I am involved in a really difficult matter in Brooklyn. It borders on heartbreaking. I represent a guy who is just an average Joe. He works hard, earns a decent but not great living and takes care of his family. Everybody likes this guy in the neighborhood. He wakes up everyday, plays with his kids, checks on his Father and Mother, gives rides to Seniors in the area who have to go to the hospital and then goes off to drive his limo for rich people through out New York City. He works out of a garage that books drivers and cars for airport runs etc.
He is in this country legally. He was sponsored with his brothers,sisters and parents by an aunt and her son. Now here is the rub, the son, my clients cousin is a drug addled HIV positive crackhead. Nevertheless, my client owes his whole life to these two people. If not for them, he is still in Haiti making Three Hundred Ninety Dollars instead of a week.
Now the son of my client's family's benefactor, gets into trouble with the law. Facing a long time in jail, which would mean he dies on the inside, the police and the DA offer him an out. Help us buy guns and drugs and we will let you stay on the street.
So the idiot approaches his low life friends. None will help him because they can smell a set up from a mile away. He asks my client for help, but my client will not find him drugs. A while later, he begs my client to help him find a gun for a "Friend" who needs protection. My client already felt bad about not helping this guy put himself out of his misery with the drugs, so in fact he helps him by picking up a gun and giving it to the kid to "sell." Of course it is not a real sale, the cops bought it.
The cousin thanks my client and tells him he got a couple of hundred dollars for the gun. He asks him if he can get some more. My client allegedly tells him sure, people all over NY are selling these things. Anybody who really wants one can buy one almost anywhere in Harlem the Bronx Brooklyn the lower East side, Flushing. The cousin has only months to live, his AIDS is full blown. So even though he knows in his heart that the kid is using the money he gets for drugs he tells himself he is eating with it, and gets him another 2 guns to sell
Now I should point out that though deadly, these weapons are garbage. Not a decent weapon in the whole group. But the guy who pays wants a weapon so...
The cousin dies. Does that stop the cops? No. They go back to our client and call him over and over and over, at work at home at church, yelling for him to get them another gun. He finally relents after months of badgering. Then once more a few months later. Same scenario, same reticence, same result. Finally they come once more. He is less and less cooperative, They figure he's done, so they bust him. He is looking at ridiculous time if he blows trial. On the other hand, would he have even been here at all if the police had demanded that the cousin give them someone who was a KNOWN gun dealer??? Would this have happened if the client had not been tight with the cousin, and felt like he owed the guy for his whole existance?
The whole neighborhood, some 500+ people have signed a petition asking the judge not to incarcerate this guy. 20 people almost all immigrants themselves have written the court. Still this is going to be tough. Of course, if they were serious about getting these guns off the street, all they had to do was offer the &600 they were offering my client to buy the guns. After all there wasn't one there that they couldn't have bought themselves for half the price.
So my question for you dear reader is:
Is this how you want your Police Department to spend your tax dollar? Is it good police work to get someone who otherwise would never commit a crime to commit one so that you can get a couple of pea shooters off the street? Let me know what you think I ought to tell the judge in a couple of weeks when I go back to him to enter a plea.