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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default False Statements Resulting In Criminal Prosecution

    I am the patrol commander of a police dept in Mississippi. Myself and the patrol major made a statement to a junior officer after he complained about the use of force by a K9 officer. We told the junior officer that the K9 officers use of force was unjustified, illegal and the K9 officer was wrong for doing it. In reality we knew that the K9 officer was justified in his use of force and we just did not want the junior officer to feel like a snitch for complaining. Unknown to us the conversation was recorded. After several years the K9 officer who had not done anything wrong got indicted by the FBI because of the remarks we made on tape. The K9 handler ultimately was found not guilty in court. We had to openly admit we made the false comments about the K9 handler. Does he have a case to sue us or the City for Slander/Defamation. He did retain his job with the city and is still there.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,589

    Default Re: possible civil action?

    Quote Quoting thefuzz
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    I am the patrol commander of a police dept in Mississippi. Myself and the patrol major made a statement to a junior officer after he complained about the use of force by a K9 officer. We told the junior officer that the K9 officers use of force was unjustified, illegal and the K9 officer was wrong for doing it. In reality we knew that the K9 officer was justified in his use of force and we just did not want the junior officer to feel like a snitch for complaining. Unknown to us the conversation was recorded. After several years the K9 officer who had not done anything wrong got indicted by the FBI because of the remarks we made on tape. The K9 handler ultimately was found not guilty in court. We had to openly admit we made the false comments about the K9 handler. Does he have a case to sue us or the City for Slander/Defamation. He did retain his job with the city and is still there.
    Well, I will refrain from extensive editorial on the wisdom of making the comments in the first place as I am sure you have come to understand that the act was ill-advised.

    If the K9 officer were put through the hassle of a trial and also maligned in the press and the community based solely or largely upon your statements, yes, I would say he has a case against you and/or the department. By saying this to the junior officer the K9 officer was maligned and demeaned in the eyes of that officer. That officer then repeated these statements for whatever reason, and those statements were used to justify action against the K9 officer. If your statements instigated or aggravated whatever the situation was, I would think you are looking at exposure here. Whether your agency will indemnify you for any damages, I can't say as I am unfamiliar with MS law in this area.

    If the K9 officer makes a claim, consult counsel, hope the city indemnifies you, and consider an out of court settlement.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: possible civil action?

    The statute of limitations for defamation in Mississippi is ordinarily one year. Assuming a discovery rule applies, that would mean one year from the date the statements were made or one year from the date the defamed party first learned (or should have learned) of the statements.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,589

    Default Re: False Statements Resulting In Criminal Prosecution

    I'm curious why (or HOW) the FBI would get involved "after several years". Unless some allegation of criminal wrongdoing had only just then come to light, or the act was alleged to have been ongoing, I don't get how this happened.

    Something else must have instigated this, and in the course of the investigation this statement was revealed.

    Provided, of course, that this is not a put-on.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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