May 11, 2015 |
AFTER A DAY and a half of deliberations, a jury of six women and six men tasked with deciding the corruption case against six ex-narcotics cops left U.S. District Court yesterday without a verdict. The jurors are to decide whether to convict Officers Thomas Liciardello, 38, Brian Reynolds, 43, Michael Spicer, 47, Perry Betts, 47, Linwood Norman, 47, and Michael Speiser, 42, on various counts related to allegations that they threatened and robbed drug dealers, and falsified paperwork while working in a narcotics squad.
May 8, 2015 |
The federal corruption case against six members of an elite Philadelphia police narcotics squad will head to a jury Thursday, after a second day of closing arguments in which the defense team lauded its clients as heroes and likened the officers' accusers to "a freak show to end all. " Their speeches Wednesday ranged from indignant jeremiads - condemning the FBI for an "unconscionable" investigation - to sentimental paeans extolling the bravery of...
May 7, 2015 |
Lawyers on both sides of the federal corruption trial of six members of an elite Philadelphia Police Department narcotics squad finally found on Tuesday - the day they began their closing arguments - a point on which they could agree: The decision in this case, they told jurors, should be easy. It would be "absurd," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney, to believe that a disgraced former police officer and 19 drug suspects independently came up with the same detailed lies about a series of police abuses.
May 4, 2015 |
FORMER POLICE Officer Michael Spicer - one of six ex-narcotics cops on trial in an alleged corruption scandal - took the witness stand yesterday, telling jurors that no one was hung over a balcony, no windows were smashed with sledgehammers, and that searches and seizures were properly done by his squad. Spicer, 47, dressed in a blue suit, light-blue shirt and a tie, spoke calmly and clearly during his five hours on the stand. Wearing glasses, he explained what happened in about a dozen searches of homes of suspected drug dealers.
May 1, 2015 |
A PHILADELPHIA police sergeant who supervised six former narcotics officers accused of planting evidence, threatening suspects and stealing drugs and money defended the ex-cops during their corruption trial in federal court yesterday. Testifying for the defense, Sgt. Joseph McCloskey told the court that the defendants had filed the proper paperwork and that he had never witnessed any theft or violence. "If that would have happened in my presence, we wouldn't be here today, I would have taken care of it seven years ago," he said.
April 30, 2015 |
On Facebook, Philadelphia Police Officer Sean O'Malley has described the federal corruption trial of six of his drug squad colleagues as a "kangaroo court. " He can't wait, he wrote, to see his brothers in blue set free. And as he took the stand as a defense witness Tuesday, he aimed to deflate the most damning allegations against them. The $13,800 prosecutors said the indicted officers stole from a West Philadelphia home? O'Malley said he was the one who seized the money. The meth peddler in the Northeast who accused the drug squad of framing him?
April 27, 2015 |
For four weeks, federal prosecutors have challenged the choices of six members of an elite Philadelphia police drug squad and accused them of pocketing drug money and trampling on suspects' rights. But as defense lawyers opened their case Friday, it was their turn to object to the FBI's methods. Moving through nine witnesses at a whirlwind clip, lawyer Jack McMahon left no decision made by federal investigators unquestioned. Why, McMahon asked, did agents wait until after indicting the officers to interview police supervisors who witnessed operations the FBI has since flagged as suspicious?
April 18, 2015 |
He is a self-described dirty cop with a suicide attempt in his past and a history of poor job performance, emotional instability, and lying under oath. The question now before for a jury is: Can anything former Philadelphia Police Officer Jeffrey Walker says be believed? Walker - the government's star witness in the federal corruption trial of six of his former narcotics squad colleagues - finished his testimony Thursday after three grueling days on the stand. By the end, the 46-year-old was clearly exhausted, his shoulders slumped and his head in his hands.
April 17, 2015 |
His cross-examination should have been brutal. Defense lawyers had called Jeffrey Walker everything from "an amoral creep" to a "despicable, rotten liar. " On the witness stand, he called their clients bullies and fellow rogue cops. But as the 46-year-old disgraced narcotics investigator turned star government witness withstood intense questioning from the defense Wednesday, he responded with a surprisingly honest admission. "I was a thief and a liar before," he said of his time on the Philadelphia Police Department's Narcotics Field Unit.