Architects of Injustice

When law enforcement willfully and intentionally falsifies official records, they’re doing so in connection with a broader criminal aim.

Case in point: In an attempt to conceal one particular fraudulent criminal investigation, someone within the Pittsfield Massachusetts Police Department created bogus attendance rosters; doctoring the names. The forged documents were discovered due to a huge blunder made by the culprit. The rosters are dated February 23, 2005 through March 1, 2005, a period in which Anthony Reillo was chief of the Pittsfield Police Department. In fact, Reillo was police chief from from 1996 until November 30, 2007. But the forged rosters inexplicably list Michael Wynn as police chief, a position he didn’t attain until 2009.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the 2005 rosters were requested in order to capture the shifts/hours worked by three individuals: Detective James Casey, Investigator Mark Trapani, and Investigator James Stimpson; key players in an illicit criminal investigation. Aspects of the rosters establish that Trapani, under pressure to wrap up a four-month-old unsolved sexual assault case, fabricated narratives he knew to be completely false. A Springfield Massachusetts criminal defense team was planning to expose Trapani, thus necessitating the attendance rosters.

In 2010, despite legal ramifications, a written request for the rosters went ignored by police administration. Hiding something?  After a second request was ignored, legal proceedings ensued forcing police to relinquish the seven rosters they’d tried so desperately to hide. In a last ditch effort to conceal information, someone gained access into the police department’s computer system and obtained seven rosters from 2010. The date headings were appropriately changed to make the rosters appear as if they’d been generated on February 23rd through March 1st of 2005.  All information pertaining to Casey, Trapani, and Stimpson was completely erased from the rosters as if the three individuals never existed. But in the culprit’s haste he failed to notice that because the fake documents were doctored from 2010 paperwork, Michael Wynn is listed as police chief.

According to the forged rosters: On Thursday, February 24, 2005 Chief Michael Wynn was the shift commander from 0800 hours to 1600 hours. Chief Wynn is listed again working 0800 hours to 1600 hours on Friday, February 25, 2005, He’s listed again on Saturday, February 26, 2005, and yet again on Sunday, February 27, 2005. On Monday, February 28, 2005 Chief Wynn worked overtime, from 0630 hours to 1700 hours, for the purpose of school/training.  This is a neat trick considering Anthony Reillo was Pittsfield’s police chief at the time.

Oops.  If you’re going to falsify official records, at least get the details correct!

I possess a stack of dated/signed legal documents (e.g., Applications for Criminal Complaint, Temporary Arrest Warrants, Arrest Reports, memos submitted to Chief Reillo, photo array cover sheets, court transcript excerpts) establishing that Casey, Trapani, and Stimpson were on duty and quite busy from February 23, 2005 through March 1, 2005.  Yet their names vanished from the corresponding attendance rosters.  Each cashed a Pittsfield Police Department paycheck that week, how is this possible if they don’t exist?

Only someone with proper clearance and authority could have accessed the police department computer and forged records.  This establishes that corruption and cover up within the Pittsfield Police Department extends to the administrative level. So those empowered to arrest anyone who commits forgery are themselves the most heinous of forgers.  The worst part…no disciplinary action will ever ensue.

Below is a link to the doctored attendance rosters.

Attendance Roster PPD February 23 through March 1 2005

 

 

 

 

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Who Is Policing The Pittsfield Police?

One of the most important responsibilities of an attorney general is to function as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.  Within this capacity an obligation exists to foster integrity in public service at state, county and local levels to promote the public’s trust and confidence.  But what happens when a citizen submits legitimate and irrefutable information regarding corruption within the public sector?

I forwarded to the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, proof that members of the Pittsfield Police Department knowingly fabricated and manipulated “evidence” and “facts” so that it would appear that a case had been solved and favor could be gained.  The materials encompassed:  (1) Trial transcript excerpts in which police detectives had been forced to admit corruption, (2) Documentation from forensic experts that reiterated specific acts of police corruption, (3) Signed affidavits attesting to police corruption from members of the forensic community.

In an effort to keep their hands clean, the attorney general’s office instructed me to bring the matter before Berkshire County district attorney David Capeless.  How utterly foolish.  Asking David Capeless to investigate the Pittsfield Police Department is akin to hiring a fox to guard the henhouse.

Take for instance the summer of 2015 when a purported hard drive failure conveniently destroyed an undisclosed number of records and evidence.  Had it not been for random chance, no one outside of the Pittsfied Police Department would have ever known about the incident. Police chief Michael Wynn intentionally withheld this information, jeopardizing the right to a fair trial for an unknown number of people. According to Wynn, the hard drive issues were first reported internally on June 22nd.  Wynn was eventually forced to admit that the police didn’t inform the DA’s office until July 13, which means the police waited a full three weeks before informing prosecutors about the potential evidentiary issue.

Rather than launch a full scale investigation, DA Capeless aided and abetted the Pittsfield Police Department by concealing Wynn’s inappropriate actions.  Not only did Capeless fail to levee disciplinary measures against an unscrupulous police chief, he joined in the cover up.  Months after learning about the hard drive failure Capeless still hadn’t told anyone, including  defense attorneys, about the loss—and no one from the police department or DA’s office will speak about it.

And yet the district attorney’s office, in conjunction with the police department, are expected to perform honestly and with integrity?   These are the very individuals who are entrusted to maintain public order and peace.  Why shouldn’t the Pittsfield Police Department be corrupt?  The district attorney not only condones such action, he encourages it.

Ghost Evidence

Pittsfield police are consummate magicians, using slight of hand to deceive grand juries.  Their favorite parlor trick:  Ghost Evidence.  Props that ostensibly exist while defendants face indictment but mysteriously vanish prior to trial.

Case in point: While testifying before one particular grand jury, Pittsfield police investigator Mark Trapani described the scene of a sexual assault.  The incident involved a young woman who was attacked in her car, a white Oldsmobile Alero, parked near the front entrance of a local Subway sandwich shop.  Trapani told grand jury members that he’d snapped numerous digital photographs of the victim’s car, especially of the passenger side window, to capture latent fingerprint images left by the assailant.

Trapani testified that the photo compilation corroborated his latent fingerprint discovery.  He vehemently promoted the photographic evidence, expounding upon its role in establishing the defendant’s culpability.  Bear in mind, he never actually brandished the photographs for jury members to see, he just touted their existence.  For reasons that defy logic, jury members failed to recognize the impropriety of not exhibiting the photos.  Nor did they insist on seeing the photos prior to indicting.

During trial, when asked to present the photographs, Trapani shrugged his shoulders and confessed that he hadn’t brought them.  Hadn’t brought them?  How could Trapani have possibly made such a flagrant oversight?  He was the lead witness in a high-profile superior court criminal proceeding.

Investigator Mark Trapani and prosecutor Joan McMenemy had collaborated for sixteen months prior to trial, yet we’re to believe that not once during their countless brainstorming sessions did they discuss the presentation of crime scene photographs?  Anyone who watches courtroom docudramas on television knows that in real life the opposite happens; jury members are inundated with crime scene photographic evidence.

For reasons never disclosed, McMenemy excluded the photos – if we’re to believe there were ever any photos – because Trapani’s latent fingerprint discovery was bogus.  There was no latent fingerprint evidence found at the crime scene and so no corroborating photographs existed.  In her typical conniving style, McMenemy withheld this fact from jury members.

Due to the agenda of criminal defense attorney Leonard H. Cohen, appropriate action was suspiciously circumvented.  In addition to nonchalantly glossing over Trapani’s highly unorthodox exclusion of crime scene photographs, Cohen never requested a recess in order for Trapani to retrieve his alleged photographic evidence.  The Pittsfield police station sits one block from the courthouse, the trip would have required ten minutes.

The Commonwealth’s case focused exclusively on a latent fingerprint supposedly discovered on the passenger side window of the victim’s Oldsmobile Alero, yet to this day no one outside the Pittsfield Police Department has been allowed to see corroborating photos.  Even more aggregiously, no one has ever seen photographs of the passenger side window to substantiate the existence of a latent fingerprint in situ.

Ghost evidence…vanished into thin air

As it so happens, I was the defendant in this case.  As a result of courtroom improprieties I served eight years in prison for a crime I didn’t commit.  The courtroom antics displayed by Joan M. McMenemy throughout her career have paid off.  In exchange for debilitating the legal system and facilitating police corruption, McMenemy now serves as a judge in the Juvenile Court.  I’m sure she’ll do the legal system proud!

Of all the criminal defense attorneys in Berkshire County guess who publicly voiced support for McMenemy’s appointment, going so far as to call her: “Eminently well-qualified to sit as a judge”  

Why Leonard H. Cohen of course.  Hmmm, just sayin…

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_15725455

Transcript excerpt, regarding no photos

 

 

Alibi? Why Bother?

As an unsuspecting woman entered the local Subway restaurant, I was eight miles away.  As she paid for her sandwich order and exited the building, I was eight miles away.  As she walked beneath the night sky and climbed into her Oldsmobile Alero, I was eight miles away.  As a predator jumped into the passenger seat and assaulted her, I was eight miles away.  Eight miles.  The distance separating my Richmond Massachusetts home from the scene of a violent sexual attack.

Four months later I was taken into custody by Pittsfield Massachusetts detectives and charged with the crime.  Ensconced in a police cruiser, secured in handcuffs, I was scared and confused.  How could this happen to a model citizen who hadn’t broken any laws?  Surely detectives would sort out their mistake, issue me a formal apology, and then vanish from my life.

During booking, as felony charges were elucidated, something dawned on me.  Although 131 days had transpired since the October 21st assault, I had vivid recollection of everything I’d done on that particular date. October 21st had started out much differently than most days, primarily due to an offbeat workplace incident. I remembered coming home from work on October 21st, preparing a quick meal, and spending a tedious evening repairing glitches within a software project.  In addition, I’d spent time online researching study materials.

Completely naive to Pittsfield police depravity, I told detectives my activities and whereabouts for the night in question.  In addition, I blurted out that hard drive registry data on my home computer would establish that I was two towns away during the date and time of the assault.  As if that wasn’t too much information, I unwisely revealed my intentions of hiring a computer forensics investigator to extract this data.

As a result of my big mouth, detectives promptly tracked down the computer and seized it illegally without a warrant.  The Hewlett-Packard was transported to the Pittsfield police station and smuggled into the forensics department.  To conceal their malfeasance, detectives never catalogued the computer as evidence.  Once it was safely in the hands of technicians, the unit underwent malicious tampering. Meaningless files were surreptitiously introduced to the hard drive which reshuffled the hard drive registry.  With the registry chronology now scrambled, my computer was rendered useless as an alibi.

When my attorney attempted to retrieve the computer she was told that it had gone missing.  This of course was a lie.  Detectives had panicked and were now hiding the unit in the hopes of covering up their vandalism.  The ruse didn’t fool me and it certainly didn’t fool my attorney, and so a legal battle ensued.  Detectives were eventually forced to abandon their charade and relinquish possession.

The ravished computer was transported out of Massachusetts and turned over to New England Computer Forensics, LLC., where it underwent a thorough examination.  James Kalkowski, a forensic data recovery specialist, discovered that exactly 557 files were inexplicably added to my hard drive while in police custody.  An excerpt from his report reads: “…The first thing I noticed was that, based on the information I was given regarding the computer’s seizure, a proper forensic analysis was not done.  A proper computer forensic investigation means that the data on the hard drive should never be altered after a computer is seized…”

Had my computer contained incriminating evidence, Pittsfield police would have initiated great pains to preserve its integrity.  No mystery files would have been introduced and the registry data would never have been scrambled.  But after learning that the computer held exculpatory evidence (my alibi) they thought nothing of illegally tampering with my hard drive and hiding their secret.  If I was so guilty then why the need to steal my computer and vandalize it?  More importantly, in how many other cases have such acts been perpetrated?

Alibi?  Why bother?

 
Letter From Attorney Concerning Missing Computer

Forensic Analysis Of Computer

 

Hide-And-Seek

For an agency that pledges to run an open, accountable and transparent operation, the Pittsfield Police Department exercises great pains to keep the waters murky.  Case in point:  Their well-deserved reputation for denying citizens access to public records is the worst in Massachusetts. Why expend so much effort to bury information if there is nothing to hide?  I experienced this malfeasance firsthand when numerous written requests for public records were dodged by the administrative services commander.

