Going well beyond what other district attorneys in New York City have done to deal with police officers with credibility problems, Brooklyn’s DA publicly released a blacklist of officers who will no longer be called as witnesses, The New York Times reports. The list’s release came in response to an open-records demand by Gothamist and WNYC, following their report that all five boroughs’ DAs are building secret lists of officers accused of dishonesty.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez released two lists. One includes more than 40 officers whose testimony judges had deemed unreliable and false. Gonzalez said he believed that in some of those cases the judges were mistaken and the officers had been truthful. The officers on this list will still sometimes be used as witnesses, he said. The second list named seven officers the district attorney’s office had deemed no longer credible. Gonzalez declined to elaborate on the specific reason each officer was on the list. He said he expected the list to grow. Maryanne Kaishian, a lawyer with Brooklyn Defender Services, expressed surprise that the list contained only seven names. “That is way too few in our experience with the number of officers we’ve encountered committing misconduct on our cases,” Kaishian said. Nonetheless, Gonzalez’s decision to release the list in Brooklyn drew a sharp rebuke from Patrick J. Lynch, the president of New York City’s largest police union. “He knows that publicizing this information will destroy the careers of honest police officers and torpedo the cases against violent, gun-toting criminals — assuming his office bothers to prosecute them at all,” Lynch said.