The New York Times — Why Police Lie Under Oath

03POLICE-popupMichelle Alexander describing what we see at ACJP fairly regularly, and explaining the context as to why it happens.

Why Police Lie Under Oath

Published: February 2, 2013

By: Michelle Alexander, the author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury’s believing their word over a police officer’s are slim to none. As a juror, whom are you likely to believe: the alleged criminal in an orange jumpsuit or two well-groomed police officers in uniforms who just swore to God they’re telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but? As one of my colleagues recently put it, “Everyone knows you have to be crazy to accuse the police of lying.”

But are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not. Not just because the police have a special inclination toward confabulation, but because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie. In this era of mass incarceration, the police shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so. Continue reading