With nowhere else to turn I solicited help from Boston.  I was put in contact with Alan N. Cote; first deputy Secretary of State and supervisor of records under Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin.  In addition to holding a Juris Doctorate degree from the Massachusetts School of Law, Mr. Cote was a graduate of the State Police academy.  He spent eight years working as a Chelmsford police officer and had zero tolerance for police corruption.  Alan Cote was a zealous advocate for the principle of open government records.

After communicating with Mr Cote, he concluded that the Pittsfield Police Department willfully and intentionally violated the Commonwealth’s open record laws.  Acting on my behalf, he placed several phone calls to the department, demanding the release of documents to which I was legally entitled.  Several weeks and numerous conversations later it became obvious that the administrative services department had no intention of complying.  Police officials rationalized that any risk of drawing fire from the secretary of state’s office outweighed the perils of divulging departmental transgressions via the release of public records.

Many of the requested documents were eventually procured, but not without tenacious pursuit by the Secretary of State’s office.  Ironically, had this information been released in a timely fashion, I never would have discovered the deceptive and misleading tactics employed by Pittsfield police personnel during criminal investigations.  Alan Cote had apparently rattled someone within the department’s inner sanctum.  This person got scared, lost focus, and released ancillary records – material that I never knew existed – which exposed departmental improprieties.

By seeking refuge in secrecy, the Pittsfield Police Department’s administrative services division has lost credibility with the people it serves.  When requests for public records are evaded, taxpayers become suspicious.  This is a poor substitute for running an open, accountable, and transparent operation

Wrong Priorities…

A dear friend of mine, (whom I’ll call Lisa), conducted a background check on her live-in boyfriend.  She did this purely on a whim and was shocked to learn that he’d served time in state prison for burglary and larceny.  In light of this discovery, Lisa wasted no time terminating the relationship.  Regrettably, the boyfriend didn’t handle this rejection well.  He stalked her relentlessly, choosing inappropriate moments to emerge from the shadows.

Each day Lisa became increasingly more rattled.  She eventually sought help from the Pittsfield Police Department, hoping they’d warn the ex boyfriend to keep his distance.  Her irregular work schedule often meant leaving the house very early or arriving home late, always when the neighborhood was dark and deserted.  Her pleas fell on deaf ears.  Police personnel expressed no concern, displaying a flippant attitude toward the situation.  This was disconcerting to a woman living alone, holding down two jobs.  Lisa had been forsaken by the very individuals who had taken an oath to Protect and Serve.

Lurking in the shadows wasn’t enough for this creep so he escalated to random acts of vandalism.  At one point he accessed Lisa’s driveway in the wee hours, inflicting  $1,000 worth of paint and body damage to her vehicle.  Again, Pittsfield police were called.  Again, they did nothing.  Their justification being, “You can’t prove who did the damage.

Not long thereafter the situation reached a boiling point.  Lisa arrived home one sunday, only to discover that the front door to her apartment had been torn from the hinges.  Lying nearby was a shovel belonging to the landlord, last seen in the basement.  An intruder had obviously used it to pry the door from its jamb.  Anticipating the worst, Lisa took a deep breath and cautiously poked her head through the opening.  Amazingly, nothing inside the apartment was broken and no items appeared to be missing.  With a sigh of relief she entered and phoned Pittsfield police.

While waiting for their arrival Lisa conducted a room to room inspection.  On the bedroom floor, barely visible to the naked eye, she discerned boot prints leading directly to an antique bureau.  The middle drawer was ajar, not the way she’d left it.  Lisa reached in, fished around, and withdrew a particular pair of balled up socks.  While uncoiling the ball she knew what to expect.  Her suspicions were quickly validated.  An entire weekend’s tip money – a substantial amount of hard earned cash slated for a morning bank deposit – gone.  Lisa’s blood ran cold.  She’d been using this carefully chosen hiding spot for years and only one other individual knew of its existence.

As Lisa was being interviewed by police she pointed out the boot prints, making sure to convey that only her former live-in boyfriend was privy to the secret cache.  He had obviously robbed her, smashing the door when he discovered that his key no longer worked.  Surely this was sufficient evidence to make an arrest.  Lisa had faith that Pittsfield police would finally get this psycho off the streets and allow her to resume a normal life.

