Public Enemy #1 - August 2019
Several officers "painted" a different picture when the witness accounts didn't fit their police work.
After multiple robberies in Portland, Oreg., Portland authorities arrested Tyrone Allen, 50. Photographs of Allen, along with 5 other suspects in the investigation were shown to the bank tellers present at the time of the robbery. Allen's picture, shown below, was identified to be the perpetrator by two of the four witnesses.
The only issue with this piece of evidence being the actual photo of Allen. Allen's attorney, Mark Ahlemeyer, upon further review of the police photograph, noticed that Allen's facial tattoo's had been digitally removed from the picture shown to the witnesses. Ahlmeyer issued a motion to dismiss the witness identification.
The instructing officer, Detective Brett Hawkinson defended his actions stating that similar practices have been used and that, at times, "it has been appropriate to make those small subtle changes." Hawkinson also added that altering an image was something he learned during his 18 years in the field.
In response to the motion to throw out the witness testimonies, the judge has yet to make an official ruling on the case.
These Portland Officers receive the designation as Public Enemy of the Month because they are exactly that. If seeking justice means that defendants are truly assumed to be innocent until proven guilty, what constitutes an officer of the law manipulating that process? Why does it take the defense lawyer to point out a manipulated document for the issue to be addressed? If Allen's actual picture was utilized, he might not have been picked out of that lineup of men. However, Allen, a man who's had previous encounters with the justice system presented a believable target for the police to use. Whether or not Allen turns out to be the perpetrator, in this case, is not the issue at this point. It is the means by which he was pursued, because if those who are truly guilty are pursued by these means, what stops that from happening to the innocent?
See what Twitter had to say about the incident below: