Your favorite Clearwater Criminal Lawyer has watched with bated breath in numerous criminal trials as hundreds of officers have lined up one by one to testify against my doomed clients. Upon taking the witness stand having sworn to tell the truth they’ve done everything possible to convince those once fair and impartial jurors to convict. Were those officers always telling the truth?

Manet painting of wight. The man in the painting looks like a law enforcement officer who has just committed perjury in Tampa Bay criminal courtroom B under cross-examination
Manet, Considering Perjury, 1875

It’s not uncommon to know that an officer is committing perjury especially when other evidence directly establishes that the officer is simply lying. 
Should the Jury, well and truly try and true, believe that libelous video that seems to show the officer beating all hell out of my client or the trustworthy officer’s testimony? And yet the prosecutor will always ask the jury this, “Why would a law enforcement officer ever risk his career to lie under oath about a criminal case?” 
A recent editorial by Michelle Alexander in the New York Times addresses the issue of why officers lie under oath giving some good reasons as to why it happens more often than we think. The article quotes the San Francisco Police Commissioner as follow:

“Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.”

The article mentions the unrelenting pressure to make ever greater numbers of arrests as a significant cause of police perjury. In many police departments the quality of an officer’s work is judged based on the number of arrests he makes. 
Here in Tampa Bay the Largo Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol have the reputation of going to extraordinary lengths to persuade their officers that the only path to advancement is with high arrest numbers causing some officers to speak up about the unrealistic pressure of the quota systems, even as the police agencies deny there is a quota system.
A second cause could be called the War on Drugs Syndrome. This seems to be what has long afflicted the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa Bay, Florida who broke the law during investigations of significant drug cases, such as manufacturing marijuana.
The internal thinking of officers must be something along the lines of, “It’s a war after all. It’s us versus them. They’re violating the law. We’re the good guys.” And the next thing you know Deputies are acting like criminals themselves lying under oath, lying to gain entry into a home or even destroying evidence.


. Tampa Police will use a painted sign of Guy Fawkes as reason to arrest protestors
Guy Fawkes being arrested. 

Will a painted sign of the British anarchist Guy Fawkes, a few bricks and some pipes found atop a downtown building be used by the Tampa Police as a pretext for the making of massive arrests at the Republican Convention? After all, the five thousand officers need something to do, if they do it to you call a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney

Here’s the peaceful benevolent view of the role the officers will have during the Republican Convention from the chamber of commerce:

Another group that is busy preparing is police officers. Over 5,500 have been tasked with patrolling the convention and keeping the peace. Officers have gone through a specific training protocol that addresses how to handle protestors. 
First a warning will be issued. If it is not heeded, an arrest will be made. All of the police are encouraged to take their time in dealing with protestors so that peaceful resolutions are met. Traditionally, police forces are viewed negatively during convention times and often face criticism. Though chances are slim that this can be completely avoided, the force in Tampa is going out of its way to paint itself in the best light. 
All officers have been told that the primary concern during the protests is to protect the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. What they want to avoid is the “arrest first, figure out later” mentality… 

Maybe that’s the gloss you’d expect from the Chamber of Commerce for any Tampa event, especially the bit about the right to freedom of speech. Do they really mean that? Doesn’t sound like Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee is on the same page. His take on what his police will do can be found in a letter to the public his office just issued:

Tactically, we are ready. Security plans for the venue and the perimeters are set. Boundaries, protests zones and parade routes are established for the thousands expected in downtown Tampa…. To the agitators and anarchists who want only to bring a dark cloud to this event, let me be clear: criminal activity and civil disturbances will not be tolerated and enforcement actions will be swift. 

Rather than lend an ear to the freedom of speech, it sounds like the Sheriff stands ready for battle with the terrible swift sword of retribution. No wonder the Sheriff is reported to have emptied out the local jails for future arrests. Makes your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer wonder why the 1,700 folks were in the jail if they could be safely released or moved, but it’s clear evidence that Tampa Law Enforcement is preparing for the Republican Convention in the best way they know how: making mass police stops and arrests early and often.