Do police officers purposely fabricate or embellish details within arrest reports? In an ideal world, no. It is called “lying,” and it’s a great way to end your law enforcement career if you’re caught.
Well…except in Pittsfield Massachusetts
In 2005 my life was irrevocably destroyed by a misinformed, misguided, and misled police detective named James Casey. Casey, along with his sidekick officer Dale Eason, wrongfully arrested me in regard to three misdemeanor incidents, all of which were later determined to have never occurred. Turns out, not only was I not the culprit, there never was a culprit. But fabricated details within the arrest report told a much different story…
As the duo stormed into my Richmond Massachusetts home, Casey was chomping at the bit to rifle through my personal belongings. Seeking notoriety within the police department, he not only planned to arrest me on misdemeanors, he plotted to search the premises and find clothing items that could be used to make it appear as if he’d wrapped up several unsolved felonies. Of particular interest, Casey was hoping to find a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt that matched a garment described by witnesses to the felonies. But Casey and Eason were precluded from exploring my home…legally. The unsolved felonies had nothing to do with me so Pittsfield Police Captain Patrick Barry had denied Casey’s formal request for a search warrant.
With complete indifference to chain of command, Casey illegally rummaged through my house anyway. Coming up empty handed, feeling foolish, he responded by snatching random articles of clothing that were meaningless to his investigation. He was merely gathering props to give the illusion of securing “evidence”. What he ended up grabbing amounted to nothing more than the jeans and shirt I’d worn to work earlier that day. (Prior to police barging into my home I had disrobed, hopped into the shower, and hadn’t yet tossed these items into the laundry hamper). Armed with a handful of useless garments, the rogue detective could now stroll into the police station carrying something…anything tangible. Really?
While documenting the confiscated jeans and shirt, Casey doctored his report to include a dark colored hooded sweatshirt. A sweatshirt that didn’t actually exist. And of course there was no mention in the report of an illegal search being conducted without a warrant or proper authority whatsoever. Really?
To cover his ass Casey wrote his report to make it seem as if I’d voluntarily steered him directly to incriminating evidence, lying in plain sight, in the center of my bedroom floor. But how could there be incriminating evidence when the sweatshirt to which Casey was referring didn’t actually exist? Moreover, my arrest occurred in late February of 2005. The unsolved felonies associated with a dark colored hooded sweatshirt transpired in October of 2004. So for four months I left incriminating clothing lying in the center of my bedroom floor, then for no logical reason I led cops directly to them? Really?
For added authenticity, Casey embellished his report with details regarding inane comments I’d supposedly sputtered during the arrest. He wrote that I’d nervously denied ownership of the clothing (sweatshirt) and that I’d expressed concerns over clothing items being tested for DNA. Again, there was no sweatshirt! And If I was so scared of having my clothing lab-tested, why lead police directly to them? Really?
The inevitable outcome of Casey’s fabricated arrest report went as follows: During trial it was revealed that no dark colored hooded sweatshirt had ever been catalogued into evidence. No such item is listed on any Pittsfield Police Department Evidence/Property Form, and no one has ever laid eyes on such a sweatshirt. No evidence was ever presented regarding any type of DNA lab testing on the jeans and shirt. This makes perfect sense considering the items weren’t actually evidence. Out of the ten misdemeanor charges levied against me by Casey, five were dropped by the district attorney and five were laughed out of court by an incredulous jury. Really?
What punishment did Casey and Eason receive for circumventing chain of command? What happened as a result of searching my residence after being denied a warrant? What disciplinary actions were taken in the wake of: (1) Making false statements within a police report, (2) Offering a false instrument for filing, (3) Fabricating evidence, (4) Misleading a grand jury, (5) Lying to the District Attorney?
NOTHING! Within the Pittsfield Massachusetts Police Department such behavior is not only tolerated, it’s encouraged…even rewarded.
Click link below to access trial transcript excerpt regarding Detective Casey’s testimony regarding no search warrant:
Click link below to access page three, paragraph six, of Detective Casey’s narrative titled 05-249-AR in which he fabricated evidence: