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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Former Officers Take Stand In Corruption Trial

Former Officers Take The Stand In Tulsa Police Corruption Trial by Tara Vreeland - June 6, 2011

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Two former Tulsa Police officers took the stand Monday in the corruption trial of three other TPD officers. Nick DeBruin, Bruce Bonham, and Corporal Harold Wells are accused of stealing money and planting drugs. Former officers Eric Hill and Cal Kaiser both testified Monday. Both officers were granted immunity for their testimony, meaning they can't be prosecuted for their crimes. Hill detailed his involvement with the DeBruin, Bonham and Wells. He admitted that they planted drugs 10 to 12 times over the course of a few years, like in cases where someone swallowed the evidence. Hill said they got the drugs from other suspects. He said it's to keep the guilty guilty. He said he learned about drug planting from fellow officer Cal Kaiser. The defense questioned Hill's integrity and he admitted he lied on a job application and was fired from the Tulsa Police Department. He then testified about the May 2009 FBI sting and admitted he was given $500 in cash taken during the search. Cal Kaiser said Corporal Wells taught him how to plant drugs. He said Corporal Wells would provide crack cocaine for planting from a tackle box that he kept in the trunk of his car. Kaiser admitted accepting money four times. He testified DeBruin told him once, "Thanks for helping, don't say anything." Kaiser said he was scared to take the money and knew it was wrong, but that he was new on the force and didn't know if occasionally taking money was standard procedure. He said the first time, he was given about $500. The last time Kaiser said he took money was in 2008. He was not involved in the FBI May 2009 sting at a Tulsa hotel. The defense challenged Kaiser's integrity, getting him to admit he's lied in the past. Kaiser said when the three officers on trial began to suspect they were being investigated, Corporal Wells met him and asked him not to say anything. Although Kasier admitted taking money and planting drugs, he and former officer Hill have been granted immunity from their crimes in exchange for their testimony.

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