November 15, 2002
Judge Renders Special Treatment For Felony
LAPD After Rampart
Los Angeles Times
California Section (Part B)
Thursday, November 14, 2002
Ex-Officers Sentenced For
Judge recommends they serve one-year terms in work
furlough for the attack on homeless man.
By Steve Berry
Times Staff Writer
Two former Los Angeles police officers who assaulted a homeless man and
then let two colleagues take the blame for the crime received one-year sentences
Wednesday from a judge who recommended that they be placed in a work furlough
program instead of jail.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler called the actions of
Christopher Coppock and David Cochrane "felony stupid" and their crime
But Fidler also said he would not object if the ex-officers were allowed to
serve their sentences at their homes under electronic monitoring.
A spokesman for the county Probation Department, which screens candidates
for work furlough and electronic monitoring, said people convicted of violent
crimes normally do not qualify.
Cochrane, 36, and Coppock, 30, were convicted of terrorizing Bowen on Oct.
23, 1997, by forcing the homeless man into their squad car and taking him to a
tunnel leading to the Los Angeles River, throwing him on the ground and
threatening him with a handgun. Both were indicted on charges of kidnapping,
false imprisonment and assault under color of authority.
Under the deal, Coppock and Cochrane pleaded no contest to assault.
Prosecutors agreed to a sentence of no more than a year in jail, and dismissed
the kidnapping and false imprisonment charges. Without the plea arrangement,
Cochrane could have faced up to 18 years in prison and Coppock a maximum of nine
years, if convicted.
[Prosecutor] St. Pierre also argued that the misdeed forced the district
attorney's office to drop criminal charges in 11 cases in which Cochrane and
Coppock were the principal witnesses, because their credibility was
Only excerpts of the above article were sent, the
purpose being to show that even after the recent explosive Rampart scandal
published and known nationwide, LAPD officers are still given "a slap on the
wrist" treatment by the judiciary, the judge in this case indicating that he
would go along with no prison time for the felonious officers,
while ordinarily one of them could have faced up to 18 years in prison, and the
other up to nine years. What kind of sentence would a judge have given an
ordinary citizen under similar circumstances? Should
time fit the crime, or does it
all depend on who the criminal is? Is it time for J.A.I.L.
J.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial
Accountability Initiative Law
JAIL's very informative website is found at www.jail4judges.org
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unique new addition to our form of government.
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"..it does not require a majority to prevail,
but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's
minds.." - Samuel Adams
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evil to one who is
striking at the
-- Henry David Thoreau