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Imagine my surprise when a friend showed me a copy of last week’s Washington City Paper and said, “Isn’t this your guy? Weren’t you on his jury?” (“Dear Mr. Mayor…” 8/24)
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I sat on the jury that found Warren Pindell guilty of 13 counts of armed robbery, 13 counts of deprivation of civil rights while armed, and one count of deprivation of civil rights. For almost three weeks, I sat with 12 others (one of the jurors dropped out early on) and listened to Pindell’s story through the eyes of his co-workers, friends, and girlfriends, as well as drug addicts and prostitutes. The case, at first, did seem unbelievablewere we to give full credit to witnesses who sell themselves for sex, and witnesses who take drugs on a regular basis? Given that their stories matched the character of Pindell as described by fellow officers and an ex-girlfriend, yes, I took them at their word. How do you explain almost identical testimony from 13 men who claimed they were robbed by Pindell?
Dave Mann writes that the letters to Mayor Anthony A. Williams “come from the helpless, the exhausted, and the beaten-down.” Is he referring to Pindell, a man who used his power as a police officer to rob those who were themselves engaged in criminal activity, knowing it was very unlikely that anyone would rat him out? Pindell is hardly beaten-down. During the trial, his own girlfriend testified that Pindell told her what he was doing. Does he mention that in his letters to Mayor Williams? Please. Let’s get busy tracking down deadbeat dads, securing income for the injured, and cleaning up District agenciesand let’s leave Pindell in his cell where he belongs.