Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Deputy Gone Bad in a World Gone Mad

'It was the deputy's fixation with women's breasts that was his undoing.'

- the first line from the Sun Sentinel piece by Tonya Alanyez, below.

Do we have to read much more? It is the real swine flu.

Justice poisoned by a self serving cop operating under the color of law, behind a sheriff's badge.

A cop who was a family man extending his family, like a priest joyriding on some of his altar boys.

Hundreds of prosecutions scorched by his improper touching, wrongful lewdness, and inappropriate behaviour. It happens in city after city, community after community. This time it was our own.

There is no reason for defense attorneys to celebrate, but at least the silence has now been broken. We know why Detective Grady was suspended. I was in court that first day when he was recalled to the stand before a county jurist. The prosecutor had disclosed to the State they had information about the defendant they felt compelled to reveal.

The defense attorney was like a panelist on 'What's My Line?': "You say you work for the Sheriff and you are suspended, sir, can you tell us why?'

"No I cannot,' Grady replied. 'They have not told me why." The defense had their Brady material, the prosecutor felt it met its duty, and the judge routinely moved the case along. Perhaps she should not have done so.
Now we all do know why this deputy was suspended, and how his law enforcement career is in ruins, his life a wreck, and scores of good arrests, along with the bad ones, down the drain. An innocent victim may be freed from an unjust prosecution, but so too may a dangerous driver now prowl the streets drunk at nite because this cop was drunk with lust. No reason any one of us should celebrate.

The woman in the September incident attended the hearing. To protect her identity, the Sun Sentinel did not publish her name.

"I do have a fear that there are more victims out there, but who didn't come forward," she said. The case may be over, but for this women, whenever she is pulled over for as little as a broken tail light, a memory will illuminate that can never be put out.

That light today brightly stains this courthouse, the Sheriff's office, and a justice system that too often looks away from that truth instead of into its glare. No one wins. It just confirms how many times we have already lost.

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