Philadelphia police officer charged with perjury for lying about arrests in testimony
A Philadelphia police officer caught lying on the witness stand and who after an investigation was allegedly revealed to have lied about another case will face criminal charges, prosecutors and police announced today.Steven Lupo, 36, a six-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, is expected to surrender himself to face perjury and related charges for the 2011 incident soon.
Lupo reportedly testified in court in September 2011 that, in an August 2011 arrest, he had called a K-9 unit after spotting a plastic baggy sticking out of the pocket of defendant Amiraria Farsi, and after getting probable cause from the dog indicating that drugs were in the trunk, found a kilogram of marijuana in the trunk.
But surveillance camera footage played by defense lawyers immediately after Lupo’s testimony reportedly showed that Lupo went to the trunk and opened it of his own volition, in violation of proper procedures.
The case against Farsi was thrown out, and a complaint was filed against Lupo.
But while the Internal Affairs department was investigating Lupo, they discovered that he also allegedly testified falsely about the arrest of Joseph Tuamba in September 2010.
On September 25, 2010, Lupo arrested Tuamba and Angel Huffman, who were charged with possession of marijuana.
Lupo allegedly testified that Tuamba and Huffman were in a vehicle with tinted windows, but because he heard the car running, he examined the car to determine if anyone was inside it and smelled a strong odor of marijuana, at which point he questioned the drivers, leading to their arrest.
Three witnesses testified, however, that the car’s windows were not tinted.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey ordered Lupo suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss.
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