By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Waters told the grand jury that the cops had planted the gun on him. It was his only defense—until his attorney realized that Ettienne and Cotton were two of the cops suspected of acquiring steroids at the Bay Ridge pharmacy around which the scandal revolves.
Lesher won't comment on the case, but one of his motions notes that "anabolic steroids have been repeatedly cited by medical authorities as a reason for spontaneous and irrational aggressive behavior," and contends that "'roid rage was probably partially responsible for one of the most horrific instances of New York police brutality in modern memory, Justin Volpe's sodomization of Abner Louima with a toilet plunger in 1997."
In a counter-motion filed on March 31, Assistant D.A. Kevin James weakly asserted: "If in fact one or more of the officers in this case had used anabolic steroids at one point in time, it is not material to proving the unreliability of the charges against the defendant." James also contended that even if the cops had been taking steroids, there is no way to prove they were using them when they arrested Waters.
But try telling that to a Brooklyn jury—especially when the defense, according to its motions, was headed down this path: "In this case the reported illegal use [by Ettienne and Cotton] provides cause to believe that at least these officers put their interest above those of society, that these officers feel free to commit criminal acts with impunity and that these officers are under the influence of drugs which cause irrational aggressive behavior. Moreover, the desire to cover up such illegal behavior provides a motive to fabricate testimony and evidence."