For added insurance Lisa asked that the shovel handle be fingerprinted. Her former boyfriend had a criminal record so his prints would be on file.  The request was denied.  Lisa was told that prints found on the shovel, or anywhere else for that matter, would prove inadmissible.  The boyfriend could simply claim to have left them at some point while living at the address.  With an air of insouciance Pittsfield police abandoned the scene, leaving poor Lisa to contend with no front door and the looming threat of a man whom she was now petrified.

A few days later I persuaded Lisa to contact Pittsfield Police and request that a detective come to her apartment.  I had grown increasingly frustrated at the department’s unwillingness to confront the only viable suspect in this matter.  For over an hour I spoke with the detective, providing a chronological reiteration of dates, times, locations, and specific details regarding the ex boyfriend.  Later that same evening he was picked up by police and brought in for questioning.  At some point during the interogation, for reasons never disclosed, my name and address were divulged.  Minutes later the ex boyfriend was cut loose, criminal charges pending.  Armed with my identity he strolled from the police station, hell-bent on revenge.

The following week I returned home from New York, having completed a laborious two-day work assignment.  I sorted through junk mail, hit “play” on the answering machine, and began the daunting task of unpacking.  And there he was…

Though the message had been left anonymously, the caller’s hollow voice was easy to identify.  The message was succinct, the context was clear.  In exchange for intervening in his personal affairs, Lisa’s ex boyfriend vowed to ruin my life forever.  As I replayed his words in my head I had no way of knowing that a scheme to take me down was already in motion.  Pittsfield police were going to arrest me and unwittingly perform the dirty work for him.

This feat was to be accomplished by exploiting salacious activity that was currently the talk of the town.  An unidentified man had been traipsing around Pittsfield, performing lewd acts in front of women. Lisa’s ex boyfriend solicited the help of three young female acquaintances who were to effectively play into this hype.  Over the span of several weeks each of the three girls would take their turn filing a bogus police report, attesting that they too had been accosted.  In addition, the trio was to surreptitiously leave a trail of breadcrumbs, information of zero credibility that bumbling detectives would eagerly follow to my door.

The plan worked like a charm.  Detectives were so obsessed with apprehending a suspect that they were willing to go anywhere at the bidding of apparent facts, unconcerned about rational probabilities.  I was arrested at my Richmond home on February 23, 2005 and charged with multiple counts of lewd and lascivious behavior.

Though members of the Pittsfield Police Department had made excellent pawns, the ruse had no hope of withstanding courtroom scrutiny.  The three girls never anticipated a subpoena and so their concocted stories crumbled during trial.  In fact, the first two inadvertantly conveyed such vacuous testimony that second assistant district attorney Joan M. McMenemy embarrassingly dropped charges to preclude girl number three from taking the witness stand.

Pittsfield police followed a peculiar code:  They compromised the safety and well-being of my friend, a law-biding citizen who works 50-plus hours per week.  Meanwhile, they aided and abetted a convicted felon who formerly robbed people for a living.  In the midst of this fiasco they caused irreparable damage to me.  With a police force like that, who needs enemies?

How Many Suspects?

In September of 2004, Pittsfield Massachusetts fell victim to a sudden and alarming increase in salacious criminal activity.  Females were confronted on the streets during evening hours and subjected to sexual solicitation, along with other crude forms of harassment.  Corroborating  witness reports indicated that one culprit was responsible:  A man exposing himself, displaying open and gross lewdness, but taking no threatening action.

That changed in October of 2004 when two women were violently attacked in the same neighborhood.  Forced to fight off their assailant, both victims fled to safety.  The following excerpt is from an October 23rd Berkshire Eagle newspaper article: “Women are being approached on the streets of Pittsfield by an assailant who police say has been getting bolder in his sexual preying since the pattern of encounters started.  Pittsfield Police say there have been nine reports since Sept. 24 of a man approaching women on city streets at night in “high profile” and “well lit” areas.  The man has become more brazen during his last attempts and has attacked the women.”  

Police officials had made it clear, they were hunting one man.  An individual who’d rapidly digressed from exhibitionist to predator.  On October 26th, despite a focused police presence, a third woman was attacked.  As public anxiety grew, it became apparent that the Pittsfield Police Department was impotent.  They had assigned extra patrols, blanketed the area with cops, yet failed miserably.  Gripped by fear, Pittsfield went on lockdown.  Streets were vacated after dark, women traveled in pairs, doors remained locked.

