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Police Misconduct


A New York City jury on Wednesday convicted a seasoned detective of lying under oath in a trial that raised troubling questions about the prevalence of false statements by police officers in routine cases. Such cases of outrageous police misconduct are not as rare as some in the public may think. Many, many innocent lives have been ruined by dirty cops who lie, plant evidence, and tamper with witnesses. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. has investigated such cases and will aggressively defend the accused in State and Federal court.

The jury found that the detective, Kevin Desormeau, had concocted a story about witnessing a man deal drugs to two women on a street corner on a summer evening in 2014. In sworn testimony, Detective Desormeau claimed to have intercepted the man after the transactions and arrested him on the sidewalk. But videotape from security cameras showed that the man had been playing pool inside a nearby Caribbean restaurant at the time he was said to have been selling drugs outside.

In finding Detective Desormeau, 34, guilty of perjury and related charges, the jury accepted the prosecution’s argument that he had not witnessed the man dealing drugs and had simply decided to search him on a hunch, which turned out to be correct: He seemed to have had crack cocaine on him.

Detective Desormeau was regarded as a particularly hard-charging member of an aggressive plainclothes unit that made drug and gun arrests across Queens. He received a medal for valor after a shootout, and his superiors often praised him in glowing terms. He has made more than 350 arrests in his career.

At his trial, prosecutors suggested that Detective Desormeau had decided that making lots of arrests was the route to glory in the New York Police Department, which was why he decided to falsify evidence.

He and his partner, who was also on trial, “were only interested in advancing their careers by getting high arrest statistics and getting promoted,” an assistant district attorney, Yvonne Francis, told the jury at the trial’s outset last week.

Nicholas G. Matassini is board certified in criminal trial law and is A.V. rated by Matindale-Hubbell. He has represented clients in jury trials on charges ranging from first degree premeditated murder, fraud, trafficking in drugs, capital sexual battery, and numerous other serious felonies in his more than a dozen years defending the accused in State and Federal courts.


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