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The key to any testimony in court is credibility: is the person telling the truth, and is there any reason why they would lie? Often times, members of law enforcement are given the benefit of the doubt when they testify in criminal cases, despite direction from judges that officer testimony should be given the same weight and skepticism as any other witness.

That credibility may have taken a serious hit, at least when it comes to sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County testifying in court. The Los Angeles Times reports that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department had an internal list of around 300 deputies with histories of dishonesty and misconduct such that, if revealed in court, would damage their credibility as witnesses.

Crooked cops still haven't figured out how their body cameras work. Apparently, no one told them the cameras record the 30 seconds before you turn it on as well. This is good news for defendants accusing cops of planting evidence. And, as we've seen in at least three recent cases, that is bad news for corrupt police officers.

The latest incident comes after an LAPD officer filmed himself placing a baggie of cocaine into a suspect's wallet, then announcing his find to others on the scene. Not a good look on the old body camera.

Is It Illegal to Honk at a Cop?

"Yeah, seriously -- is your horn stuck?"
"Is your brake stuck?"
"Is your f***in' horn stuck, smarta**?"

Probably not the ideal start for an exchange with a police officer, and it didn't get any better from there for Scott Smith, a St. Louis computer programmer with the temerity to honk at an officer who sat too long at a green light.

"I tell you what, you're gonna either show me your driver's license or you're gonna wind up getting a ticket. I'll tow your car and lock you up," the officer threatened, but in the end Smith was merely ticketed, possibly for excessive noise from a vehicle. Smith says he plans to challenge the ticket, so we'll find out whether it's illegal to honk at a cop.

When Jay Rosoff alerted sheriff's deputies that his 85-year-old father Moe was not moving around in his West Boynton, Florida home following Hurricane Irma, he was expecting help from officers and hoping for the best. And while three officers did help Moe get to the hospital after finding him collapsed on the floor in his bathroom, another did something far worse.

The same surveillance cameras installed in Moe's house that told Jay his father might be in trouble also showed Palm Beach County sheriff's Deputy Jason Cooke entering the home after it was empty, rummaging through cabinets and drawers, and allegedly stealing medication, cash, and jewelry. Moe Rosoff passed away at a hospital hours later, and Cooke has been charged with grand theft of a controlled substance and armed burglary during a state of emergency.

As states have been relaxing their marijuana prohibitions and the feds have refused to budge on theirs, questions abound about whether and when federal law enforcement officials can investigate, charge, and prosecute marijuana users complying with state laws. A 2014 law, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, appeared to clarify that issue, prohibiting the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prevent States from implementing their own medical marijuana laws, including prosecuting legal medical marijuana users.

Last week, the DOJ admitted it was violating that protocol when it charged five Washington residents with federal drug distribution crimes for growing and consuming medical marijuana under state law. And while this may be good news for medical marijuana patients, it may not last that long. Here's why.

Maybe Worth County, Georgia Sheriff Jeff Hobby watched Lean on Me one too many times. In that movie, high school principal Morgan Freeman violates fire codes and countless other laws in order to keep his students safe from drug dealers. Perhaps that's what Hobby thought he was doing when he and 40 other officers locked down Worth County High School for four hours, ordering around 800 students up against walls, patting them down, and even demanding cell phones as part of a massive, warrantless drug search last April.

While the surprise sweep yielded no drugs whatsoever and led to zero arrests, the sheriff himself and two of his deputies were indicted on charges ranging from violation of oath of office to misdemeanor sexual battery.

Rape kits may be invasive for victims and expensive for law enforcement, but are absolutely essential to solving sexual assault cases. DNA is one of the few pieces of forensic evidence that still stand up to scientific scrutiny, and having centralized DNA databases can stop serial sex offenders before they strike again.

Take the case of DeJenay Beckwith, who was raped in 2011 and whose rapist wasn't discovered until Harris County Texas prosecutors finally got her rape kit analyzed five years later in 2016. It turns out the man's DNA had been on file with the FBI since 1991, and he also pleaded guilty to another 2002 sexual assault, this one involving a minor. Beckwith is now suing the county, claiming the county's "persistent and intentional failure to test thousands" of rape kits was also a failure "to prevent the sexual assault of hundreds of women and juveniles, by identifiable assailants, including serial rapists."

Ever since the 'Welfare Queen' craze in the early '80s, the specter of fraud has hung over any public assistance program, from Medicaid to food stamps. And, to be sure, that fraud exists, from a recently dubbed "Food Stamp Millionaire" to single cases of misreporting income and insurance payouts to sweeping dragnets uncovering over 70 food stamp fraudsters. In fact, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, assistance program fraud cost federal and state governments around $136.7 billion in 2015 alone.

So it's only natural that states and the feds want to crack down on welfare fraud. But those crackdown efforts and the criminal investigations that result can vary. Here's a look.

With every new advance in technology comes greater privacy concerns, especially when it comes to police searches. Email is just what it says, right, electronic mail? But while police may need a warrant to read handwritten letters, they may not need one to get access to your email. And as we live more and more of our lives on our smartphones, and those smartphones get more and more technologically advanced, we're left to wonder whether that means law enforcement can have more access to them.

Apple's iPhones, with their Touch ID feature allowing users to unlock their phones with their fingerprint, have been central to search and seizure questions, among consumers, privacy experts, and the courts. And with two new iPhones coming out with some new security features, those questions will continue to mount.

Former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted today on first-degree murder charges stemming from the fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley shot Smith five times in his car following a three-minute chase during which Stockley allegedly said "We're killing this motherf*," ordered his partner to crash their patrol car into Smith's vehicle, and planted a gun in Smith's car after the fact.

Beyond the questions about yet another unpunished police shooting, there come questions about what police can legally do during a high speed pursuit: Are there any legal limits to police force once a chase has started?