Hidden MP3 Player Helps Gunman, Busts Detective for Perjury

Illustration for article titled Hidden MP3 Player Helps Gunman, Busts Detective for Perjury

A veteran NYPD detective is in danger of losing his job. A murder suspect gets his sentence reduced to a slap on the wrist, even though he was caught on surveillance camera shooting a man in the face in a Bronx elevator. Why? A little red MP3 player that was stashed in the shooter's pocket during the interrogation.

You can picture the scene. A kid was caught on surveillance camera shooting a guy in a Bronx elevator. The kid tells the NYPD detective that he'd been threatened. The detective was cool with that but wanted to grill the guy for extra info, like what happened to the gun. The trouble was, this whole chat was operating outside the whole "Miranda rights" space. The detective knew this, saying "Our conversation right now does not exist." And it would have disappeared into the wispy past had it not been for an MP3 player in the kid's pocket, a Christmas gift from a few days earlier, which had a Record button.

The shooter captured the whole chat, which he later burned to CD and distributed in court. Now the detective is up for 12 felony counts of perjury (for having denied the conversation ever took place) and the kid, who's best option was originally a plea-bargain of 15 years, was suddenly offered one for just 7 years.

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Is this justice? Or is this injustice? More importantly, what MP3 player was it? This was December 2005, the unnamed MP3 player was red, and there was one-touch or some other very easy recording capability, so it wasn't an iPod. Nor was it an unborn Zune, what the rocket scientists at ABC News used to illustrate this story. Let's hear your best armchair forensics guesswork. [NYT]

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DISCUSSION

In a fair and just society, the detective would be put on trial for his perjury. He would be convicted, or acquitted, based on the evidence submitted to the jury.

The person who did the shooting, would have his original plea bargain thrown out, and his due process would start over. Prosecutors could offer him a new plea bargain, or he could elect to go to trial before a jury.

Just because he recorded a conversation on an MP3 player doesn't mean he didn't shoot someone in the face.

He is shown on video shooting the person. He never denied the shooting. He did claim it was in self defense.

This is why there should be a trial. He should rot in prison if he shot the man for no reason. If it was in defense of his life, he deserves his slap on the wrist.

So, at the end of the day, we have a shooter who will end up with a less severe punishment for shooting someone in the face than the detective who lied about a conversation.

And think about this. The police have to tell you if they are recording you to be able to use it against you. A recording made with out both parties consent, or a valid warrant are rarely admissible in a court of law.

Why is this mans recording admissible? He could have altered it at home before recording it to CD.

This is another case of society going to extremes to protect the rights of an individual who willingly violates the rights of others.