Day 9 of federal civil rights trial of four Fresno cops
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tearful testimony by a female police detective demonstrated the divisions this trial has created in the Fresno Police Department.
Detective Belinda Anaya is the former fiancé of Sgt. Michael Manfredi. He's is one of four Fresno police officers charged with either using excessive force and or covering up the use of excessive force in the 2005 arrest of Rolando Celdon.
Federal Prosecutors claim part of Manfedi's efforts to conceal the facts involved calling Anaya, and asking her to talk to one of the officers who witnessed the incident. She described that officer, Thomas Hardin, as a friend. She cried on the stand because she said she "hurt" her friend by trying to help Manfredi.
Marshall Hodgkins an attorney for one of the other officers told Action News Anaya's testimony was not credible. "They are attempting to show Manfredi was involved in some kind conspiracy to cover up an internal affairs investigation. He had no ability to do that. She is a scorned woman."
Manfredi is the only defendant who is still working for the Fresno Police Department. He and the others are all accused of obstruction of justice, for allegedly falsifying their reports on the arrest of Celdon, who Federal Prosecutors say was brutally abused by two of the arresting officers. The key witnesses are other officers who say they witnessed the use of excessive force.
The Federal Prosecutors are expected to rest their case on Thursday. The accused officers, Manfredi, Christopher Coleman, Paul Van Dalen and Sean Plymale are expected to take the stand in their own defense.
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