And even after the truth about the video was revealed last week, KTTV apparently did not seek comment from anyone at the D.A.’s office or the LAPD, nor did they contact the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the labor union that represents rank-and-file officers, which issued a press release on the case Monday. (Full disclosure: I am a Protective League member of long standing.)
Incredibly, attorney Epstein demonstrated a level of credulity that rivals even reporter Schwada’s. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported on the case as follows: “Epstein said he warned his client that prosecutors would ask experts to examine the video and said he could not believe that Abdallah was behind the fraud, suggesting that someone else may have been responsible.”
Talk about going down with the ship! “Gosh, I can’t believe my client, a gang member with a long rap sheet, would stoop so low as to lie to me!” Even if Abdallah himself wasn’t the one who doctored the video, surely Mr. Epstein now realizes Abdallah’s car did not in fact have its license plates affixed on the night he was arrested, else why would Abdallah have produced the doctored video?
At the revelation of the bogus video, most defense attorneys would have asked for a recess and started begging for a plea bargain. But it may be that Abdallah’s criminal history is so extensive that he would have little to gain from trying to negotiate a deal. Or it may be that he wishes to try his luck with what we here in L.A. call a “downtown jury,” which on occasion have been known to turn a blind eye to even the most obvious evidence of guilt. And then it may be that the involved police officers and prosecutors, having been publicly impugned and then vindicated, are simply determined to stick it to Mr. Abdallah and have spurned any entreaties from his apparently shameless lawyer.
Whatever the result of the trial, KTTV and John Schwada have come out looking bad. I’ll be eager to see how they report on the case when the verdict comes in.