Everyone trusts cops to tell the truth. Everyone except the innocent victim who goes to jail on a cop’s lie, and get’s convicted on a cop’s lie. If you ever face a dirty cop, you better hope there is video evidence.
In a recent Pierce County felony case, video surveillance exposed a dishonest Fife police officer resulting in his termination. Fife police officer McNaughton, the very same officer in charge of the reserve officer program, lied in his police report about why he arrested a woman.
McNaughton claimed that he stopped a woman based on a traffic infraction. He then claimed that she had been driving without a valid driver’s license (which was one of the charges filed against the defendant), which led to a search incident to her arrest. He claimed that during his search, he discovered drugs in the woman’s possession. She was booked into Pierce County jail under felony charges of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. The cops a lot of lies.
The “wrongful arrest” woman told her defense attorney that she had not been driving when the cop accosted her. She was simply sitting in a parked vehicle in a hotel parking lot when the cop started harassing her. As it turns out, the hotel’s video surveillance of the parking lot supported her story. The officer was quietly fired without perjury charges and not surprisingly, no press covered the story.
The question remains, how many other reports did he falsify? Does anyone really get caught the only time they do something shady? McNaughton didn’t know the person he arrested, so he had no particular motivation to lie. One has to wonder how many other people he subjected to false arrest.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare event. In a recent case, a Tacoma police officer claimed that our Army NCO with spotless history had assaulted him. Prosecutors charged our Sergeant with felony assault in the 3rd degree.
The basic facts were that the Sergeant’s buddy was knocked unconscious with a bottle in a bar fight. The Sergeant went back to help his fellow soldier and was arrested. Fortunately, the jury didn’t believe the cop and they acquitted him of all but two simple misdemeanor charges for failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.
When police officers hold themselves above the law, where does a citizen turn to for help? Filing a complaint with the police department won’t get you too far. The police investigate themselves. Remember the cops in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases investigated themselves and found no wrongdoing.
The officer that accused our client of assault has a long history of unlawful use of force complaints, most of which resulted in people with no criminal history being charged with assaulting a cop. The only reason officer McNaughton was fired was because of the video evidence which clearly showed that he was a liar.
It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will listen to you and investigate your case. We know that some police officers lie and you can trust us to investigate your case in order get you justice. We use Jerry Crow, the investigator who exposed officer McNaughton, as our investigator in all of our criminal cases. Call us today for your free consultation and ask about our military discount and easy payment plans.
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Natalie Lynn Durflinger is a criminal defense attorney with over 7 years of experience representing defendants in DUI, Criminal Traffic, and misdemeanor cases. Some of the more common charges she defends against are drugs, firearms, assault, DV, and theft. Natalie completed her legal studies at Gonzaga University School of Law where she was a Thomas More Scholar before graduating with Honors in 2007. Natalie is respected by judges, law enforcement officers and deputy prosecutors across the Puget Sound.