Dallas Officers Demoted Following Scandal

by TChris

Concluding that the indictment of four police officers who arrested more than 20 people on bogus drug charges resulted from "a failure of management supervision," the Dallas Police Department decided to demote two highly ranked managers.

This all had to do with the city's fake-drugs scandal of 2001, in which police and prosecutors were found sending innocent people to prison on counterfeit drug evidence. Assistant police Chief Dora Saucedo-Falls, who was the department's highest-ranking Hispanic, had responsibility for narcotics as well as other divisions during the time of the fake-drugs scandal. Chief David Kunkle demoted her last week to lieutenant and moved her to communications.

Deputy Chief John Martinez, who reported to Saucedo-Falls, had immediate responsibility for narcotics. Martinez came to that post after the fake-drugs scandal was already under way. He retired last week rather than accept a demotion.

This is what happened:

Someone was manufacturing fake cocaine, bundling it up in plastic to look like drugs and then planting it on innocent people. The arrests were made using a gang of confidential informants or snitches who were so untrustworthy to begin with that detectives had been ordered on several occasions to stop using them--orders that were ignored.

Saucedo-Falls knew about the scandal but did nothing to investigate it. Instead, she told Martinez to talk to Chief Kunkle about it. Martinez ordered the cops to stop using the unreliable snitches, but the cops defied his orders, continuing to bust innocent people for drugs that the snitches planted on them. Martinez says that he couldn't enforce his orders because the officer in charge of the lawless cops was promoted to an equal rank.

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