NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn’s district attorney moved Wednesday to throw out nearly 400 convictions tied to 13 former police officers convicted of a variety of crimes committed while on duty.
In a statement, prosecutor Eric Gonzalez said that though an investigation didn’t uncover specific instances of officers fabricating evidence, their conduct cast doubt on the testimony they gave to secure the convictions.
“These former police officers were found to have committed serious misconduct that directly relates to their official job duties, calling into question the integrity of every arrest they have made,” Gonzalez said. “A thorough review by my Conviction Review Unit identified those cases in which their testimony was essential to proving guilt, and I will now move to dismiss those convictions as I no longer have confidence in the integrity of the evidence that underpinned them.”
Forty-seven of the convictions were for felonies and 331 were for misdemeanors, mostly drug possession and traffic violations counts. More than 130 cases were tied to former officer Jerry Bowens, who was charged with supplying drugs to an informant and later shot and killed his ex-girlfriend while his criminal case was pending, according to Gonzalez.
Another 60 cases were connected to Eddie Martins, who pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe and official misconduct for releasing a woman from custody in exchange for sexual favors.
The cases stemmed from arrests that were made between 1999 and 2017. None of the defendants is currently incarcerated, according to the district attorney’s office.
Gonzalez was scheduled to appear before a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge Wednesday afternoon to seek the felony dismissals. The misdemeanor conviction dismissals are expected to begin in Brooklyn Criminal Court later this month.
The Brooklyn investigation followed Gonzalez’s decision last year to dismiss 90 convictions that relied on the work of former Detective Joseph Franco, who served in Brooklyn from 2004 to 2011. Franco was indicted in 2019 in Manhattan on perjury and other charges alleging he framed innocent people there. Franco has pleaded not guilty.