A cop’s lie can outwit the best of judges. It’s just how warrants work

“You don’t have any way of really knowing whether an officer or detective is making stuff up,” a retired judge conceded.

It seems there were only two truths in the arrest warrant application a Connecticut cop filed, according to an investigative report. A gray Acura exists and a license plate with the letters and numbers the officer wrote in his report is assigned to that car.

But the “traffic stop” the cop conducted on a quiet two-lane street in front of a carwash? The data from his police cruiser shows it never happened. At 9:14 p.m., the exact time of the alleged traffic stop for a noisy muffler, Officer Michael Fallon was actually on I-91 just minutes after driving 115 mph on the interstate, a report concluded. And the “clear view of the operator’s face” in the Acura’s driver-side mirror? That confirmed visual identification Fallon said he had when he applied for the warrant to arrest the Acura’s driver for allegedly fleeing the scene? Investigators determined that never happened either.

Yet, on the strength of Fallon’s sworn word, a Superior Court judge in Hartford, Connecticut, gave law enforcement permission to arrest a man.

It’s a scene that plays out thousands of times a day across the nation. Law enforcement officers swear to a judge that they witnessed an incident, heard something, or gathered evidence to  today! 

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