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MassCops Angel
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10-8: Life on the Line
- Sponsored by Blauer

with Charles Remsberg

P1 Exclusive: Infamous "killer cops" case has lessons for the street today

Ed. Note: This is the first part of a 3-part series - check back on November 12th for part two and on November 26th for part three - by Charles Remsberg, author of Blood Lessons: What Cops Learn From Life-Or-Death Encounters, available for purchase from PoliceOne Books by clicking here.

Charles would like to send a special word of thanks to retired Suffolk County (N.Y.) police officer Keith Bettinger for "giving me a heads-up on Nevers' book." You can obtain Larry Nevers' compelling account of the case, Good Cops, Bad Verdict, by simply clicking here.



Many of you were too young to wear a badge and carry a gun when two white cops in Detroit - Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn - were sent to prison for murdering a black doper named Malice Green.
Officially, they're convicted felons. But looking back, the case reeks of railroading. And it can't be easily dismissed as an unfortunate relic of a bygone era.
Given the persistence of unprincipled politicians, rush-to-judgment media, and shrill, demanding voices of racial activists, it's alarmingly clear that you could still find yourself caught in a Nevers-Budzyn nightmare today.
"I'd like to say it could never happen again," Nevers told PoliceOne in a recent exclusive interview. "But when I see cases of officers pilloried in the press for controversial shootings or other uses of force, see them put on trial and convicted in some cases, I think, Oh my God, they're doing it again. When it comes to a black-white issue, hold onto your drawers, because they may come after you, right or wrong."
Nevers has written a book (entitled Good Cops, Bad Verdict: How Racial Politics Convicted Us of Murder) about his and Budzyn's bullet-train ride to the penitentiary. He worked on it for more than 10 years, starting in his prison cell. It covers 492 pages, and there's not a dull word in it.
What he chronicles will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, but it's a cautionary tale every street cop should read. In this series we'll cover just a few of the highlights - "low lights" would say it better - plus some lessons Nevers says he learned that may help you avoid what he describes as "every officer's worst fear, worse than the fear of death itself." Fear of going to prison unjustly.

Full Article: http://www.policeone.com/patrol-iss...r-cops-case-has-lessons-for-the-street-today/
 

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MassCops Angel
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P1 Exlcusive: How a "wave of racial hysteria" crashed over two cops accused of murder

Ed. Note: This is the second part of a 3-part series - click here for part one and check back on November 26th for part three - by Charles Remsberg, author of Blood Lessons: What Cops Learn From Life-Or-Death Encounters, available for purchase from PoliceOne Books by clicking here.
Part one described the strenuous resistance by black drug suspect Malice Green when two white officers, Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn, tried to arrest him outside a Detroit dope pad. Green died after Nevers struck him on the head with his Maglite to prevent a gun grab. The firestorm that followed is detailed by Nevers in an exclusive interview with PoliceOne and in his riveting book, Good Cops, Bad Verdict: How Racial Politics Convicted Us of Murder. You can obtain Larry Nevers' compelling account of the case, Good Cops, Bad Verdict, by clicking here.

Larry Nevers says his stoic, self-contained partner, Walter Budzyn, saw "almost from the git-go" that they were going to be railroaded as "stand-ins for every white police officer who ever - in reality or in imagination - mistreated a black citizen." But until they stood in court and heard themselves sentenced for murder, Nevers held steadfastly to the belief that they would be saved by the criminal justice system they had served for decades.
"I was hopelessly naïve," he says today. Certainly his optimism was sorely challenged every step of the way by every driving force in their hot-potato case.
Here are just some of the ominous developments that foreshadowed their fate - all, from Nevers' perspective, calculated to appease the city's black majority and "head off a riot":

"Lynch-Mob" Atmosphere
The morning after Malice Green's death, Detroit's black police chief for the "first time in the memory of anyone alive" decreed that customary investigative procedures would not be followed. Ordinarily, a departmental Board of Review conducted fact-finding into any offender fatality and sent influential recommendations to the county prosecutor.
"Every cop who gets in a jam counts on a fair hearing" before the Board, Nevers explains. He was convinced an objective examination of circumstances would confirm that he and Budzyn had been within policy regarding arrest, escalation of force, and recovery of evidence.
In lieu of a Board review, the officers were suspended without pay for "conduct unbecoming." Soon, the prosecutor's office charged them with-and the department fired them for-second-degree murder. Already, their chief, alluding to the California jury that had recently acquitted four L.A. cops of beating Rodney King, had declared: "This is not Simi Valley. We will convict." The mayor, the first black to hold that office in Detroit, had referred to them publicly as "murderers."
The all-important autopsy of Green's body was punted by the chief medical examiner to a young Iranian-born junior assistant, newly certified as a forensic pathologist and snowed under with a heavy workload the day before he was to leave on vacation. This deputy hastily reached a conclusion without waiting for a toxicology report and determined cause of death: blunt force trauma.
"Without citing a source and as matter-of-factly as if he had witnessed it himself," in Nevers' words, the assistant later wrote that both officers had pummeled Green on the head and face with their flashlights, beating him unconscious. Even when the toxicology discoveries were in hand, he "refused to tweak his findings in the smallest way."
As it turned out, Green had a toxic cocktail of cocaine and alcohol in his blood. Concerned, the chief M.E. himself performed a second autopsy, which was not publicized and which, indeed, was kept secret for months from Nevers' and Budzyn's lawyers.

Full Article: http://www.policeone.com/patrol-iss...eria-crashed-over-two-cops-accused-of-murder/
 
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