I have a seven day federal drug conspiracy case that was set for trial at the end of May. The property custodian was Sean Cowley of West Valley Police Department, who has been terminated due to allegations of planting evidence, witness tampering, illegal confiscating narcotics and using them for personal use, etc. I am hoping the entire case will be dismissed since there were also other officers from West Valley that were involved in the handling of the evidence on our case that have been either terminated or placed on administrative leave due to illegal and/or unethical behavior. I’ll keep you posted on the case as developments happen, but it sure makes one question how often the police are doing things like this and getting away with it because people are too afraid to challenge “the system”.
I had a person call this morning telling me the police had broke into his house without a warrant because the tenant in the basement gave them permission to enter the upper apartment, when they knew that person had no authority to let them in the upper apartment because the lower tenant did not live in the upper apartment of the house. The police overstepped their authority and should have asked the obvious questions of “Is that a separate apartment? Who lives there? Are you authorized to let us in that portion of the house?” Etc. The police will often test the waters and see how much they can get away with thinking that most people will not have the resources or the courage to challenge them in court.
I take pride in providing a check and balance on law enforcement. I think most are good folks; however, it only takes a few bad apples to make the rest of us feel insecure in our houses, our cars, or in our lives in general if we fear the police, at any moment, can invade our homes or search our persons without a warrant, knowing that most will not challenge them. If they know they will be challenged, and possibly reported and even sued, they will be a lot less likely to trample on our Constitutional Rights.