Philadelphia’s district attorney’s office is still pulling cases that relied on the discredited testimony of five narcotics officers.
District Attorney Seth Williams dropped 46 cases Monday, bringing the total to more than 200.
The prosecutor’s office confirmed the latest cases but is not saying why the charges are being dropped.
Attorney Stanley Shingles, who represented a client whose case was dropped, says the five officers in question had a reputation.
“I think anybody who has dealt with these officers — probably most defense attorneys, most experienced attorneys — have come to appreciate the fact that there’s always a variance between what these officers testify to and what they’re told by their clients,” Shingles said.
These included details clients had no reason to fabricate.
Shingles says that since the cases were spread among many defense lawyers, it was harder to “connect the dots.” The Philadelphia Police Department needs tighter oversight of its narcotics officers, he says.
The district attorney’s office declined to comment. The five officers are still working but have been transferred to other departments.
Back in the 1990s, similar problems led to dropping charges against 250 defendants in Philadelphia.