For years now their was a standard phrase in Chicago police arrest reports, "He looked in my direction and dropped a package containing......."
Yes, bosses all told you what a great job you're doing...but watch every boss shun you once you're indicted for perjury!
On a report in June 2010, Chicago police Officer Jose Velez wrote that he arrested Lance Conley after he saw Conley place a bag of what turned out to be heroin in the grass at the base of a tow zone sign across the street from his home. Velez testified under oath to the same allegations at a preliminary hearing a month after Conley's arrest. And, at trial in 2011, the officer again testified he saw Conley with the bag of heroin.
Conley, charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, faced going to state prison if convicted.
The only problem was that Conley had hours of video from security cameras he had installed around the West Side bungalow he shares with his wife and daughter that raised significant doubts about Velez's account of the arrest. Indeed, the video from the time of the arrest appears to show the now-41-year-old computer tech and odd jobber hanging around with friends.
Despite the video, which Conley's attorneys turned over to Cook County prosecutors and which the officer watched, the state's attorney's office took Conley to trial. And though the judge did not allow the video into evidence, Conley's lawyers showed frames of it and there was testimony about it. Indeed, it seemed to inform the trial. In the end, Conley was acquitted by the judge and later sued Velez, other officers on the case and the city of Chicago.
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