DA starts dismissing cases fired BRPD officer was involved in
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge District Attorney confirms his office has started dismissing criminal cases fired Baton Rouge officer, Yuseff Hamadeh, was involved in.
Records indicate there are three pages of cases former BRPD Officer Yuseff Hamadeh was involved with in some way during his two years on the force.
The EBR District Attorney’s Office is combing through some of these pending cases and checking the facts.
“We’re looking to see if he’s just the lone officer or are there other officers that are involved or their body cameras footage," said District Attorney Hillar Moore. “Really, it’s just a case by case basis.”
By law, Moore says they’re required to go through this process after an officer’s credibility has been questioned.
This comes after BRPD let Hamadeh go after he wasn’t forthcoming with details surrounding an alleged shooting with Raheem Howard. “Whenever an officer has been found, in some way or another to be untruthful, that bears on his credibility,” Moore explained. “Once that finding is made, whether right or wrong, we are obligated as prosecutors to give that information to defense lawyers and defendants.”
“Every single case where he was involved needs to have another look and needs to be re-examined,” said Ron Haley, Howard’s attorney.
Haley says seeing firsthand how untruths can affect someone’s life, this double take is right on time.
“We have to question how many times this officer has taken the stand, evidence that’s been collected that’s potentially been compromised,” Haley said. "What is in the actual investigative report from BRPD shows that he lied on multiple occasions within Raheem’s case.”
According to an article published by The Advocate, at least seven felony charges have been dropped in the last week after prosecutors decided testimony from Hamadeh in these cases would not hold up in court without additional evidence. Records indicate some of the cases involve drugs and illegal weapons. Moore says figuring out the role the former officer had in each case that mentions his name is crucial.
“That does affect our ability to potentially prosecute cases that he’s been involved in, dependent on his level of involvement in the case,” Moore explained. “Was it just him? Was it three other officers? Did he play any part in it whatsoever in the case or did he just happen to be there? All of that bears on what we do with the case.”
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Hamadeh was fired earlier in October after it was found he lied about what happened when he pulled over Raheem Howard.
Howard was initially accused of shooting at Officer Hamadeh during a traffic stop. Officer Hamadeh returned fire during the incident. Information was later released by BRPD that showed the officer’s body cam was off during the incident, as was his front-facing dash cam, and that his rear dash cam was facing downward. The East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office later declined to prosecute Howard due to lack of evidence. Howard and his attorney maintained Howard did not shoot at Officer Hamadeh and did not have a gun in his possession.
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