By month’s end, after amassing and analyzing considerable information, police officials conducted a press conference.  The following excerpt is from an October 28th Berkshire Eagle newspaper article: “Investigators are now convinced that a man who violently attacked three women in the city’s southwestern section is not the same person believed to have been behind a string of lewd behavior complaints, police said yesterday. Further witness interviews that gave a more detailed description of the attacker and a review of what appears to be two distinct behavior patterns led investigators to believe that they are looking for two suspects, Pittsfield Police Chief Anthony J. Riello said.”  

Unfortunately, the press conference failed to generate the response officials were looking for.  Citizens grew apprehensive and began to raise questions:  Why had police done an about-face, now suggesting two culprits?  Why were three women attacked before this was ascertained? Are police doing everything possible to keep us safe?  How efficient is our police force if not one, but two serial perpetrators can’t be apprehended?  Will more women be attacked before this is resolved?

At the time of this debacle I resided in Richmond Massachusetts, a small town west of Pittsfield.  I had no criminal history, worked diligently in the private sector, and gave back to the community.  To put it mildly, there was nothing to even remotely suggest me traipsing around Pittsfield menacing women.  Yet somehow I wound up in police custody, charged in a series of public lewdness complaints.  I would eventually be found not guilty on all counts, however, not before irreparable damage ensued.  An overzealous crime scene investigator named Mark Trapani, a man desperate to preserve his reputation, would knowingly fabricate “evidence” and “facts” to make it appear as if a violent sexual predator had been caught.

For this to happen police needed to nonchalantly gloss over one important fact: They were now contradicting their contradiction.  On October 23rd they announced that one individual had perpetrated both the lewd behavior incidents and the violent attacks.  Then on October 28th, they declared that two men were being sought.  But now, four months later, police claimed that one culprit was entirely responsible. What happened to: “Investigators are now CONVINCED that a man who violently attacked three women in the city’s southwestern section IS NOT the same person believed to have been behind a string of lewd behavior complaints…”

The violence in October of 2004 had erupted quickly, three assaults in just six days.  Their close proximity to each other confirmed the work of one assailant, an individual living in the vicinity who knew the area well. Then, as suddenly as the violence began, it stopped.  Why?  No one can be sure.  Maybe the culprit moved away, or perhaps he’d been apprehended in October for an unrelated crime.

Four months later Pittsfield law enforcement was still baffled, unable to apprehend their assailant.  No one took the failure more personally than Investigator Mark Trapani.  But soon after, I was wrongfully arrested for the lewd behavior incidents and his prayers were answered.  Refusing to admit defeat, Trapani became enamored at the prospect of pinning the three attacks on me.  He rationalized that anyone who possessed the mindset to perform lewd acts in public must surely possess the mindset to violently attack women.  This would provide him with a soul, any soul…didn’t matter, whom he could sacrifice to feather his nest.

Pinning both the lewd behavior and violent assaults on me would conveniently wrap up everything with one giant bow.  But there was a problem, I’d been out of Berkshire County on a work assignment for at least one of the assaults.  Trapani circumvented this discrepancy by charging me in one assault only, hoping local media would focus on the apprehension of an assailant and not his disregard for two unsolved attacks.

It required six days for Trapani to pull off my bogus arrest because the fabrication and manipulation of forensic evidence takes time.  Finally, on March 1, 2005 he accomplished this feat by orchestrating the biggest and most shameful fingerprint ruse ever perpetrated by the Pittsfield Police Department…

Rogue is Vogue

After arresting a man for daring to record a traffic stop, police officer Dale Eason followed up in true Pittsfield Police Department fashion.  He grabbed the guy’s camera phone and promptly deleted the video.  Why? What was he afraid of?

The incident unfolded when Keith Stringer, a Pittsfield citizen, video recorded Eason from his sidewalk vantage point.  Upon realizing that he was on camera, Eason stormed over to Stringer and demanded that he stop recording.  When Stringer refused to obey, Eason grabbed the camera phone, arrested Stringer on a trumped up charge of disorderly conduct and dragged him off to the police station.

