Rape Cop Sentencing

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I don't know that it's ideal, but it is something:


Mr. Moreno received the one-year sentence; Mr. Mata had been scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, but the hearing was postponed until Wednesday because his lawyer was detained by another trial in Brooklyn. 

Joseph Tacopina, one of Mr. Moreno's lawyers, asked that his client be allowed to surrender in 20 days, but the judge denied that request and Mr. Moreno was escorted back toward the courthouse jail cells in his gray suit...

This was the first criminal conviction for each man, however, and first-time misdemeanor offenders are commonly let off without jail time. Still, Justice Carro criticized Mr. Moreno's testimony, calling it "incredible" and accusing him of tailoring it to address the few details that the accuser could recount. 

 "During your testimony," Justice Carro said, "you told a story that was incredible. Your testimony was classic for admitting what you couldn't deny, denying what you couldn't admit and classic tailoring of your testimony to the witnesses who testified before you." 

When law enforcement officers commit crimes, it tears at the fabric of society, Justice Carro said. "You, sir, ripped a gaping hole in that fabric in committing your crimes."

Exactly. It is not a matter of 95 percent of cops being good officers. This is of course true. But it's about branding.  If I see a rat in your restaurant, it may well be true that 95 percent of the time you are rodent free. But I'd rather not chance the other five percent with your joint, or any joint near you.

A case like this furthers the notion that cops are not agents of the state worthy of greater trust, but people with guns and a broad license to use them. 


Here's a live report from the Horde:

I just got back from court. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Gregory Carro ripped into Officer Moreno at sentencing and gave him the max for each count of Official Misconduct, the one crime for which he was convicted. 

Moreno was remanded to Rikers immediately, and denied bail pending appeal. His sentencing was based upon the concept that police officers should be held to higher standards than citizens. 

This gave me some hope. I have to admit that as gratifying as it was to hear the judge lean into this dude, I didn't much feel like cheering. It's really easy to hate people while they exist as a foil, as an aggressing army. 

He certainly deserves, in my mind, every misfortune that befalls him. But I'm just not built for the victory dance, I guess. 

Me neither.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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