Scores of NYPD officers are currently under investigation for possible charges of perjury. Sources tell DNAinfo that the instances of perjury "run the gamut" from falsified drug busts to even a murder case. The investigation, which is completely separate from the ongoing ticket-fixing investigation, is being conducted by Internal Affairs as well prosecutors from every borough. "There are narcotics officers who swore to something that did not happen," the source says, and "there are cases where things are done that may not be intentional…but the district attorneys are very concerned and want to make sure it is not something venal."
In an example of "classic flaking in order to make an arrest stick and get an arrest number," Bronx detective Francisco Payano was charged earlier this summer with 49 counts of perjury for his lies to a grand jury and a judge about a crack-cocaine operation that surveillance tape later showed never happened at the time Payano said it did. In an extreme case, Sergeant Bobby Habib has been charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of perjury after he lied on the stand in a murder trial last fall. Habib interviewed the accused's wife, and allegedly had a deeper relationship with her that he at first denied, then recanted during the trial. Fortunately, his perjury didn't spoil the case.
Other lapses in judgement can be attributed to the "pressure on cops to make arrests," the source said. Officers, "particularly younger ones, fail to understand that misreporting any facts can look like something that was done on purpose, and puts them in jeopardy of being arrested." So great is the concern for preventing sloppy work that union reps have attended roll calls to urge officers to play a case straight, no matter what. "We felt compelled that more needs to be done on testifying and filling out paperwork," a union rep says.
The NYPD has established an experimental mock trial program that puts inexperienced officers through the rigors of testifying, but the outlet's source notes, "There are some things even the fear of indictment can't prevent."