I want to elaborate a bit on the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police’s shameful defense of Officer Jeffrey Cudjik, a cop now under internal and federal investigations for habitual lying on affidavits; harassing, terrorizing and possibly stealing from immigrant shop owners; and routinely violating procedures on dealing with informants (see post below). Cujdik’s exploits have been exposed by the Philadelphia Daily News. Check out this February article on the FOP’s rally in support of Cujdik:
The Fraternal Order of Police and Officer Jeffrey Cujdik’s lawyer joined forces yesterday to attack Daily News stories that raised questions about Cujdik’s relationship with a paid police informant.
“It’s a shame we have to stand here today to defend a highly decorated police officer in the Narcotics Field Unit, an officer who confiscates a ton of drugs, a ton of guns and is out there doing what a lot of other citizens in the city of Philadelphia do not want to do,” FOP President John J. McNesby said.
Flanked by more than a dozen officers at a news conference inside FOP headquarters, on Spring Garden Street near Broad, McNesby said that the FOP would defend Cujdik “to the wall.”
At times the attack seemed personal: “You have to remember, you’re dealing with a confidential informant here. A confidential informant in the city of Philadelphia is one step above a Daily News reporter,” McNesby said, prompting cops to applaud and laugh.
McNesby is referring to allegations against Cujdik made by one of his former informants. But those allegations have since been bolstered by statements from victims of Cujdik’s raids, and by a review (see post below) of search warrants conducted by Cujdik’s unit.
The sad irony here is that when an informant makes an allegation against a citizen, his word is considered good enough to send a squad of police officers to kick down that citizen’s door. In some states, the word of a confidential informant, without any corroboration, is enough for an indictment and arrest on drug charges, putting even innocent people in the position of having to decide whether to fight the charges and risk a prison term or plea to something they didn’t do, and accept probation and a criminal record. This is what happened in places like Tula and Hearne, and what I’m sure happens all over the country with these narcotics unit, whose funding tends to rest on how many arrests and seizures they make.
But witness how quickly cops will trash an informant whose word was gold in search warrant affidavits for years the moment he comes forth with allegations of police corruption.