The Police Come for a Visit to My Friend

The police show up early one morning and knock on the door.  “Can you come out and talk with us for a moment?” they ask. Where were  you at 6 am this morning?  Home with my wife and son, making breakfast for the wife. Was anyone out from your household earlier this morning. Yes, around 5:30-6 am every morning the dogs are walked. May happen a little earlier, or a little later, but they get walked around this time every day.

What happened? A laptop was taken from the public  school across the street around 6 am this morning.  According to the NOPD, a laptop was taken from a local public grade school. The School Operations Manager saw the perpetrators     (one man and one woman), and told them to drop the laptop. Outside the school, the man started running. The woman was heavyset and couldn’t run very fast, but walked quickly.  The laptop was thrown into the bushes and recovered by the police.

The police come over and state it’s a case of mistaken identity, and leave.

A couple of days later, the police return.  The son is home. The police ask to come in, and do so with guns drawn.  Don’t know what they are looking for, since the laptop has been recovered.  The police leave.  The third time they come to arrest, and they do so. They take the alleged laptop thief to the police building near by, and the alleged perp (AP) is interviewed by a couple of male detectives, then  a couple of female detectives.

At the interviews, they attempt to elicit a guilty plea. Since they have the wrong person, that’s not forthcoming. The police attempt to bring the wife into the crime. They are told the wife is handicapped,  has to use oxygen and nebulizer treatment. She works for a local hospital, has never been arrested in her life. The cops say they are going to go to her hospital and arrest her if a guilty plea isn’t forthcoming. They are told if they want a lie, they will be told what they want to hear. If they want the truth, they won’t hear what they want. The cops aren’t very happy.

Turns out the police have no motive (plenty of income and computers in the alleged perp’s house), no physical evidence (laptop contains fingerprints, but not of the AP). What they have is the school’s  operations manager’s look at the APs from behind. They take the AP’s driver’s license and took 5 other license photos and did a license line up. The problem was that all the photos showed young men except the AP’s,  who’s a middle aged man. That makes it a bad identification. The police have come up with second identification. It’s these two wrong identifications that are the basis of  D.A.’s accepting the case.

At at roughly 6 am on the 15th of the month of the arrest, it is pitch black in uptown NOLA. This makes all the identifications very suspect, as they both were done from a distance!

Where are the dogs? The AP goes out around 5:30-6 am walking the dogs. He’s busy getting the wife’s breakfast and lunch ready. The dogs never figure into the police’s report.

The second identification is from a man who walks his dog at roughly the same time as the AP in the early am and other times throughout the day. His identification is suspect because the one face he recognized from the neighborhood in the driver’s license line up is the only person in the lineup he recognized from numerous previous encounters while walking dogs.

So that is the police’s entire case.  In the pitch black, with two shaky identifications, without the dogs, this is the extent of it.

Unbeknown to the AP, the cops had put together another driver’s license line up, and submitted it to both ‘witnesses’.  Neither chose the wife.  That didn’t stop the detectives from threatening her arrest if a guilty plea isn’t reached.  They want a guilty plea, but don’t want to hear it’s a lie. They keep hammering at the AP, but nothing comes of this, as he’s not guilty of the crime. The police are happy to take a confession that’s not true, just don’t tell them it’s a lie.

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~ by neworleansmusicman on December 8, 2010.

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