Chicago Prosecutor Fired After Videotape Contradicts His Sworn Testimony On Witness Statement

ct-met-officer-shot-paris-sadler-0322-mh-jpg-20150828mosaic_anita143x176When the case of the shooting of a Chicago police officer in 2012 came to the chambers of Cook County Circuit Judge Thaddeus Wilson, the court saw something that it said was obvious to anyone who has done any practice in the criminal law: the statement of the mother of the suspect Paris Sadler was free of any corrections or edits. Since the mother Talaina Cureton said that she had edited and corrected the statement prepared by Assistant Cook County state’s attorney Joseph Lattanzio, it was a curious fact. However, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, long criticized for her policies such as prosecuting citizens who dare to video police in public, fought to block any effort to reexamine the statement and denied that her office omitted critical information. Now, it appears that one of those videotapes that Alvarez hates, existed showing Cureton editing the statement. Lattanzio has been fired. However, once again, without the videotape, Alvarez’s office would have likely succeeded in blocking the challenge and protecting the prosecutorial misconduct.

3614321Chicago Officer Del Pearson was severely injured but survived the shooting. The revolver was recovered in the basement but the defense moved to quash Sadler’s arrest and suppress evidence questioned the accuracy of a witness statement. Lattanzio insisted that no corrections were made. Judge Wilson expressed dismay: “This is the first time I’ve ever seen any statement taken by an assistant state’s attorney … where it is perfect with no edits or corrections.”

Then it was revealed that Cureton had secretly taken an iPad recording of her interview with prosecutors the day after the shooting.

Alvarez has continued to struggle with those videotapes that she has fought against in police abuse cases. In June, her office had to indict three Chicago police officers and a Glenview officer for lying on the stand in a routine drug case after a video contradicted them. That video was taken from one of the cruisers as opposed to a citizen.

What is most striking in these cases of prosecutorial abuse is that they often occur in relatively strong cases like this one. Prosecutors will sometimes feel more pressure in the high profile “easy” cases to secure convictions. However, this case also reflects the fact that most cases rely on the ability of the defense to prove misconduct without a videotape. Without that videotape, Alvarez’s office likely would have prevailed on appeal in saying that the absence of edits is purely speculative and that the court needs to give the prosecutors the benefit of the doubt in such cases against the word of a “biased” mother. Notably, this was not the main prosecutor in the case and there is no evidence that the other prosecutors were aware of the failure to include the edits or corrections.

Alvarez stated that “Any law enforcement officer who lies under oath has defied that public trust and is subject to the same legal consequences as any citizen would be.” However there is no word at this time whether he will be prosecuted for false statements in the case.

37 thoughts on “Chicago Prosecutor Fired After Videotape Contradicts His Sworn Testimony On Witness Statement”

  1. A post about a serious issue (every now and then) and use on here talk about Bill Clinton’s sex life. Awards are interesting haha.

  2. BC was impeached for perjury was he not? So perjury is worse than the crime?

    The thing that should have nailed him was the statute which addresses misconduct of a senior govt official with a subordinate. And, the age of the “victim” has no bearing on the breach.

    High crimes and misdemeanors.

    My experience in DOD and civilian life leads me to see the Lewinsky issue of greater personal/professional ethical breach (read at least “misdemeanor”) than Watergate coverup when comparing circumstances and actions of the two chief executives.

  3. Nick Spinelli
    1, September 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I can’t believe we are re-litigating this, philly.

    Ya think?

    …and they say Americans have no appreciation for lazy repetition.

  4. Fired prosecutor didn’t lie under oath, simply failed to recall years-ago events, his lawyer says-

    Joseph Lattanzio, whose testimony conflicted with what was said by the mother of a man accused of shooting a Chicago police officer, simply had a memory lapse, his lawyer told the Chicago Tribune.

    “They’re asking him his recollection of events that happened 3½ years ago,” said attorney David O’Connor.

    The lawyer also blasted defense counsel for Paris Sadler, contending that the public defender’s office had created a “sideshow” out of Lattanzio’s relatively minimal role in the police-shooting case to distract attention from the “overwhelming evidence” of their client’s guilt.

  5. I can’t believe we are re-litigating this, philly. Oral sex is SEX. That is my point. He lied under oath. He was disbarred for it. JT testified he should have been impeached, showing back then as now, that even while being a Dem voter, JT has integrity. Oral sex is not intercourse, but it is sex. Forced intercourse is 1st degree “SEXUAL” assault. Forced oral copulation is 2nd degree “SEXUAL” assault. Yes, the SEX w/ Ms. Lewinsky was consensual. That has never been the issue. I only used the statutes to show that both biologically and LEGALLY, oral sex is well…SEX!! Let’s end this discussion, please.

  6. The same great “intellects” blindly attempting to define the obvious. Some things never change, especially ,it appears, the bloviators.

  7. I don’t know of any women who accused Bill Clinton of rape. Being a creep, yes. Who accused him of rape? Links? Evidence?

    And why the reference to forced copulation of any sort? You are just adding non-sequiturs to the heap. Not surprising, mind you, just distracting and more of the usual dead ends.

  8. Forcing someone into oral copulation is 2nd degree sexual assault, the key word being “sexual.”

  9. Isaac, It took a while, but Vegas had you down @ even money for equivocating on the “some lies under oath are more equal than others.” Like betting on a well trained, consistent horse, you almost always run true to form. Lying under oath is perjury, it does not matter what the subject of the lie is.

    If oral sex is not sexual relations there are thousands of pedophiles and sexual offenders in prison unlawfully. If using a male sexual organ for sexual pleasure is not sex, then can I spend some time w/ your wives?

    Finally, we have another Clinton lying SOS trying to get elected. These same enablers will enable her lies as well. “You mean did I wipe it w/ a cloth?”

  10. Bill Clinton did not have “sexual relations” with Monica Lewinsky.

    And let’s get back to the prosecutor here. Nice distraction though.

    1. phillyT – Besides Monica Lewinski, several woman have made the claim that Bill Clinton raped them. Now the women who are accusing Bill Cosby are getting a special, shouldn’t the women who accused Bill Clinton?

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