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Officers tied to 2010 Strange Brew incident ask to be removed from 'Laurie list'
In court records filed by their attorney, John Krupski, the officers argued the excessive force allegations were "determined to be incorrect and any and all discipline in which they were subject was reversed...."
A court hearing Sept. 5 provided a glimpse into the workings of the Laurie list process, according to a recording of the hearing obtained Friday. Before the officers filed for court relief, it was not known their names were on the list.
Judge Garfunkel, who raised questions about the Laurie process during the hearing, has yet to rule on their request, which also seeks attorney fees.
"I need a more complete description of the Laurie list. Is there a document that exists in which officers' names appear statewide ...?" Garfunkel asked.
Prosecutors are constitutionally required to disclose all evidence that may be helpful to the defendant - including dishonesty issues involving officers who are to testify - or risk having the conviction overturned.
Associate Attorney General Jane Young offered comment at the recent hearing involving the Manchester officers, although her office is not a party to the case.
No centralized list
"Is there this magical list somewhere? No. There's certainly not a statewide comprehensive list," Young said. "We hope that each county attorney has a sort of ongoing list of their own."
Young said her supervisors might not be thrilled to hear it, "but we pretty much discount that (Heed) memo," adding her office has undertaken a comprehensive review of Laurie policies.
Young told the court it wouldn't matter what he ordered relative to the three officers.
Young said the names should remain on the Laurie list. Prosecutors at least have to notify the courts in such cases and leave it to judges to decide whether the officer's credibility issue can be used at trial. It's a two-step process, she said. The state may disclose Laurie material, then argue that it shouldn't be allowed at trial.
Said Krupski: "I strongly urge the court to think of stigma attached to Laurie issues.... It is a stigma that follows you. People think you are a liar."
The three officers had no due process, he said. Some police officers are fired because of Laurie issues and others have trouble transferring to other police departments because the designation follows them, Krupski said.
"Just because you have a letter issued that's a Laurie matter doesn't mean you are wholesale dead on this job," Young said.
"I don't see this as a career-ending matter," Young said.
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