* Judge Renders Special Treatment To Felony Cops *
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California November 15, 2002
Judge Renders Special Treatment For Felony Cops
LAPD After Rampart ScandalLos Angeles TimesCalifornia Section (Part B)Thursday, November 14, 2002(Page B1)Ex-Officers Sentenced For BeatingJudge recommends they serve one-year terms in work furlough for the attack on homeless man.By Steve BerryTimes Staff Writer(Excerpts)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 "serious."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 tainted.........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. yet?-BarbieJ.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
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