A Boston police officer who has been on administrative leave since September 2013 was arrested after taking a police cruiser he was not authorized to use. The police cruiser was taken from Dist. C 11 in Dorchester, it appears he drove to Revere and was involved in a domestic incident that the Revere police are now investigating.
Donovan was arrested after the police car was found in Dorchester near his residence on Friday night. He’s been an officer since 2002 and has criminal charges pending related to larceny and now unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charges as well.
Every police department has an internal affairs division which investigate any complaints or suspicions of illegal activity from police in that department. Any allegations of police abuse or criminal activity will be investigated by the internal affairs division. Officers can suffer anything from suspension and firing to other disciplinary type proceedings which are then put in their personnel file.
When an officer testifies in a criminal case his personnel file may be made available and used to cross-examine him if it contains allegations or disciplinary proceedings that go to the officers credibility. That’s why it’s important to know who is testifying and obtain their personnel file if possible to see if there’s anything that can be used to challenge their Credibility during cross examination.
Frank Fernandez is a criminal lawyer in Boston serving all of Massachusetts in criminal litigation. Please feel free to call for free consultation 617-393-0250.
Police Departments are made up of officers and detectives grouped in different departments. Departments can be based on types of crimes or divided in a way that best makes sense. There are gang units, fugitive from justice units, violent crimes tasks force, drug units. Officers can be uniformed or work in plain clothes in an undercover capacity.
The police put their lives on the line everyday and work hard and receive little thanks for their hard work on a day to day basis. Police have a lot of power on the streets and generally deserve and receive the respect of civilians in the community who they protect. But like in any organization or society there are some bad apples who abuse their position of power or trust for their own benefit.
The internal affairs division is there to police the police and make sure any allegations of abuse of power or illegal activity by law enforcement is investigated and dealt with to ensure those bad apples are weeded out.
As a criminal defense attorney in Boston it is important to know those officers who are disciplined or fired for activity which is illegal since this goes directly to their credibility and can be brought out if they testify in cross-examination.
Many cases fall apart because the main officer needed to testify is no longer able to testify whether because they are retired and unavailable or because they were fired for disciplinary reasons and are no longer viewed as credible witnesses who can testify related to their prior criminal arrests. Cases can be won by knowing the status of the essential officers in your case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will know whether the officers in your case are unable to testify.