Prosecutors seek to detain ex-chief, labeling him a danger
By FRANK ELTMAN and LARRY NEUMEISTER
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Prosecutors say the former Suffolk County police chief should be denied bail Friday because he's a danger to the community for a long-running pattern of behavior that includes beating a prisoner who snatched sex toys and pornographic videos from his SUV and covering up the crime.
Defense attorney Nancy Bartling said in an email there will be no evidence alleging Burke is a danger to the community or a threat "to further obstruct any investigation."
"No facts exist that warrants his incarceration before trial. He has the same presumption of innocence that every criminal defendant has who appears before the court," she said.
Prosecutors claimed in a letter obtained by The Associated Press before it was deleted from the public record that Burke repeatedly abused his power and authority prior to Wednesday's arrest.
They say he used a GPS device in 2013 to snoop on a high-ranking civilian police department official he disliked and covered up his drunken driving accident in 2011.
They contend his conduct worsened after he learned federal authorities were investigating him for punching, kicking and threatening the life of a handcuffed inmate arrested for breaking into his vehicle in December 2012 and for snatching his personal items from the crime scene at the inmate's mother's home.
The letter to U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler said Burke began a cover-up when a special prosecutor was appointed in March 2013, telling witnesses to agree "he merely 'popped' his head in to look" at the suspect.
down with him if he was arrested.
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