The Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association criticized Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
In announcing the indictment of a University of Cincinnati Police Officer on murder charges, Deters said, “It’s an absolute tragedy that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless. It’s just horrible. He purposefully killed him.” Later Deters referred to the traffic stop that led to the shooting as “chicken crap stuff.”
John Burke, Commander of the Warren County Drug Task Force, commented on Deters’ characterization of the stop:
The comment about frivolous traffic stops was likely the most revealing of the fact that Deters was never a cop. He apparently has no concept of how many of these so-called “chicken-crap” stops result in seizures of contraband and felony arrests.
The Criminal Defense Lawyers expressed concern that Deters’ stamens could unduly influence a jury and was inappropriate:
Any matter in which a person is accused of a crime should be handled in a court of law, not a court of public opinion. By expressing his opinion in a forum where it is highly unlikely anyone would challenge him, he has presented his assertions as facts to the public, influencing any and all potential jurors prior to a trial date even being scheduled.
At Engel & Martin, LLC, we share these views. We often represent police officers facing criminal charges. In this environment, where every interaction between a police officer and the public is seemingly under heightened scrutiny, we believe that everyone would benefit from turning the rhetoric down from 11.