We have followed the scandals in Durham involving its police chief and former district attorneys. Now Durham police officers have been shown to have lied about non-existent 911 calls to enter the homes of citizens without a warrant. Despite this illegal tactic that was admitted on the stand, no officers have been fired. Instead, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez (left) has sent out a memo. You may recall Lopez who earlier reportedly said that a public defender deserved to be shot.
According to the testimony of a Durham police officer, it was routine that officers would target residences connected to individuals with outstanding warrants. They would then claim that the police dispatcher received a 911 call from that address. The disclosure was made on the stand by Officer A.B. Beck who said that this was official policy or at least a well-known practice. However, Lopez insisted that it was never an official policy and banned the practice. Of course, it should not require a ban since it is clearly unlawful to lie to citizens to trick them into allowing them to enter their homes. In the case at issue Beck used the lie to enter a home and make an arrest over two marijuana blunts and a marijuana grinder.
Beck said that the tactic was approved of by the department and defense counsel questioned him further:
Did you say there was a 911 hang-up?
But there was not a 911 hang-up?
So you entered the house based on a lie?
And this is your policy for domestic violence warrants?
Defense counsel moved to suppress and Marcia Morey, chief district judge for Durham County, granted the motion and stated “You cannot enter someone’s house based on a lie.” Charges were then dropped.
Lopez then sent out a memo telling officers not to lie anymore to circumvent the warrant requirement. There is no mention of a single act of discipline over the practice in the Durham Police Department.
Source: Indy Week