Brooklyn DA looking to toss 378 convictions tied to corrupt cops

The Brooklyn District Attorney is looking to throw out nearly 400 convictions based on testimony from 13 cops who were later convicted of on-duty crimes.

"I wound up spending 30 months of my life in an upstate facility, and I'll never get those 30 months back," said Gregory Barnes.

Barnes was convicted in 2006 of selling heroin, a crime he says he did not commit and spent 2 and a half years in prison.

Barnes says he pleaded guilty because he had a prior record for robbery and was afraid he would get a longer prison sentence because of his past if his case went to trial.  Now, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez wants Barnes's conviction dismissed because the NYPD detective who testified against him was later convicted of being a crooked cop.

"When I received the information, I was beyond happy.  It was very good news," Barnes said.

Gregory Barnes

The officer in his case Detective Jason Arbeeny was convicted of planting evidence on other, on people accusing them of drug sales which are felony convictions," said Elizabeth Felber, Supervising Attorney with the Legal Aid Society's Wrongful Conviction Unit.

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Gregory Barnes is among 378 convictions Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez wants to be dismissed because 13 former NYPD officers were key witnesses in their cases and those officers were later convicted of various crimes while on duty. 

According to Gonzalez, the integrity of every arrest the officers ever made is now questionable and erodes public trust. 

"What it says is this new regime in Eric Gonzalez’s office is taking police corruption very seriously," Felber said.

"They’re not above the law. They think they're not going to get caught but slowly but surely they're coming to find out that they are and they're not above the law," Barnes said.