Closing Arguments in Narcotics Cops Trial
The federal trial of six Philadelphia narcotics officers accused of corruption is coming to a close; attorneys began their closing arguments on Tuesday, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations on Thursday.
In her closing statement to the jury, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney said the accused officers had abused their power and felt they were above the law.
“They abused that power … in the most egregious of ways by threatening people, abusing people, robbing people and then lying about what they had done,” she said.
“These defendants behaved as if they believed that because they wore a badge, their crimes would never see the light of day,” she said.
The Inquirer’s Jeremy Roebuck has the defense: which included an attack on the credibility of Jeffrey Walker,a former narcotics-squad officer who testified against his ex-colleagues.
It would violate your oath as jurors, defense lawyer Jack McMahon countered, to blindly accept the word of those drug dealers and one dishonored ex-officer – a man who admitted he had repeatedly perjured himself and sent innocent men to prison in the past.
“Is it reasonable to doubt the word of immoral, despicable people?” he asked. “If you don’t have reason to doubt, then you haven’t been listening.”
The officers — Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, John Speiser and Linwood Norman — are all charged with RICO conspiracy, with some officers individually facing charges of conspiracy to deprive of civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, robbery which interferes with interstate commerce, extortion which interferes with interstate commerce, and other related counts.