When evidence can be used in court to convict a criminal, it must be handled in a scrupulously careful manner. Documentation should include a detailed description of the evidence, the conditions under which it was gathered, the corresponding case number, the identity of all evidence handlers, duration of evidence custody, security conditions while handling or storing the evidence, and the manner in which evidence is transferred to subsequent custodians. Such precision and conformity requires the completion of official Evidence/Property Forms.
The Pittsfield Police Department prefers a malevolent approach to evidence documentation because, quite frankly, proper evidence protocol is too restrictive. It requires interaction with a designated evidence/property officer who is responsible for receiving, controlling, and maintaining evidence. This creates extra work in situations where detectives wish to either fabricate new evidence or destroy exculpatory evidence that was previously logged in.
As I was being wrongfully arrested on misdemeanor charges, Detective James Casey and officer Dale Eason were chafing at the bit to rifle through my personal belongings. Seeking notoriety within the police department, they hoped to find clothing items that would connect me to unsolved felonies. Of particular interest was a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt previously described by witnesses. But much to their chagrin Casey and Eason were unable to explore the premises…legally. Due to insufficient probable cause Captain Barry had denied their request for a search warrant.
Contradictory to direct orders, the rogue pair executed a search anyway showing blatant disregard for chain of command and the law. Coming up empty-handed, looking foolish, Casey grabbed random articles of clothing from my bedroom floor and transported them to the police station. He had merely amassed props to portray the illusion of securing “evidence“. Casey’s intent was to use the clothing to concoct additional charges.
To perpetrate the ruse Casey had to insure that no record existed in regard to items seized from my home. He circumvented the evidence/property officer so no Evidence/Property Form was ever completed and filed. With nothing officially catalogued into the evidence room, Casey had to somehow keep track of what was taken to safeguard my clothing articles from commingling with items he’d undoubtedly seized in other arrests. He did this by sidestepping the case file and secretly cataloging my clothing on his desktop spiral day planner. It was only by fate that I discovered this gross breach of departmental protocol.