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Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial

by TChris

Three former Oakland police officers, charged with 15 felonies growing out of accusations that they "beat and framed suspected drug dealers in West Oakland in the summer of 2000," are relying on a familiar defense: the prosecution witnesses were just saying what the government wanted to hear.

In the second week of closing arguments in the Alameda County Superior Court trial of the former officers, who were reportedly nicknamed "The Riders" by bitter West Oakland residents who despised their aggressive tactics, attorney Michael Rains alleged that witnesses were eager to please the prosecutors in the case and their theme was, "If it hurts the D.A., we'll change what we say."

In this case, the defense requires ex-officers to portray other ex-officers as liars. That might be more difficult than discrediting the alleged abuse victims who participated in a lawsuit against Oakland.

The city of Oakland paid $10.9 million to settle a civil suit filed on behalf of 119 people who claimed to have suffered at the hands of the Riders. "It was the great Oakland giveaway," Rains said, contending accusers embellished or lied because nastier stories translated into a bigger payout from the city. "The great lottery with Oakland taxpayer money, that is what this is about."

This is the second trial in the case. The first trial ended with acquittals on eight counts and a hung jury on the remaining 27. Closing arguments are now in their fifth day.

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  • Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#1)
    by Patrick on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 02:52:10 PM EST
    Mike Rains is a helluva trial attorney and would be my choice of I needed one.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#2)
    by Patrick on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 04:23:39 PM EST
    And Alex Fagan Jr was found not guilty by a jury in the fajita-gate crime.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#3)
    by Sailor on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 04:29:58 PM EST
    yeeeessss, it's just amazing that prosecutors who have worked and have to work with the same cops and their friends who committed these crimes would actually tank these cases. and Pat, I'd keep Mike Rains' number close, with your attitude and propensity for violence you will surely need it.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#4)
    by Patrick on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 04:43:18 PM EST
    LMAO....AS if you know me...

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 04:52:25 PM EST
    "If it hurts the D.A., we'll change what we say." Wow, shades of, "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit." What a fitting memorial to Johnnie Cochrane!

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 06:51:13 AM EST
    Those Oakland cops man...I understand why Huey Newton picked up a shotgun.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#7)
    by Patrick on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:40:56 AM EST
    Kdog, Because he was a violent criminal, that's why.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 08:34:20 AM EST
    Wrong Pat. He defended his home. Do you even know the story? Newton was awoken one night by several police knocking down his door, a gun was put to his head. He had committed no crime. So he said the next time the Oakland cops broke into his house, he'd have a shotgun waiting for them. The "violent criminals" were the Oakland PD.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#9)
    by Patrick on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 08:38:11 AM EST
    We must be talking about a different Newtons then, I'm talking about the black panther.......He's a violent criminal. Read Elaine Brown's A Taste of Power, then come talk to me about it.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:55:00 AM EST
    I've read plenty on Newton, the Black Panther. He will always be a hero of mine.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:13:48 AM EST
    Then clearly we have no common ground on that issue. Have a nice day.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:28:52 AM EST
    Then clearly we have no common ground on that issue.
    that's an understatement, clearly.

    Re: Closing Arguments in Police Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:50:27 AM EST
    Agreed Pat. Have a good one brother.