Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Philly Rogue Cops Case: The Milkman Delivers

Veteran crime reporter and author George Anastasia (seen in the above photo) is covering the federal trial of six Philadelphia police officers accused of corruption.

It was a primer on police narcotics field work, a street-level view of the war on drugs.

And it was given by an unassuming former milkman who worked the dairy beat in South Philadelphia for 11 years before going to the Police Academy.

For nearly five hours today Michael Spicer, one of six Philadelphia Police Department narcotics officers charged in a federal corruption case, testified in his own defense -- and by extension in defense of his five co-defendants.

Calm and confident, and at time self-effacing, Spicer, 49, walked the federal court jury through a series of incidents that are at the heart of the corruption indictment. Again and again, he denied the allegations, responding to questions from defense attorney Jack McMahon with short and clear answers.

"That's not true . . . That never happened . . . That's a lie," Spicer said, never raising his voice or showing any anger.

It was a steady mantra of denials sprinkled through hours of testimony that included quips, asides and a detailed account of his 12 years working narcotics, including five with the Narcotics Field Unit where prosecutors contend Spicer and his co-defendants became bandits with badges.

Contradicting the testimony of more than a dozen admitted drug dealers and one dirty cop, Spicer said cash and drugs seized during raids were always accounted for, never pocketed. He said police always wore bullet proof vests label POLICE during raids and always announced themselves, sometimes forcefully. And he said he never, ever saw any member of the squad hide his face behind a ski mask during a raid as several prosecution witnesses have contended.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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