Need more proof that video is part of the solution to police misconduct?
When undercover detectives busted Jose and Maximo Colon last year for selling cocaine at a seedy club in Queens, there was a glaring problem: The brothers hadn’t done anything wrong.
Lucky for them, the security camera in the club where they supposedly sold cocaine to the detectives that night showed them sitting at the bar the entire time. Never during the 90 minutes the detectives were in the club did the brothers even talk to the detectives.
After being arrested, Jose Colon went directly to the bar and asked the owner for copies of the security tapes.
Jose quickly got the tape to defense attorney Rochelle Berliner, a former narcotics prosecutor. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“I almost threw up,” she said. “Because I must’ve prosecuted 1,500, 2,000 drug cases … and all felonies. And I think back, Oh my God, I believed everything everyone told me. Maybe a handful of times did something not sound right to me. I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic but I was like, sick.”
If not for video, two innocent men would have likely been sent to prison. Instead, they are free. The crooked cops who framed them will hopefully be sent to prison, and the brothers are set up to receive a huge payout in a civil suit against the NYPD.