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Gypsy Cops ~ Brady Cops: Is It Really a Good Policy to Keep Them On Duty?

C. E. Clark believes it is her duty and responsibility as a researcher and writer to bring important information to her readers.

We have heard a lot about inappropriate police responses and behaviors in the news over the past few months. Could it be that some of the cops involved were Gypsy cops? If they were not Gypsy cops, might they now be considered Gypsy cops by their departments because of their unprofessional actions and words?


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What exactly is a “Gypsy Cop?”

Gypsy cops are police officers who are problematic. They have been dishonest in some way, or they have not acted professionally in every instance. They have misbehaved, failed to follow policies or procedures, or they have done or said something that put themselves, their departments, and/or prosecutions of alleged criminals in question.

The reason they are referred to as “Gypsy cops,” is because they are often moved from one department in the police department to another, never staying long in any one position.

Some peace officers are terminated for misbehavior or failing to follow department policies and procedures, but some are not. Rather than being terminated, they are moved from one position to another, usually because their offense(s) are not serious enough for termination, yet they are no longer trusted and their word on the witness stand can jeopardize a case.

If the only person who can testify as a witness, or who has obtained evidence against someone for alleged illegal activity is a Gypsy cop, chances are that case will be lost because their word and their credibility is in question. Most prosecutors would not take a chance on losing a case they have worked hard to put together by utilizing the testimony of a Gypsy cop.


That Leads to a Gypsy Cop’s Next Designation — Brady Cop

The definition of a Brady cop is pretty much the same as the definition of a Gypsy cop. She or he is a police officer whose words and or actions are not trusted to be correct, fair, honest, or in some cases legal. That is, the particular police officer in question has been known to lie and/or to ignore police department procedures — sometimes many times, and sometimes to the extent of breaking the law.

Again, if this is the only law enforcement professional that can verify evidence or give testimony against a person who has allegedly broken the law or committed a crime, chances are that any case brought by the county or city prosecutor will be lost on so-called technicalities. For that reason the prosecutor’s office will often not bring formal charges until they have more credible witnesses and/or evidence collected by a different officer.

Testimony from prisoners is acceptable in our court system, but not testimony from a Gypsy cop. I do not usually like to include my own opinion, but in this case, having observed the outcomes of several prosecutions, I will say that I do not believe the testimony of either prisoners, cell mates, Gypsy cops, or anyone who may have a stake in the outcome, should be acceptable. When I say a stake in the outcome, I mean prisoners and cell mates especially, who may get favors or cash for testifying against someone. It gives them an incentive to lie and so their testimony in my opinion, is tainted.

Basically any Gypsy Cop is also called a Brady cop. Most prosecutors keep a Brady List that has the names of all Gypsy cops on it because they do not want to build a case around the testimony of a Gypsy or Brady cop. The testimony of one of these cops will not be trusted and can be the cause of a case being thrown out of court or even having a verdict overturned.

The Brady List also includes the names of people who are not cops, or necessarily connected in any way to law enforcement. They are people whose credibility is not trusted for some reason


Where Did the Name Brady Cop Come From?

Sometimes procedures or new laws will stem from court cases where someone’s verdict was overturned in part or in whole because of a particular situation that may have prevented that person from receiving a fair trial. That is where the Brady List comes from.

In Brady v. Maryland (the small v. stands for versus), the prosecutor withheld certain information s/he had from the defendant’s attorney, and from the court. While the verdict was not overturned as a result of the court’s decision made without benefit of all the exculpatory evidence being furnished by the prosecutor(s) in the Brady v. Maryland case, the punishment of the convicted was modified.

Generally officers of the judicial system (judges, district attorneys, etc.) of a city, county, state, or the United States, do not like to go to all the work and expense of a trial only to have the verdict overturned, or a new trial ordered. That is the reason they go to great lengths to make sure their evidence is genuine and their witnesses credible.

There are always a few prosecutors around the country who have ambitions of moving up, perhaps to state or federal positions such as attorney general, senator, president, etc., and sometimes they will take risks in order to get a conviction that might not be easily attainable, or attainable at all, if all evidence is provided.

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While it is supposed to be the duty of prosecutors to get to the truth of any crime as opposed to getting a conviction, most of the time the conviction is their goal at any cost. Of course they will argue that isn’t true because it makes them look greedy and dishonest, but sadly it is true, and that is why they will sometimes withhold exculpatory evidence that might give the defendant some advantage.


In the case of Brady v. Maryland, there was a murder where 2 men were involved. One of the men actually committed the murder while the other was present and witnessed the murder. Both were found guilty of murder, but because the one did not physically participate in carrying out the murder, his sentence was less. It would not have been the same if the withheld evidence had not come to light.

The evidence withheld in the Brady v. Maryland case was material in the sense that it made a difference in the punishment. It came to light because the defendant who did not physically participate in the murder challenged both the verdict and the sentence by taking his case to the Supreme Court.

No, he did not take his murder trial to the Supreme Court and basically have a retrial. What he did was to take a case to the Supreme Court stating that exculpatory evidence had been withheld by the prosecutor during his trial, and that it would have made a difference in the verdict and therefore in the punishment handed out, had the evidence been presented in