In his police report, Eason claimed that Stringer smelled of alcohol, caused traffic to stop on the road and interfered with his police investigation. Translation: Eason knew his inappropriate performance had been captured on video.  After his eventual release from custody, Stringer retrieved his phone only to discover that the video of Eason had been erased.  How convenient.  Eason has since testified that he didn’t delete the video and to his knowledge neither did any other police officer.

If only Stringer had used a live-streaming app, he could have caught Eason perjuring himself.  Police are required to obtain a warrant prior to confiscating a phone and examining its data, much less to delete potential evidence.  But Eason has quite a history of going rogue…circumventing the law, ignoring warrants.  And why not?  He never gets reprimanded or disciplined by his superiors.  In fact they accept, even encourage his behavior.

Back in February of 2005, as I was being falsely arrested in my Richmond home, officer Eason salivated at the prospect of  rifling through my personal belongings.  Eason, along with his sidekick James Casey, hoped to make names for themselves by finding clothing items that would connect me to a series of unsolved felonies.  But much to their chagrin the two amigos were unable to explore the premises…legally.  Due to insufficient probable cause Captain Barry had denied their request for a search warrant.

With blatant disregard for chain of command and the law, Eason and Casey executed a search anyway.  Coming up empty-handed, looking foolish, the dynamic duo grabbed random articles of clothing from my bedroom floor and transported them to the police station.  The clothing was to function as a prop, a means of portraying the illusion of securing “evidence“.  Their intent was to use the clothing in a ruse to concoct additional charges. The plan didn’t work but it wasn’t for a lack of trying!

Time-Space Continuum

…for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.            

    Albert Einstein

On October 21, 2004 Pittsfield police investigator Mark Trapani was dispatched to a local Subway sandwich shop to process the scene of a sexual assault.  Upon arrival he was directed to the victims’s car, a white Oldsmobile Alero parked near the front entrance.  While searching the vehicle for evidence, Trapani discovered a badly smudged left index fingerprint on the passenger side window.

Closer examination of the print revealed a surface abnormality which Trapani later referred to as “a blank area of friction ridge skin“.  The print was run through the automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS), however, no match was found. The case remained unsolved, leaving a chink in Mark Trapani’s ego.

Four months later, on February 23, 2005, I was wrongly arrested by Pittsfield police and booked on charges unrelated to Trapani’s investigation.  In addition to having no criminal history, I sported a rock solid reputation and was well respected among peers.  But that all vanished when Mark Trapani took a personal interest in me.

Due to his  rank and tenure within the Pittsfield Police Department, Trapani’s daily activity went unmonitored by superiors.  This afforded him infinite latitude to fallaciously connect me with his unsolved case.  He accomplished this through illusory tactics, forged through the discontinuity of time.  In essence he made something appear, disappear, reappear, then vanish…

Anyone familiar with basic police department booking procedures knows the process entails fingerprinting.  Fingerprints are a standard part of a booking record, typically entered into a nationwide database, easily accessible to local, state, and federal police agencies.  An individual’s fingerprints are formed in the womb, usually during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Fingerprints grow larger as a person ages but the basic shape and pattern does not change with time.  Yet through forensic alchemy, Mark Trapani magically transformed my fingerprints in less than a week.

My official Pittsfield Police Department fingerprint card was created by an automated print device called a Live Scan fingerprint machine.  It’s important to note:  No blank area of friction ridge skin appears anywhere on the left index finger.  This is the fingerprint card stored in the nationwide database.  As the fingerprint card of record, it was the only fingerprint card submitted to the assistant district attorney and given to defense counsel.

Unbeknown to anyone, Trapani was secretly withholding a second fingerprint card.  For all intents and purposes it appears identical to the official version with one distinct exception. This set of prints, fingerprints never made public, show a blank area of friction ridge skin on the left index finger.  The fingerprint card is ink rolled, an outdated method that contradicts departmental protocol.  It is also the medium through which Mark Trapani orchestrated my 2007 under-the-counter superior court conviction.  Had it not been for an inadvertent release of documents, no one outside the Pittsfield Police Department would have learned of the secret fingerprint card.

Let’s  imagine:  On October 21, 2004 my left index fingerprint purportedly encompassed a specific blank area of friction ridge skin, discovered at a crime scene.  But four months later, while being fingerprinted on unrelated charges, the abnormality didn’t exist…absent from my official fingerprint card.  But six days later, when I was supposedly fingerprinted in regard to the Subway restaurant incident, the blank area of friction ridge skin reappeared in exact size, shape and location.  The next day this fingertip abnormality vanished forever, evidenced by the fact that it has never shown up on any of my numerous state prison fingerprint cards.

