Three Chicago Police officers, and one from Glenview, have been charged with felony perjury, after dash-cam video contradicted their testimony relating to a Fourth Amendment infringement during a 2013 drug case.
Chicago Police Sgt. James Padar, Chicago Police Officers William Pruente and Vince Morgan, and Glenview Police Officer James Horn were accused of lying when testifying against 23-year-old Joseph Sperling about a pound of marijuana being found in his car.
Officers claimed that during a June 2013 traffic stop in Glenview they saw the drugs in plain view from the back seat of the vehicle.
Video shown during a court hearing last year however, shows police immediately handcuffing Sperling, and then placing him in the back of a squad car, before searching the car, and finding drugs.
At the hearing, Judge Catherine Haberkorn called the officers’ testimony “very outrageous,” and said there was strong evidence of a conspiracy to lie on the stand.
“Obviously, this is very outrageous conduct,” Haberkorn said. “All officers lied on the stand today. … All their testimony was a lie.”
All charges against Sperling were dismissed and he successfully sued over his arrest, recieving a combined settlement from the city of Chicago and the village of Glenview for $195,000.
“If it could happen to me, it could honestly happen to anyone, Sperling said. “I just happen to be one of the lucky few that has a video that proves they [police] were wrong.”
The four officers are set to appear for a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Monday afternoon.
Chicago Police said Monday that the investigation into the incident is ongoing and that the officers were stripped of their police powers after the department learned of “the disturbing allegations.”
“Chicago police officers are expected to maintain the highest level of integrity at all times,” police spokeswoman Jennifer Rottner said “The [department] will continue to fully cooperate with the [Cook County state’s attorney’s office.]”
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