With a name based on the 1963 ruling of a United States Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland, a Brady list is a record of police officers that have been reprimanded in an official capacity. If an officer of the law is present in court –such as acting as a witness –the courtroom will be made aware of their presence on any Brady lists, not only compromising their testimony but also embarrassing their name. Usually kept privately at a precinct-level but sometimes also be posted as public record, Brady lists are considered quite controversial as they potentially expose aspects of the law enforcement process to prying eyes.
To be placed on a Brady list, a police officer will usually have to:
- Hide or conceal evidence: Tying back to the list’s origin, if a police officer hides or conceals some truth about a piece of evidence, they will be placed on a Brady list.
- Use excessive force: Some precincts will add an officer to their Brady list for instances of excessive force or police brutality, even if the claims against the officer are never substantiated.
- Accept a bribe: Taking currency, goods, or services in exchange for favorable treatment –or just being accused of doing so –is illegal and may lead to placement on a Brady list.
- Lying in an official capacity: If an officer of the law is found to have been intentionally dishonest in any form that may have ties to their power or authority, they will be added to a Brady list.
Due to the problems that are assumed to be related to a dishonest or “bad cop,” many officers have been wrongly reprimanded for being placed on a Brady list. In certain cases, law enforcement officers have been outright fired.
Attorney Peter Horton has represented public safety officers as a Ventura County criminal defense lawyer for over a decade. With his experience, public officers and employees who have been wrongfully placed on Brady lists for allegedly withholding evidence or harmfully lying to officials can trust his legal guidance, and they can be relieved in knowing that he earnestly cares for their careers and their wellbeing. If you have been placed upon a Brady list and would like to have your name removed –or if you have been excessively reprimanded or terminated for concerns regarding a Brady list –you need to contact our law firm.
Whether he needs to go straight to the District Attorney or if he needs to defend your rights in court, you know that Attorney Peter Horton has your best interests in mind.