Thursday, December 1, 2011

Brandon Johnson Acquitted Of Outrageous Gun Possession Charge Based On Cell Phone Photo

WISH-TV reports:
An Indianapolis teenager whose allegations of police brutality garnered national attention has been found not guilty on gun charges. 

Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson accused police of excessive force two years ago after he was badly injured during an arrest. A year later, police served a warrant at Johnson's home and arrested Johnson, along with his older brothers. Johnson was charged with gun possession, but a juvenile court judge acquitted him Wednesday.

Johnson's lawyer agreed, saying the prosecution was unusually aggressive considering the fact that the case involved a misdemeanor gun charge with very little evidence.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry
"It was a picture of an arm holding what they believed was a gun. And I told the judge I have never seen any kind of charge based on that - just a picture of a gun," said Monish Patel, Johnson's attorney. "That's why this was such an egregious case. We were offered the sky on this, and we weren't taking anything but a dismissal or a not guilty. And we got a not guilty."
Patel said he also suspects Johnson's prosecution was retaliation for Johnson's brutality case against the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
"I don't think they would have pursued a misdemeanor as far as they did - having six witnesses, having a gun expert come in, all over a misdemeanor. It just doesn't happen normally," said Patel.
It should be re-emphasized that the gun possession charge was based on a picture of a gun on the young man's cell phone.  There was not even a person in the photograph.  I am not sure of when I have ever heard of a more outrageous charge. The judge acquitted Johnson - obviously - but what should have been done is that Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry should have been ordered to appear in court and held in contempt for pursuing such a baseless charge against Johnson.

Brandon Johnson's family thinks that the Marion County Prosecutor's office aggressively pursued the charge as retaliation for the police brutality charge.  You think?  There is no other explanation. Not even police abuse apologist Abdul Hakim-Shabazz has offered a defense for Curry aggressively pursuing this ridiculous charge.


Nicolas Martin said...

As always, no sanctions against police or prosecutorial abuse. Police state apace.

Diana Vice said...

Diana's Tea Party is back!!

Check out the breaking news about Richard Lugar!

Jedna Vira said...

Last time I checked a judge has to agree probably cause exists to issue a search warrant. Why are the police being criticized when a judge agreed that probably cause existed for a search warrant and an arrest!

Paul K. Ogden said...

Jedna said:

"Last time I checked a judge has to agree probably cause exists to issue a search warrant. Why are the police being criticized when a judge agreed that probably cause existed for a search warrant and an arrest!"

You are confusing "probable causes." It is not the probable cause for the search that is being questioned but the probable cause for the charges. The prosecutor based the charge on a PICTURE of a gun. That is not probable cause. It's a phony charge.

The issue I raised not the police officers' behavior. Almost certainly they were engaging in retaliation in targeting Brandon Johnson and the Prosecutor, who works with the police officers, tried to save face going forward with a bogus charge to justify what the police officers did. But you don't even have to get into that. The prosecutor filed and continued to pursue a charge that was on its face ridiculous. And he should be held acountable for doing that.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Yes, this was a retaliatory phony charge. Wild applause for the verdict, whether by judge or jury, and for Brandon's attorney Patel. And h*** yes, Terry Curry should have been ordered into court and held in contempt. Thanks for saying so, Paul.

Cato said...

Now we need a ten-trillion dollar malicious prosecution suit. This kid should get a payday that will bankrupt the city and will cause taxes to rise a thousandfold.

Only when this tyranny causes pain to the average racist or statist who cheers on IMPD will we see a return to freedom.

We need a lot less IMPD cops so we'll stop having these problems.