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Cop who made traffic stop in Kraft case had vowed to “come up with something” to justify earlier stop

Mike Florio explains how some of the latest developments in the Robert Kraft case could impact police practices going forward.

Apart from the question of whether a Florida judge will exclude from evidence in the solicitation case against Patriots owner Robert Kraft the “sneak and peek” surveillance video is the question of whether the traffic stops used to identify alleged defendants during the operation pass legal muster. They apparently don’t.

The goofy (yes, I’m editorializing) effort by prosecutors to seek a finding that Kraft’s lawyers be held in contempt of court for their questioning of the officer who made the traffic stop has led to the disclosure of comments made by that officer when stopping another suspect on the same day Kraft was stopped.

When the officer asked on his radio, “Anybody got anything better than pulling out of that plaza?” to justify making the stop of the other suspect, whose stop came just before Kraft’s, another officer said that the other suspect had driven “like an angel” after leaving the plaza. At that point, the officer who made the stop of the other suspect said, “Alright I’ll come up with something when I tell him.”

In other words, the officer who pulled over the car in which Kraft was riding after leaving the spa had expressed an intention to fabricate a reason for stopping another suspect ensnared in the same solicitation trap on the very same day.

The prosecutors complain in the contempt motion that Kraft’s lawyers had questioned the officer during a recent hearing as to whether he had vowed to “make some sh-t up,” a distinction without a difference regarding the admission the officer made (apart from the profanity). Kraft’s lawyers explain in their 15-page opposition to the contempt motion that they weren’t aware of the exact quote because the prosecution had failed to surrender the body cam footage, despite being properly asked to do so. Kraft’s lawyers used the differently-worded phrase because they relied on information from the lawyer for the other suspect, who had seen and heard the body cam footage in that case.

Regardless of what happens in Kraft’s case, the fact that he has fought these charges so aggressively has exposed to public view multiple instances of alleged police misconduct in Jupiter, Florida. If Kraft’s case had simply been resolved quickly and quietly, proof of these apparent abuses of power, both as to the phony traffic stops and as to a videotaping scheme that allegedly invaded the privacy rights of more than 30 innocent persons who got massages and nothing more, may have never come to light.