Ohio State University Law Professor Stirs Up Controversy About Police Honesty


UPDATED: Monday March 11, 2013 6:04 PM

An Ohio State University law professor is stirring up controversy about police honesty.

The professor, Michelle Alexander, wrote in the New York Times about why she believes police lie.

But one local detective calls her claims inaccurate and insulting.

Columbus Police Det. Greg Franken wants the world to know that he as a problem with Alexander and the opinion piece she wrote in the New York Times called “Why Police Lie Under Oath.”

“The first time I read it, I couldn’t get past the second paragraph,” Franken said. “Who can print this stuff?”

Alexander, who also is an author pushing her most recent book about racial issues, published her New York Times article on Feb. 2. In her article, she cited specific problems in San Francisco where she quoted former Police Commissioner Peter Keane as saying, “Police officer perjury … is common place.”

She also noted systemic problems with perjury in New York City.

“It was insulting, irresponsible,” Franken said. “I don’t know how you can paint the entire law enforcement community with a brush so wide with the three or four incidents she cited in there.”

Former police commander and current reform advocate Neill Franklin told 10 Investigates that he, too, believes officers lie because of pressure to make busts.

“So you can get promoted, so that you can get a pat on the back, so you don’t get chastised,” Franklin said. “Yeah, that’s a significant issue.”

Franklin said he could not say whether lying is a serious problem in Columbus, but Franken said that it is not.

“I’ve never lied on the stand, and I’ve (never) known anybody that has lied on the stand,” Franken said.

Alexander said told 10 Investigates via phone that she “appreciates the great work and sacrifice of many police officers,” but that justice needs to be aware that some officers are dishonest.

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