When ex-New York City Police Detective Kevin Desormeau appeared before a judge this week, he had already been convicted of lying under oath.
On Wednesday, in state Supreme Court in Queens, N.Y., Justice Michael Aloise scolded Desormeau, a once-decorated investigator, for undermining public trust in his fellow officers.
“It helps feed the false narrative that police officers are not to be trusted and their testimony is not to be believed,” Justice Aloise said, according to the New York Times.
Aloise then doled out Desormeau’s punishment: no jail time, just three years’ probation and a fine of $500.
That’s the going rate for perjury and eroding the justice system these days. Go figure.
In fact, as the Times reports, Aloise’s harshest rebuke was reserved for the prosecution, alleging that the Queens District Attorney’s Office had relied on a witness who, himself, was lying under oath, in order to secure a conviction against the former cop.
“This entire case disgusts the court,” Aloise told Desormeau during sentencing. “I will not become complicit in the district attorney’s hypocrisy by incarcerating you.”
Let’s backtrack a bit. The perjury conviction against Desormeau was handed down by a jury earlier this year; the jurors had found Desormeau guilty of lying about witnessing a man sell drugs to two women on a street corner in the Queens neighborhood of Jamaica in 2014.
From the Times:
According to Mr. Desormeau, after observing those two transactions, he and his partner got out of their unmarked car and stopped the man, Roosevelt McCoy, in front of a nearby Jamaican restaurant. Mr. Desormeau testified that he quickly recovered crack cocaine from behind Mr. McCoy’s waistband.
But surveillance videotape from the Jamaican restaurant showed Mr. McCoy shooting pool inside the restaurant when the detective said he was outside dealing drugs. The two detectives can be seen approaching Mr. McCoy inside the restaurant, bringing him outside and then searching him. On the video, they do not appear to find any contraband.
Yet Aloise couldn’t help calling McCoy a bum for what he believes was false testimony.
More from the Times:
Mr. Desormeau had said he found a rock of crack cocaine on Mr. McCoy, and testing indicated that the twist bag in which the crack was found contained DNA that matched Mr. McCoy’s sample.
Yet Mr. McCoy testified during Mr. Desormeau’s trial that the police had never recovered drugs from him, not during a search on the sidewalk, nor during a strip search at the precinct. That claim, according to Justice Aloise, cast a shadow over the entire prosecution. Calling Mr. McCoy “a bum,” the judge accused the District Attorney’s Office of relying on a lying witness in order to convict the detective of another lie.
“This was the most transparently disingenuous testimony this court has ever witnessed,” the judge said.
Oh, Justice Aloise—wanna bet?