Jack McMahon, the lawyer for former Officer Brian Reynolds, has blasted Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey for his "ugly arrogance" and "blatant disregard" for the constitutional rights of the six defendants in the rogue cops case acquitted last week on all 47 racketeering charges.
If that wasn't enough, McMahon, a former prosecutor, ripped Ramsey for being a coward, "a man without a backbone," as well as an embarrassment to the city of Philadelphia and its police department.
In the rogue cops trial that lasted seven weeks, McMahon functioned as the lead defense lawyer, tearing apart a bunch of drug dealers as well as former Officer Jeffrey Walker, the government's star witness against his former fellow members of the narcotics field unit.
McMahon is pissed because ten months ago, when the defendants were indicted, Ramsey, playing judge and jury, pronounced them all guilty at a press conference. The rogue cops case was "one of the worst cases of corruption that I have ever heard" in his 40 years as a cop, Ramsey said. To make it worse, Ramsey told reporters that he was going to destroy the former officers' badges.
Then, after a jury found the defendants not guilty on all charges, Ramsey didn't offer any apologies. Instead the police commissioner who fired the defendants said they would have to go through arbitration to get their jobs back.
"Your comments at the time of the six narcotics officers' arrests were not only a blatant disregard of these constitutional protections but a complete abrogation of your role as a leader of the rank and file police officers. The only information you had was the charging indictment, yet you said it was the worst case of police corruption you had ever seen in 40 years and called for melting the officers' badges before one witness was called or one verdict rendered."
"Is that your interpretation of 'fair;' is that your interpretation of 'justice;' and is that how you would want a family member of yours to be treated by those in a position of authority? You jumped on the expedient bandwagon for political reasons without any careful and conscientious review of the real evidence. Why could you not have waited until an objective, complete and fair process played out in court? Your ugly arrogance continued even after total vindication on every count of every officer. You said, 'I thought the government had good case' -- yet you never knew the true facts and still don't know them and twelve citizens, without your political agenda, have rejected any unfounded belief you might have had."
"Any real man, faced with the repudiation of his beliefs, and after making such outrageous defamatory comments would apologize. You, however, have to choose the coward's way by digging your heels even deeper in your misguided and erroneous beliefs to prevent the unthinkable, that you were dead wrong and embarrassed yourself to the people of Philadelphia."
"All of us make mistakes, but a man of character owns his mistakes and learns; a man without backbone and strength will never go that route. Every police officer in this city should, and probably does, know just what kind of real man you are. I can only hope that in the future some fair-minded person in authority will recognize this and move the leadership of this great police department in a completely different direction."
"Sincerely, Jack McMahon."
A spokesperson for Ramsey did not respond to a request for comment.
The same day he letter-bombed Ramsey, McMahon went after the Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board.
In case you missed it, the newspaper that usually acts as the press agent for the U.S. Attorney's office printed an editorial on May 19th saying that Police Commissioner Ramsey didn't owe the defendants in the rogue cops case an apology.
"The charges against the defendants sounded like the script from the movie Training Day, which depicts rogue narcotics cops who stole from drug-dealers," the editorial continued. "Real-life Philadelphia drug dealers testified to being locked in car trunks, dangled from balconies, beaten, and robbed."
"In the end, the jury apparently could not accept the testimony of drug dealers, who are not known for their honesty. Nor did it believe the testimony of a former partner of the defendants who pleaded guilty to corruption and said the other officers were guilty too."
"The jurors aren't speaking, but it could be that some were also caught up in an national wave of sympathy for police officers that has developed in reaction to violent antipolice protests," the Inquirer editorial concluded in an impressive display of group mind-reading. "While not all cops are bad -- in fact, most aren't -- a corollary is also true: Not all cops are innocent."
When McMahon wrote the Inquirer editorial board, he began by responding to the request in their headline to "define not guilty."
"Dear Editorial Board," McMahon wrote. "Let me give you and your board a quick dictionary lesson. 'Guilty' means culpable for committing an offense, and even your board, working collectively, can probably figure out 'not.'
"Your editorial of today regarding the six narcotics police officers is shockingly misguided and without any appreciation of the bedrock constitutional principles that protect even you and your editorial board."
"The justice system of our country is so designed that rumor, innuendo and mere allegations are given a full, complete and fair analysis before they can be accepted as truthful. Your editorial demeans and marginalizes a system meticulously designed for fairness."
"You and your paper clearly were wishing for a different verdict to advanced your preconceived agenda. Justice and truth prevailed and you simply cannot accept it, and have taken the tact of giving credence to unresolved lawsuits, making accusatory allegations against the jury and disregarding the truth-finding function of a criminal jury trial."
"I would like to know which one of your editorial board sat through any of the trial to make such spurious and unfounded comments. You say it 'sounded like' the movie Training Day. Thankfully for all of us 'sounded like' is not a standard our system embraces."
|The Ivory Tower Of Truth|
McMahon goes on to tell the editorial board about how "Mr. Ramsey jumped on the expedient bandwagon for political reasons."
"In my world," McMahon wrote, "when you make outrageous defamatory comments that are later completely repudiated by twelve citizens [on a jury], an apology is the manly thing to do."
"You can be sure that the government picked the 'best' of the cases from the 80 [civil] lawsuits [filed against the cops] to make up the indictment and yet they were totally rejected. I can only imagine the quality of the rest of these cases. If the city doesn't cave in to mass extortion, fed by editorials such as this, they too will be successful and can direct those funds in a better direction than to the 'anxiety' issues of drug dealers."
"Lastly, to suggest that this jury, after working diligently for seven weeks, made their decision based on a 'wave of sympathy' is an insult to each of those twelve good citizens who committed their time, intelligence, and emotion to this endeavor."
"Sincerely, Jack McMahon."