Document Type


Publication Date



Police testimony, Self-contradictory testimony, Testimony contrary to experience, Physically impossible testimony, Manifestly untrue testimony, Police conduct, Police credibility, Suppression hearings


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Evidence | Litigation


Whether a court must suppress evidence typically turns on the conduct or observations of the police officer who discovered the evidence. By falsely testifying to the facts surrounding the discovery of the evidence, a police officer may validate a blatantly unconstitutional search. New York courts have long recognized that police officers sometimes fabricate suppression testimony to meet constitutional restrictions. Indeed, the Appellate Division has rejected police testimony at suppression hearings where the officer’s testimony appears to have been “patently tailored to nullify constitutional objections.” Although, to be sure, rejections are rare and their number appears to be declining, the appellate courts’ ability to so rule has not changed. This article will explore the various circumstances under which the Appellate Division has discredited police testimony at suppression hearings.

Publication Citation

Published in: Public Defense Backup Center Report, vol. 17, no. 5 (September-October 2002)