A false report is a crime governed by federal and state laws, which vary by state, involving a person who, with intent to deceive, knowingly makes a false statement that is material to the criminal investigation of a crime and makes the statement to peace officer or law enforcement official. Any person who makes a [false report] [false statement] to a law enforcement officer is guilty of a crime.
What are the elements for proving the crime of filing a False Police Report?
In order to be found guilty of the crime of filing a false police report, a state prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: the false report or statement was made by the defendant, the false report was offered in response to legitimate inquiries by a police officer, the statement addressed a material fact about an offense, incident, or crime within the police officer’s concerns, the defendant made the statement knowing that it was false, the defendant made the false report with an intent to deceive, obstruct, or hinder the officer from preventing the crime or apprehending a person in connection with the crime.
Of these elements, the most important ones involve the terms “intent” and “knowing”. That is, the defendant must have knowledge that the report or statements are false. Also, they must have made the false report with the intention that it leads to an obstruction of police activity. Thus, a person will not be found guilty if they offer a false statement, which they reasonably believed, was true.
What happens when the person that has made the false report is a law enforcement officer? Should that law enforcement officer be held to the same standards as any civilian? We would think yes but not in Westchester, they are allowed to retire and walk away free after committing a crime
In my 25 years in Law Enforcement, I was always taught that every report you write, the report is a “legal document”. The officer can always be called to re-account his/her statement. As the old timers say, “you never want to end up in Foley Square”. Meaning, you never want to be in Federal Court. Now days, we don’t have to go to Foley Square in Manhattan. Federal Court is right here in White Plains and it has been an revolving door of cases of questionable law enforcement integrity, accountability and blatant disregard of civil and human rights.
The Henry family and their attorney, Michael Sussman says that Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno and Lt. Brian Fanelli deliberately covered up crucial details of the fatal shooting of their son to protect the police involved. According to the Henry family, Fanelli wrote in his report that “Officer Beckley stated that he believed he was going to be killed by the vehicle and that he drew his weapon and fired at the car.”
In his federal Court deposition, Officer Beckley said he told Fanelli that he was actually aiming at Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess because he saw him as the aggressor. He fired one shot at Hess as he clung to the hood of Henry’s vehicle.
According to the Henry family, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno knew that the report was false when he briefed the media in the morning saying Beckley fired at the vehicle. In federal deposition, Mount Pleasant Police Chief, Louis Alagno admitted he knew it was false. “He could provide no meaningful explanation for his deception,” Sussman said, when speaking about Alagno’s deposition.
How can a Police Chief not explain why he made false statements? Or maybe the more important question is why a Police Chief would knowingly make false statements? The deposition of Officer Beckley takes away any credibility to the report of Lt. Fanelli, Police Chief Alagno and the shooter of DJ Henry, Officer Aaron Hess.
Westchester County District Attorney Janet Difiore and her office has continued to make statement after statement that her office does a clear and thourough investigation. The information brought forth by the Henry family from the Federal Depositions are perfect examples of Janet Difiore’s failure in seeking the truth from those that are trusted to investigate the truth.
The Federal Deposition also makes us question what role did the Westchester County District Attorneys office play in facilitating these false reports and what role does the Westchester County Chiefs Association in upholding ethical standards among the forty three municipalities in Westchester County?
The Westchester County DA’s office has turned a blind eye to alleged criminal acts by Police Management and police officers throwing the Civil and Human rights of taxpayers out the window. According to what has been revealed from Federal Depositions, Lt. Brian Fanelli deliberately falsified his report on the statement of officer Beckley.
In plain English, he knowingly and willfully lied on an official document. In essence, Lt. Brian Fanelli filed a false report with the intent to deceive and obstruct true justice for the shooting of the young collage student, DJ Henry and his teammates.
What is most disturbing, if the DA’s office questioned Officer Beckley they would of known that Henry, the car that he was driving was not the threat. Either the District Attorney and her investigators are incompetent or her office deliberately withheld evidence to clear Officer Hess and put the blame on Henry and his teammates.
According to the definition above the Police Chief Alagno and Lt. Fanelli committed no less than criminals act themselves. Law Enforcement Professionals take an “Oath of A public affirmation of adhering to an Oath of Honor is a powerful vehicle demonstrating ethical standards. We must ask why didn’t District Attorney Janet Difiore pursue charges against Alagno and Fanelli?
Two of the most neglected areas of police work are code of ethics and oath of office. These two documents are the most important issues of truth and integrity a police department has with the community it serves. Law Enforcement Professionals are an asset to the community.
Not holding the rogue officers, who cross the line accountable for what would be crimes if they were ordinary citizens, tarnishes the good work and dedication of the many law enforcement professionals that have done good deeds for the community at large. Politicians and lawmakers in Westchester should be called to the carpet for an ineffective and failed system of law enforcement and for the lack of accountability that is running rampant.
A life is lost, police lied on official documents and usual Westchester Justice; nobody goes to jail. Lt. Fanelli, Police Chief Alagno has shown us that police “can not” police themselves. It is time to illuminate bias and political influence on investigations when local police municipalities are both “investigating” and “prosecuting” each other.