An undercover informant opened the motel room door, letting four police officers rush in for the drug bust. They quickly arrested a man who had already spent 10 years in prison for dealing dope and burglary.See the rest of her excellent story for more details. The DA's office has quite a task in front of them, and not just in the 5-10 cases Officer Wise said had accuracy issues: "Since 2005, at least 287 felony drug cases where Morrow made an arrest have passed through the court system. More than 80 of his cases are pending," reports Eiserer. It sounds like this could easily mushroom into another Tulia or Sheetrock-level scandal, depending on what that review finds. At a minimum, it may be impossible to prosecute many of those pending cases.
It was just one of many scores for star Garland narcotics detective Dennis Morrow. But what followed the July raid was unusual: Two of the officers told their boss that Morrow's written report about the raid misrepresented what happened – and last week, in court testimony, they swore that the inaccuracies were part of a pattern.
Defense attorney Bill Wirskye reviewed documents with Garland narcotics detective Dennis Morrow in a pretrial hearing in Dallas on Friday. Morrow has defended his police reports, and an internal affairs investigation last fall cleared him.
Now Dallas County prosecutors say they'll scrub all of Morrow's drug cases, just as they did after the 2001 scandal in which paid Dallas police informants planted fake narcotics on innocent people. Morrow has been a key witness in hundreds of felony drug cases.
"It is extremely rare for police officers to admit they have concerns about a fellow officer, so when these two Garland officers said they had credibility issues with Officer Morrow, quite naturally it gave the district attorney's office reason to be concerned as well," said Jamille Bradfield, spokeswoman for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.
"We will review all of the cases filed with our office during the time Officer Morrow was assigned to narcotics where he was the arresting officer and take the appropriate action if necessary," she said.
Morrow could not be reached for comment. In court testimony Friday and during a Garland internal affairs investigation, he denied fabricating evidence. ...
The Garland internal affairs investigation cleared Morrow last fall, although Garland police also chose not to ask the district attorney's office to press charges against Tramane Hooks, now 29, who was arrested on a drug delivery charge. He was freed.
Police commanders also transferred Morrow and almost everyone else in the narcotics unit, including the whistleblowers. Garland police declined to comment.
Bully for the two cops who blew the whistle and to Eiserer for hound dogging the story, during which she was introduced to the ins and outs of requesting internal affairs records in a civil service city.
MORE: From Drug War Rant, where Pete adds, "When good cops come forward, they’re not betraying a confidence, they’re being loyal to the police force, to the people they serve, and to the integrity of the rule of law. That is far more heroic than breaking down a door and busting a bad guy."