During trial Trapani’s two-card fingerprint ruse was never brought to the jury’s attention.  As a result I was found guilty, subjected to eight years of incarceration.  I lost my home, my job, my friends, and my reputation.  But most significantly, I lost my dignity.  I guess that doesn’t matter, so long as Pittsfield police crime scene investigator Mark Trapani appears to have solved his case thereby hammering out the chink in his ego.

Fingerprints

 

Transparency Promotes Accountability

At the Pittsfield police station, suspects are charged and booked behind closed doors. When questions of propriety arise, regarding specific procedures or behavior, answers boil down to the word of law enforcement versus the word of an arrestee.  Such a covert and collusive environment invites Pittsfield police to place personal agendas and career goals ahead of law and policy.

On the evening of February 23, 2005, I was taken into custody and booked on misdemeanor charges.  While cloistered in the bowels of 39 Allen Street I fell victim to the antics of booking officer David Granger.  Just moments before I was to be fingerprinted Granger launched into a not so convincing act, announcing that the station’s Live Scan fingerprint machine had suddenly malfunctioned.  He claimed that as a result he had no option but to ink roll my fingerprint card.

Less than an hour later someone grabbed the fingerprint card and created a digital copy without my knowledge.  This was achieved by running the original ink rolled prints through the very scanner that Granger had declared out of service.  He’d merely feigned having technical difficulties in order to obtain preparatory fingerprints, from which an ancillary copy could be made.  At that point Pittsfield police depicted my scanned prints as not only being the official fingerprints of record, but also the only prints in existence.  We know this because the ink rolled prints were withheld from the district attorney’s office who, in turn, unknowingly withheld them from defense counsel by proxy.

Two questions: (1) How does such flagrant activity transpire – within a police station no less – yet remain concealed?  (2) How often are cases resolved through illicit booking proceedings or via retooling of booking evidence?  The problem boils down to a lack of transparency.  Conveniently for the Pittsfield Police Department there is no booking videotape, or so we were told, to visually corroborate the fingerprint sleight-of-hand.  But comparison of my arrest report to the electronically scanned fingerprint card reveals the following discrepancy:

date/time recorded on my arrest report:          02/23/2005      @2041
date/time recorded on my fingerprint card:   02/23/2005       @2128

There is a 47-minute time lapse between my booking record and the actual creation of my digital fingerprint card.  How is this possible?  An individual’s fingerprints are processed in the midst of being booked, not 47 minutes later when they’re no longer present to witness ancillary copies being made.  It’s impossible for me to have been fingerprinted at 2128.  By that time I’d already been booked and had long since been escorted to a jail cell to await arrival of the clerk magistrate.  During this 47-minute interim my ink rolled fingerprint card was scanned by an electronic device that was purportedly inoperative.

In a gross act of malfeasance, Pittsfield police crime scene investigator Mark Trapani subsequently wielded my ink rolled prints in such a manner as to appear as though he’d wrapped up one of his unsolved sexual assault cases.  Lying under oath, he claimed to have personally created my ink rolled fingerprint card on March 1st during booking.  He was going out of his way to make it appear as if the two fingerprint cards were completely unrelated, processed independently and on different days.

Trapani never stopped to think, if the Live Scan fingerprint machine had malfunctioned on February 23rd as Granger claims then my ink rolled fingerprint card would have also been created on February 23rd.  No one ever claimed the scanner went out of service, again, on March 1st.  Therefore, with the scanner working fine on March 1st, any fingerprints processed on that date would have been electronically scanned…not ink rolled.  In addition, why on earth would Trapani have bothered to ink roll my prints on March 1st – a method that is outdated and deviates from departmental protocol – if a purportedly legitimate set of electronically scanned prints were already in existence from February 23rd?

How convenient.  With no booking video tapes I was precluded from showing the jury what actually transpired.  In such an unmonitored police environment, devoid of video transparency and accountability, it’s no wonder that abuse of power ranges anywhere from insertion of undue influence to flagrant corruption.