Patterico's Pontifications

2/10/2006

Cha-Ching! Rampart Officers Cash In

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:33 am



First we give millions to alleged victims of the Rampart Police Scandal in Los Angeles. A jury even awards millions against one of their public defenders, absurdly finding that the officers who framed the plaintiff are zero percent responsible. Now a jury awards millions to three of the only officers prosecuted in the scandal.

This city is just one giant cash register.

16 Responses to “Cha-Ching! Rampart Officers Cash In”

  1. A juror cites a lack of `any hard evidence.’

    Wasn’t there probable cause for the original arrests/indictments of the officers – or did they prove that to be fabricated at the civil trial too? If the warrants were solid, seems to pretty much deflate the malicious prosecution claim.

    …police and prosecutors conspired to deprive them of their civil rights by falsely arresting them, searching their homes at gunpoint, fingerprinting them and bringing them to trial based on evidence elicited from convicted felons and liars. (non-conclusory facts in bold)

    Sounds like a rather typical prosecution. Could it be that the city got burned for trying to prop up worthless people like Rafael Perez to get felony convictions? Not saying that $15M is reasonable for the harm of being proescuted and acuitted. They probably are keeping their pensions…?

    [Rafael Perez did not testify at their trials. — Patterico]

    biwah (f5ca22)

  2. I wonder if it’s at all significant that the jury in this case was from Orange County.

    aphrael (3bacf3)

  3. Why didn’t the Times cover this trial at all, until today, the verdict?

    And does anyone know why the trial was held in Orange County?

    There is so much more to the Rampart “scandal” than what has yet been reported.

    Susan (16b641)

  4. Yep, sure seems like it. One question I have is, what was the judge’s grounds for throwing out the obstruction convictions?

    Sounds like certain officers were maybe scapegoated, then handled with kid gloves to keep them quiet. Make a show, do nothing.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  5. The judge threw out the obstruction convictions because the jurors based their verdict on an INCORRECT (blatant, verifiable, no question about it) interpretation of information. The judge’s reversal was subsequently upheld on appeal.

    The reversal of the officers’ conviction was truly justice well-done, and truly amazing based on the politics of this case.

    Susan (16b641)

  6. biwah, in my opinion 15 mil (actually 5 mil apiece) is small compensation for these officers, one of whom I know personally. It would be impossible to describe the nightmare that became these officers’ lives, all based on Perez’s allegations. There was nothing typical about this prosecution.

    One of these officers is back on the job– his pension is intact. One of the officers has been fired– he will get no pension. The third officer’s status is still in limbo.

    Susan (16b641)

  7. Susan, thanks for the info. Do you think the prosecutions were baseless, and what motivated them IYO?

    biwah (f5ca22)

  8. How about all the residents of LA sue the police, in a class action, aledging emotion distress from all these scandals? We could all get a million!

    Kevin Murphy (9982dd)

  9. Kevin – if the stereotype of class actions is true, the lawyers handling the case will get all the money and everyone in the class will get USD$0.15.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  10. This wasn’t a class action though, but individual representation through trial.

    If it was on a contingency fee (and I’m assuming it was), the lawyers will probably get between a third and a half of the total sum, depending on the details of their agreement, how costs were to be paid, etc.

    The Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  11. What attorney gets half of a contingency?! I thought I recall from law school that for certain civil rights cases, 1/3 is a statutory max. Not that that’s shabby given the damages…

    biwah (f5ca22)

  12. It’s definitely not a third. I know offhand that statutory caps on contingency fees in some litigation is 40%.

    The Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  13. Angry Clam – yeah, I understand that the lawsuit Patterico was posting about was not a class action. I was responding to Kevin’s joke about a class-action lawsuit against the city, on behalf of the citizens, with a lame joke of my own.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  14. That’s what I get for not reading the comments closely enough.

    Still, some lawyer is very pleased right now.

    The Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  15. These jurors in the civil suit definitely didn’t see the same case that was presented in the criminal trial of these officers. THAT jury (in the criminal case) had no problems convicting them and the burden of proof they had to find was higher than that of a civil jury.

    The judges decision to throw out the jury’s verdict was the only thing politically motivated here. The defendant’s made the same motion to dismiss the case just before the case went to the jury and the judge denied it, finding that there was sufficient evidence that a jury could lawfully convict the defendants. Then suddenly when the guilty verdicts come out the judge decides that the jury got it wrong?

    C Student (4d4be8)

  16. Oh, be grateful. At least where you live your public officials have to sue you to get your money. Where I live they just reach in the public treasury and help themselves.

    nk (4cd0c2)


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