Philadelphia’s district attorney reportedly keeps a “confidential” list of dozens of city officers who are suspected of racial bias, brutality, or lying, The Inquirer reported Tuesday.
The DA’s office reportedly used the list for internal purposes to prevent the officers from testifying in court, requiring city prosecutors to get top-level clearance before relying on one of their testimonies. The Inquirer referenced unnamed sources, and the DA’s office did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation in time for publication. The DA’s office has never acknowledged that such a list exists.
According to Bradley Bridge, an attorney with the city’s Public Defenders Office, he and several other defense attorneys have repeatedly requested copies of the list, but to no avail. One of the officers alleged to be on the list is 47-year-old Reginald Graham, who retired last year after 22 years on the force. Graham is responsible for the arrest of one of Bridge’s clients, a 27-year-old woman who was convicted on drug charges. Graham provided the only police testimony for the case.
One of Graham’s former partners, ex-officer Jeffrey Walker, was convicted on corruption charges in 2016 and he implicated Graham in depositions. Graham claims Walker is lying, but took an early retirement in March 2017.
“I would steal with Reggie Graham,” Walker said. “There was stealing in that whole squad, but these are the people I was basically breaking bread with.”
Secret lists of bad-acting police officers are not unheard of. The Los Angeles Times reported in December that the LA Sheriff’s Department maintained a list of hundreds of police officers who had histories of misconduct. This list held the same role of segregating officers whose testimonies could be smeared in court. The roughly 300 officers therein were potential witnesses in 62,000 felony cases since 2000.
The Baltimore Police Department has found itself in a similar problem, with eight of its officers convicted on racketeering and corruption charges that could contaminate up to 850 cases. City attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office has said it may be forced to overturn hundreds of convictions.
It was this result that Philadelphia prosecutors were reportedly hoping to avoid, fearing that attorneys such as Bridge could use the list to implicate a client’s innocence, according to the Inquirer.
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