“Testilying” – How Cops Routinely Lie in the Courtroom

Written by Gregory Monte.

I first discussed the issue of cops lying in court back in early June – Cops Would Never Lie in Court … Right?

I bring it up again, because in the course of recent research I came across a term that I had never heard before.  In People v. Campbell, 2019 IL App (1st) 161640 – Ill: Appellate Court, 1st Dist., 2nd Div. 2019, the judge used a term called “testilying:”

“… the exclusionary rule ‘encourages the police to lie to avoid suppression’ [of evidence] … In New York, the problem was so pervasive that the police themselves named this kind of false testimony: ‘testilying.’”

The judge in this case referenced a City of N.Y. report from 1994 which investigated allegations of police corruption which …

“… indicates that officers frequently “testilied” about things like traffic violations, observing bulges in pockets, or plain view sightings of guns or drugs to justify potentially unlawful searches and seizures.”

Back in my June post I wrote the following:

“I know that there are many people out there who support the police no matter what. According to their way of thinking, we should have the utmost respect for the men & women in blue who put their lives on the line for us each and every day.  I get that viewpoint, but I also realize that, all too often, most citizens only encounter the cops when they get a traffic ticket.  This is often a negative experience, and it turns many of us into cynics when it comes to law enforcement in general.  It doesn’t help if during that encounter the cop is arrogant rather than polite.”

Now I find out that cops “testilie” frequently in court about traffic citations.

Lying, under oath, as a matter of course … disgraceful, but now I know that my cynicism is well founded.

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