Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not an abberation

From the Times-Picayune:

Key Witness Refuses to Testify at Trial

In court Tuesday, the state's key witness, James "Pig" Alridge, 24, appeared outside of the jury's view to announce he wouldn't testify for fear of incriminating himself in additional crimes unrelated to the car wash shooting.

Alridge, handcuffed and wearing a white sweatshirt and pants indicating he is in federal custody, invoked his constitutional right not to offer testimony that may someday be used against him. Alridge originally struck a deal with prosecutors to testify against Johnson in exchange for a shorter prison sentence for federal drug and gun charges.

Instead of hearing from Alridge in person, the jury was treated to an hourlong reading of his prior testimony, given at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in June 2004. Jurors were only told that Alridge was "unavailable."

... Alridge, like Johnson, has a prior murder charge that prosecutors dropped due to reluctant witnesses.
Please see this post from just before Thanksgiving regarding the state of the NOPD and the effect of Warren Riley's "Zero Tolerance" policy on the relationship between police and community residents.

City Council will be voting on a 2008 budget on Friday. Will the budget reflect a move toward community policing practices? Or will it look more like one of Double You Bush's supplementals?

If City Council can go against the mayor's proposed spending on tanks and machine guns, maybe Mayor Nagin will be too busy busting his butt to cast a veto and send it back.

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