In order to get a young man imprisoned over petty marijuana charges, five Illinois police officers "allegedly" organized a criminal conspiracy to lie on the stand in order to falsely justify an illegal search of the man's vehicle.
From NBC Chicago:
The dramatic revelation that five officers had allegedly lied on the witness stand in a Glenview drug case, has called into question dozens of other cases which the officers have pending.
The Cook County State's Attorney's office will only say it is reviewing the matter, but privately, authorities are clearly concerned about a case which fell apart, when the officers were confronted with a video which contradicted their sworn testimony.
That moment came two weeks ago, when the officers, three from Chicago and two from Glenview, testified at the Skokie courthouse, in the case of a drug suspect named Joseph Sperling.
"All five officers were telling the same story word for word," said defense lawyer Steven Goldman. "They were caught in a lie."
The officers testified that they pulled Sperling over under the pretense of a traffic stop, asked for his license and insurance, allowed him to exit his vehicle and walk to the rear, then removed a duffel bag containing marijuana. Only then, they said, did they arrest and cuff him.
But Goldman confronted the fifth officer with the squad car video, which clearly showed the officers approaching Sperling's car and immediately taking him out of the car and putting him in handcuffs. Only then did they begin searching, finding the bag in the back seat.
Prosecutors did not even attempt to clean up the mess. They offered no closing argument, as the judge immediately announced she was granting a defense motion to nullify the case.
All five cops were stripped of their police powers, though perjury charges have yet to be filed.