would be foolish to simply take a police officer’s word for it at face value,” Robinson said.

Robert Feldman, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said once someone realizes a police officer has lied to them, trust is difficult to restore.

“Basically, I think police lie because they can,” Feldman said. “Most of the time, they won’t be caught lying, and even if they lie, they can get away with it. If you understand, police can’t be trusted.” “They use deceptive tactics that make you question everything they say.”


Associated Press researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report. ___

Corey Williams is a member of The Associated Press’s race and ethnicity team.

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