Once Again, Lying to Courts to Protect Banks Goes Unpunished

This story — about how Occupy Wall Street protestor Michael Premo beat an assaulting an officer charge when his lawyers found video evidence to disprove the NYPD’s claims — might make you believe in justice.

Except for this. Premo’s lawyers first went to the cops for video, knowing they had tons of officers deployed with cameras during the protests. They found the cop who had relevant video. And … he apparently lied in court about whether he had that video.

Prosecutors told them that police TARU units, who filmed virtually every moment of Occupy street protests, didn’t have any footage of the entire incident. But [Premo’s lawyer Meghan] Maurus knew from video evidence she had received while representing another defendant arrested that day that there was at least one TARU officer with relevant footage. Reviewing video shot by a citizen-journalist livestreamer during Premo’s arrest, she learned that a Democracy Nowcameraman was right in the middle of the fray, and when she tracked him down, he showed her a video that so perfectly suited her needs it brought a tear to her eye.

For one thing, the video prominently shows a TARU cop named Bosco, holding up his camera, which is on, and pointing at the action around the kettle. When Premo’s lawyers subpoenaed Bosco, they were told he was on a secret mission at “an undisclosed location,” and couldn’t respond to the subpoena. Judge Robert Mandelbaum didn’t accept that, and Bosco ultimately had to testify [Correction: Bosco didn’t take the stand; he had to appear at the District Attorney’s office for a meeting with Maurus and prosecutors. Judge Mandelbaum accepted that Bosco would likely say on the stand what he said in the meeting, and didn’t require him to testify.] Bosco claimed, straining credibility, that though the camera is clearly on and he can be seen in the video pointing it as though to frame a shot, he didn’t actually shoot any video that evening.

Bosco almost certainly lied. The NYPD clearly lied, repeatedly.

And yet there’s no hint they’ll be charged with obstructing justice.

While you’re reflecting on that, remember what the cops were doing (funded, in part, by JP Morgan Chase $4.6 million donation to the NYPD Foundation). They were making sure that a bunch of hippies could not continue to engage in a highly visible challenge to bank power, and certainly not in the banks’ turf around Wall Street.

Sure, OWS did not present as significant a financial threat as preventing banks from foreclosing on homes they did not hold the proper paperwork on — the threat that robosigners lied under oath to combat. But they did present an ideological threat to the banks.

And here we are, again finding people — cops! — lying in court to protect the banks. And here we are, once again, finding those liars go unpunished.

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10 Responses to Once Again, Lying to Courts to Protect Banks Goes Unpunished

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @footballzebras: It should have stayed at 2:56. Big mistake by the clock operator, and should have signaled field there was problem http…
bmaz @fordm Boy, I don't know. Just wow.
bmaz @OBEYshiba Yep. Finally starting to cool off a little.
bmaz @OBEYshiba Good to hear and good luck.
bmaz @OBEYshiba @tli330 Wow! Congrats (and condolences) on the law school thing. If you are in CT, you must follow @gideonstrumpet He's excellent
bmaz @OBEYshiba @tli330 Literally New Haven?? As in CT?
bmaz @BradMossEsq @TyreJim Interesting. I would have thought some crim given the area of specialty.
bmaz @BradMossEsq @TyreJim No crim st all??
bmaz @Johngcole Classic.
JimWhiteGNV It would appear that making the #Mets angry is not a winning strategy.
bmaz @BradMossEsq @TyreJim Naw, of course not. Why would whistleblower lawyers want to represent the most important whistleblower in history?