Skip to comments.Feds: Officer a Gang Leader
Posted on 08/13/2003 8:21:46 PM PDT by toothless
Federal agents arrested an Atlanta Zone 1 police officer Wednesday morning as he walked to his car shortly after roll call.
The arrest came after a federal indictment that alleged Officer David Freeman, known as Day Day on the streets and recently named the officer of the year, helped lead the violent Diablos gang in Northwest Atlanta.
Freeman pleaded not guilty to the charges during a hearing in federal court Wednesday.
"This case is charged as a criminal racketeering enterprise and the acts in which this gang is charged are violent and in many cases frightening," U.S. Attorney Bill Duffey said during an afternoon news conference.
The gang, with Freeman working as a key player, committed murder to prevent testimony and murder in retaliation for cooperating with law enforcement, Duffey said. The investigation, which continues, started two years ago and some of the allegations date back to 1997.
"The indictment charges against this police officer are disturbing and cut at the very heart of the law enforcement community," he added.
Freeman is accused of ordering the murder of a man who complained to police about the gang last June.
According to the indictment, Freeman also told gang members of impending search warrants and suggested the robbery of people suspected of being drug dealer. Freeman, who has spent 12 years on the force, also used threats, violence, and intimidation to obtain money and drugs for the gang.
"Freeman is also charged with supplying gang members with drugs that he seized from people he arrested while performing his police duties," Duffey said.
Freeman allegedly received money as the head of the group.
Fifteen other people were indicted in the case in March.
Freeman's attorney, Ricardo Mosby, told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie that his client is a decorated officer who is guilty by association only. He also claimed that Diablos was a musical group and not a gang and that Freeman only provided security for them on certain occasions.
It will all be proven that these charges are unfounded and Officer Freeman is a stellar officer and the city is probably going to have to give him an apology for taking him through this, Mosby said.
Freeman was named officer of the year just last month. The federal investigation, at the time, was only known to a few people.
Police Chief Richard Pennington said decorated officers are typically the most aggressive and that it is "not unusual" to find out they've been involved in criminal enterprise. Pennington said one of his best officers in New Orleans now sits on death row for murder.
"I just want to send a strong message to any police officer that works for me that if we determine that you're involved in criminal conduct, we're gonna do everything we can to arrest you and put you in jail," said Pennington.
He has been suspended with pay pending a meeting with Pennington.
This is the second known arrest for Freeman. In 1997, fellow officers charged Freeman with aggravated assault after a council member's campaign manager alleged that Freeman choked, beat, and pulled his gun on him.
A grand jury failed to indict Freeman, citing a lack of evidence against him.
The Atlanta police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted the current investigation.
Sounds like a dangerous criminal alright.
The kinda guy who would knock an old woman down and accessorize her..
|Nolan Strong - Lead Tenor
Juan Guitierriez- Tenor
Willie Hunter - Baritone
Quentin Eubanks- Bass
Bob "Chico" Edwards - Guitar
No David "Day Day" Freeman listed.
Something to remember when serving jury duty.
Stay Safe !
LOL! They are only "a musical group," yet he's "guilty by [his] association" with them. Pathetic.
When the chief has an attitude like that, it's not hard to see how the worst officers can become the most highly decorated.
This is true? I saw this story years ago on Homicide. On tv they had the cop kill an Asian family in their restaurant after closing, along w/an off duty cop who was eating with them. They found her father's remains in the crawl space. I forget why they decided to look. Jeez.
The Diablos String Ensemble in the parlor of the landlady
Ya think, huh? Interesting assumption. I'll go dig up the stats on accountants and lawyers (no...........forget lawyers), construction foremen, and computer programmers and see how many wind up falling to the dark side with such regularity. How's that?
Pennington's a far cry better than the prior chief, Beverly Harvard. Harvard (who's now assistant chief of Hartsfield Airport's security force) was the hand-held puppet of former Mayor Bill Campbell, and was at his beck and call - even when a stolen car was noted in Campbell's driveway, Harvard, under direct orders from his majesty, did nothing.
At least Pennington's got the balls to half-way think for himself.