Attorney says evidence shows culture of misconduct at Tampa PD

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The Tampa Police Department is still nursing a black eye, with 10 of its officers in trouble for breaking department policies and procedures.

Three officers including, Mark Landry and John Laratta, face possible termination for what an internal affairs report called "egregious behavior."

Landry and Laratta apparently falsified reports, got rid of drug evidence, and failed to turn on their body cameras during traffic stops; all against department policy.

Defense attorney Michelle Lambo was not surprised. She believes there is a culture of misconduct at TPD, pointing to the case of her client, Daniel Edmond Hampton.

He was arrested and charged with high-speed fleeing to elude and resisting arrest, but Lambo said the charges are bogus.

She said the police report stated lights and sirens were used during the pursuit of Hampton's vehicle. 

"The aerials show there are no cars activating their lights, there are no cars behind him, there are no cars chasing him," Lambo said.  

The video of the aerial patrol unit's pursuit was provided to FOX 13 News. TPD's aviation unit confirmed what the video shows: There is no visible evidence of a police car following the vehicle.

"They are misstating facts. They are arresting people for crimes that are actually not being committed," claimed Lambo. 

According to Lambo, another officer, who claims to be a part of the chase, was actually at another scene blocks away.

"The records indicate, that officer was at a [traffic] stop, acting as back up," explained Lambo. 

Lambo said she is concerned there may be a culture of fudging facts and altering police reports at the department.

"I don't want to feel unsafe in my city because of the possibility that there could be an officer that plants evidence or lies about something in a police report, and the minute you start doing that because you feel someone is not deserving of those rights, you are going to wake up and no one is going to have any rights,“ said Lambo.

She filed a complaint with TPD's Internal Affairs Department and hopes it leads to re-training at the department.

Hampton entered a best interest plea to avoid a jury trial. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and resisting arrest without violence.

He sat in jail for more than three months until his case was resolved. Hampton was sentenced to time served.