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LAPD officers stand trial for perjury

October 8, 2009 12:31:02 AM PDT
Two current LAPD officers and a former officer accused of lying on the stand entered pleas in court Thursday. The three had described to jurors details of a drug arrest that looked much different on a videotape that later emerged.

They all pleaded not guilty, posted bail, and were released. They're facing several years in prison for allegedly lying under oath.

There is a video that turned the whole case upside down.

Three LAPD officers testified that they chased 29-year-old Guillermo Alarcon into his apartment building in 2007 and witnessed him throw away a dark object, which was cocaine.

Alarcon says he was framed and during his trial last year his attorneys presented the video that the judge determined contradicted the officers' sworn testimonies.

Thursday, the three officers, Manuel Ortiz, Evan Samuel and Richard Amio, were each charged with conspiracy and perjury. The attorney representing Samuel says the surveillance video has been doctored and proves nothing.

"They pled not guilty 'cause they are not guilty," said defense attorney Ira Salzman. "Again, Los Angeles could be subjected to a case and a trial where you have a video that according to the prosecution purports to tell the whole story and it doesn't. The video has been edited. It has been altered. When the video is played you will see areas where things have been edited out."

Samuel Evan is no longer a police officer. He's facing up to seven years in prison if convicted. Amio could get five years, Ortiz, four. Amio and Ortiz have been assigned to home duty with pay. Meantime, all three are due back in court in late November.

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