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The Source: A Crisis Of Police Credibility In Texas

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Flickr user Emad Ghazipura
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A recent investigation by the Austin American-Statesman found that hundreds of law enforcement officers across Texas could not be called as witnesses because they lacked credibility. Instances ranging from outright deception to falsifying evidence have disqualified officers in the minds of District Attorneys in the state. 

Counties across Texas have lists of these officers. According to the report, within Bexar County 65 such officers exist. In Dallas County, there were 192 such officers.

These 'Brady lists' are required to be kept by law as a result of the Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland.  If a police officer has a sustained history of lying while in an official capacity, he or she can be added to the county's list.

Law enforcement officials often contend that these lists are overbroad, and many officers should not be on them. 

District attorneys have dismissed several cases as a result of the reporting officers being on these lists. 

We talk to the reporters behind this investigation.

Guests

  • Eric Dexheimer, investigative reporter at the Austin American-Statesman (@Dexinvestigates)
  • Ciara O'Rourke investigative reporter at the Austin American-Statesman (@ciaraorourke)
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive