I voted for Leon Cannizzarro in the last District Attorney’s race. I know he has a rough job in trying to reduce violent crime by getting convictions and sending people to jail. Personally, I’m tired of seeing people on trial for murder on Monday and then seeing them partying the next weekend because they were acquitted. We need that to change because some people need to be off of our streets. The DA says he needs more investigators to go out and make better cases before they go to trial. He also needs better cooperation with the community so they can come forward with information that will help solve cases faster. All of that is legitimate. With that in mind, why would he hire someone that was fired from the police department for a fight that appears to be racially motivated? When I read the story I was trying to imagine what he had to do to get fired from the police department. It’s not like the NOPD has a history of zero tolerance for bad behavior so he had to really do or say something crazy to be terminated. There was five officers involved in the fight and he is the only one that got terminated. Is Leon Cannizzarro playing good ole boy politics at the expense of potentially losing trials down the line? The reason I say that is because I am sure not many people will know who David Lapene is when he is out looking for evidence or interviewing witnesses. My worry is what’s going to happen when that defense attorney tells the jury that will certainly have some black people on it, the person responsible for the evidence was once fired from the police force for fighting and shouting racial slurs at a bunch of black transit authority workers. All it takes is one person with enough distrust of the system to hang a jury.
Is this investigator that qualified where we are willing to have the entire investigative team stigmatized as being prejudiced just to hire him? There had to be someone qualified enough to have that job without the questionable incidents in the past. What about the relationship with the police department? I guess the D.A doesn’t care because there are enough folks in his world that don’t like Chief Riley. Just because certain people are not satisfied with his job performance shouldn’t mean its ok to disrespect the department by hiring someone they just fired for conduct even before the process is over. In the article in the paper the District Attorney made the following statement, "The process has not run its course. The man has not received what I consider to be full due process," What happens if the process has run it’s course and his firing was justified? Does the Leon Cannizzarro fire him immediately because the image of his office would be compromised? We could end up with an investigator going out to the community to help solve crime while at the same time being involved in a lawsuit against the police department for his own crime. Unless David Lapene has the investigative instincts of Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote, the District Attorney should have hired someone else.