It is rare for a police officer to be acquitted for murder, but it is not unheard of either. Any officer who has killed someone on the job can be held accountable for their crime if there is enough evidence to prove that they intentionally killed the person for their own personal reasons and not just in self-defense.
Since police officers have qualified immunity to the law they are generally not held liable in common lawsuits. However, in the case of murder, the court often takes things more seriously.
One of the main factors which can contribute to acquitting an officer in a murder case is if evidence is found that the officer tried to cover up their tracks. If an officer is found covering up tracks it shows that they were guilty of their actions and also helps prove that their shooting was deliberate.
There was a case in 2014 in which 3 officers were found covering up the murder of one of their fellow police officers. The police officer who had killed a 15-year-old boy was finally put to justice four years after the murder and is now facing 30 years of imprisonment for the multiple rounds he shot at the young teenager. The police superintendent of Chicago also lost his position due to this incident as well.
What counts as covering up evidence?
Police officers are infamous for harboring a blue code of silence. This is basically when officers do not ‘rat out’ or report to authorities when other police officers are seen committing a crime. However, if officers are caught lying about what actually occurred then they can easily lose their job over it and easily end up in prison for contributing to the crime as well.
Covering up evidence is taken so seriously because it distorts the reality of what happened further and wastes everyone’s time. Not only does covering up evidence waste time but it also leads to unjust verdicts for everyone involved in the case.
Covering up evidence includes:
- Lying about what happened during the arrest
- Holding back essential evidence such as video recordings
- Purposely ‘misplacing’ evidence
- Giving false testimony
- Gathering fake witnesses
- Planting fake evidence
Anyone who sees a police officer undertaking any of these strategies to cover up their actions should call a police brutality lawyer in Chicago, IL to shed some light on the case. Eye-witnesses are very important when it comes to winning a court trial and if anyone saw a police officer trying to hide evidence in order to be saved from penalization, they should submit their evidence and their testimony to a lawyer in order to make the officer accountable for what he or she has done.
If anyone is involved in a case in which an officer has planted fake evidence or in which an officer has tried their best to conceal the reality of what they did, they should consult a lawyer in order to get help in defending themselves and speaking up for what really happened in front of the judge.