Case for Defendant Orlando Carter

Anthony Harrison is a prosecutor with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. His supervisor recently assigned him a case for defendant Orlando Carter. Defendant Carter is charged with 1) resisting arrest; 2) assault of a police officer; 3) possession of narcotic substances; 4) trespassing and; 5) attempted burglary. Prosecutor Harrison has scheduled a meeting with the arresting Police Officer, Samantha Morales and witness Police Officer, Dwayne Connor to get details on the facts of the case. When Officer Morales enters Prosecutor Harrison’s office, they both feel an immediate attraction. They engage in the typical introduction and Officer Morales shares her recollection of the facts: Officer Morales stated that during routine anti-crime patrol she and her partner responded to a call for a male observed breaking the window to a residence. Upon arrival at the location, she and her partner saw Defendant Carter, who fit the radio run’s description of a male, dark Hispanic, 5’10 and 180 lbs wearing a NY Jets jersey leaving the reported premises. Officer Morales and her partner were in plainclothes and operating an unmarked police vehicle. When officer Morales and her partner approached Defendant Carter, they identified themselves as police officers and Defendant Carter began to run while throwing several objects from his pants and jacket pockets which were later found to be 3 vials of heroin and 6 packets of cocaine. Officer Morales’ partner, Officer Connor was able to corner Defendant Carter but Carter refused to listen to any of PO Connor’s commands to stop moving. Officer Connor grabbed Defendant Carter by the wrist but tripped and Defendant Carter began another attempt to run. Officer Morales was able to grab Defendant Carter around his torso and slam him to the ground. Defendant Carter then punched Officer Morales 3 times all about her face. Officer Connor had called for back up and upon the arrival of two other officers, Defendant Carter was placed in handcuffs and taken to the 40th Precinct for identification and arrest processing. Both officer Morales and Connor shared that they later learned that Defendant Carter was not the individual who was attempting to burglarize the home, and that he was actually on the premises to assess the damage that was done to the window on behalf of his uncle, who was the neighbor who called in the crime. Prosecutor Harrison told Officers Morales and Connor that he would need copies of their memo book notes for the incident, Officer Morales’ medical records for her injuries and any other paperwork they had related to the case. While Officer Connor left to use the photocopy machine, Prosecutor Harrison tells Officer Morales that even with the black eye and scratches from the incident, she was a very beautiful woman and invited her for brunch in Harlem that weekend. Officer Morales told Prosecutor Harrison that she also found him sexy for a nerdy lawyer and accepted the invitation. That Sunday, Prosecutor Harrison and Officer Morales enjoyed a brunch date and a walk on the Riverside Drive Pier. Afterwards, they retreated to Officer Morales’ Washington Heights apartment where they had sexual intercourse. Over the next few weeks, Prosecutor Harrison and Officer Morales date in secret, frequently meeting during work hours under the guise of “discussing the case.” A month later, in preparation for the case to appear in court, Prosecutor Harrison feels compelled to elevate Defendant Carter’s misdemeanor charge for assault on an officer to a felony level charge. When his supervisor inquires whether it is the medical records’ statement of injury that is driving this stance, he simply states that “the superficial injuries to the officer’s face are just the start and that the mental impact the officer faced from the incident is what makes this matter stand out for him.” The supervising prosecutor grows suspicious of Prosecutor Harrison’s change in position and considers reassigning the case. Please comprehensively discuss the following questions using ethical concepts, justice themes, racial and socio-economic considerations, professional responsibility, likely consequences etc. as appropriate. Question 1 20 Points What charges, if any, should be removed from Defendant Carter’s criminal complaint and why? Please include in your discussion which charges should remain and why. Also provide an explanation of the obligation/responsibilities and possible consequences for the officers, defendant and prosecutor regarding making proper charges. Question 2 20 Points Please discuss whether the force the officers explained they used was justified or should be considered excessive. Within this discussion, please also include an analysis from the defendant’s perspective about the force used and his own conduct and its impact. Question 3 20 Points Please discuss whether it was ethical for the officer and prosecutor to begin a sexual relationship and whether it could have an impact on their professional relationship and responsibilities. In this discussion, please explain their options in terms of curbing their personal desire and how their actions might affect the case and defendant’s rights. Question 4 20 Points What action should the Supervisor take, if any? Please discuss possible outcomes if action is taken or not taken. Question 5 20 Points Please discuss how community policing, if it was implemented in this neighborhood, could have impacted the outcome of this matter.

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