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 Cozzi Fan Tutti 
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 Post subject: Cozzi Fan Tutti
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:31 pm 
The Man
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:43 am
Posts: 7970
Location: Minneapolis MN
There's a large disturbance in the nether regions of the copoverse about this decision.

The short form is this: William Cozzi, a Chicago cop, beat the crap out of a handcuffed, leg-shackled stabbing victim in a wheelchair, hitting him at least ten times with a sap. The traditional whitewash was a little hard to do; Cozzi did it on videotape, and then, of course, had the victim charged with "resisting arrest."

Ooops. The video tape wasn't disappeared.

After a slap on the wrist in state court -- 18 months probation, pleading out on a misdemeanor -- the Feds stepped in, and charged him with violation of the sappee's civil rights. That's a felony.

Now, Cozzi had talked to Internal Affairs and his superior under a Garrity warning -- which is sort of like a special version of pleading the Fifth for cops. The notion is that, since the cop must talk -- truthfully -- to his superiors or lose his job, nobody -- not even a scumbag like Cozzi -- can be forced to testify against himself. While other kinds of folks have to live with that, under what's called a "Garrity" warning, what the cop says generally (there are some exceptions, usually involving lying) can't be used to prosecute him outside of that forced interview.

And it wasn't, except maybe/kinda; the Chief of the Chicago PD, Jodi Weiss, was so enraged about everything he'd learned about Cozzi, including the Garrity testimony, that he'd called up the US Attorney, a guy named Patrick Fitzgerald, which is what may have started the ball rolling on the whole federal prosecution.

Cozzi pleaded guilty -- as in "guilty, guilty, guilty" -- and was sentenced to forty months in the Federal pen, but appealed, on the grounds (to slightly oversimplify) that the Garrity warning not only meant that his testimony couldn't be used in his prosecution (and it wasn't), but that Weis calling up the USAttorney at all was a violation of his Garrity rights.

After all, in addition to watching the video and reading the various complaints, including Cozzi's fraudulent one about the so-called resisting of arrest, Weis had read Cozzi's Garrity statement.

That's it. It's not that his Garrity statements were used in his prosecution, not even on cross examination; Cozzi wasn't crossed, because, after all, he copped (so to speak) a plea. Nope. But his boss, who dropped a dime on him, knew that he'd confessed to doing what the video made it clear he'd done, so . . .

... the defense theory was that gave him a "get out of jail free card."

The Appeals Court disagreed.

Them's just the facts. But read this and this, and all the other chickenlittling from various bad cop blogs, and you'll see that in some (bad) parts of the cop world, you'll find that many of the delicate flowers are arguing that the only, the right thing to do, is simply not make any arrests.

And, perhaps, hold their breath until they turn blue.

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