There are thousands of wonderful police officers out there. However, there are also a disturbing amount of police officers who are willing to lie under oath.
Jurors generally have a predisposed tendency to believe a police officer over another witness. They see before them someone in uniform, who risks their life for the greater good. Besides, what motive would the officer have to lie, they wonder.
A recent New York Times article tries to shed some light on what causes police officers to lie. A former San Francisco police commissioner calls officers lying under oath "a routine way of doing business in courtrooms across America."
First, the article notes, officers lie because they know they can get away with it. Worst case scenario, the case will get dismissed, they figure. They don't take into account the stress, anger, heart-ache on the person, nor do they consider the most important aspect: the MONEY that it takes to defend someone, even at the early stages. Not to mention the amount of time and money spent to process and arrest that person, and sometimes keep incarcerated.
Second, officers lie because they believe no one cares about criminal defendants, who are often under educated or of low income.
Nothing in our criminal justice system is worse than not presenting the whole truth at trial. These officers need to let the real facts speak for themselves, and let the criminal justice system work the way it was meant to.