A federal lawsuit on Thursday accused five police officers from Chicago and Glenview of conspiring to lie under oath at a court hearing late last month, only to be caught by a judge after a video taken from a squad car contradicted their testimony.
One of the Chicago narcotics officers had asked the two Glenview officers to turn off their video cameras so the traffic stop would not be recorded, but one of the officers failed to do so, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged that the incident – first reported in the Tribune on Tuesday — exposed a broader “policy and practice” by Chicago police “to pursue wrongful convictions in drug cases through untruthful testimony.”
“The biggest casualty in the war on drugs is the truth,” attorney Jon Loevy told reporters at a press conference at his Near West Side office.
After viewing the video March 31 in her Skokie courtroom, a furious Circuit Judge Catherine Haberkorn suppressed the traffic stop that led to Joseph Sperling’s arrest, leading prosecutors to quickly dismiss the felony charges.
“All officers lied on the stand today. … All their testimony was a lie. So there’s strong evidence it was conspiracy to lie in this case, for everyone to come up with the same lie. … Many, many, many, many times they all lied,” a transcript quoted the judge as saying.
The lawsuit named the city of Chicago and Village of Glenview as defendants in addition to the five officers.