Two Lauderdale Florida officers acquitted in police misconduct case

Suspended Fort Lauderdale police officers Brian Dodge and Billy Koepke were acquitted Friday of charges of official misconduct, falsifying reports and perjury, ending a five-year saga that once saw them facing the rest of their lives in prison.

The jury that heard the case deliberated for 31/2 hours over two days before deciding inaccurate reports signed by both officers after a pair of drug arrests, and Dodge’s inaccurate testimony about those cases, could be explained as an honest mistake rather than a criminal attempt to manufacture evidence against the defendants.

The officers were accused of providing false information against Junior Jerome and Dieudson Nore, two men accused of taking part in a pill mill operation. When Jerome and Nore were arrested, Dodge and Koepke filed reports saying both defendants were inside Jerome’s car when they were pulled over, and both dropped small amounts of cocaine on the car floor.

But a video that later surfaced showed Nore was not in the car at the time it was stopped in the parking lot of a Red Roof Inn in Oakland Park; he was inside the motel lobby. The false information led to charges being dismissed against both defendants.

According to investigators, it was the tip of the iceberg of alleged misconduct by Dodge and Koepke. When they were originally arrested in 2011, they were accused of an elaborate scheme of shaking down drug addicts and dealers, stealing their money and, in one case, kidnapping a man and driving him around for hours while trying to get him to provide evidence against other alleged dealers and users.

The more serious charges could have landed Dodge and Koepke in prison for life. But in August, prosecutors dropped the charges, reasoning that a jury would be unlikely to convict the officers on the word of their accusers.

The remaining official misconduct charges were backed by surveillance video that flatly contradicted the reports filed by Koepke and Dodge. Official misconduct and perjury are felonies, each carrying a maximum 5- year term. Filing a false report is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of a year.

From the sun sentinel here :

Wow, talk about cop suckers

The jury couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that this guy may be a lying scumbag

They even had the video to prove that he was lying

But they chalked it up to an honest mistake

Officer friendly would never do that

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