Clayton County, GA — An innocent couple exonerated themselves after secretly recording a Clayton County cop trying to shake them down.
Earlier this year, Mike and Michelle Pierce, who run a thrift and salvage business in Griffin, decided to buy a car from an auction; a decision that would later haunt them. It turned out that the car was stolen.
The Pierces had no clue the car they just purchased was stolen, but as soon as they found out it was, they called 9-1-1 and handed the car over. However, after they turned the car over, police gave it back and then arrested them for having it.
“They arrested us in our store in the middle of the day,” said Michael Pierce.
“We didn’t know why. They just threw the cuffs on me and put me in the back of the car,” Michelle Pierce cried as she told WSB-TV her story. “That was the worst thing.”
The gross police incompetence that led to the innocent couple be locked up was only the beginning of their legal debacle with Clayton County police, however.
After being thrown in a cage for a crime they did not commit, the couple learned that an officer, not related at all to their case, Grant Kidd, wanted to talk to them.
“We didn’t want to talk to him because he was a Clayton County officer and we’ve already been arrested for no reason,” Michael Pierce said. “We were scared to (and) scared not to, so we talked about it at the kitchen table with my kids, and my kids said we’d go meet and talk to him, but they were going to film it…to cover our butts in case we got arrested again.”
The decision to record their conversation with officer Kidd would prove to be crucial, as it would have been their word against his otherwise. As the conversation begins, Kidd claims he has someone on the inside of the DA’s office who can get their case thrown out — for a price.
“We ain’t had nothing yet that didn’t go away. If it don’t go away, if it go into the grand jury (inaudible) you get your money back,” said Kidd. “You’ll never see him. He (inaudible) actually works with the DA in the office.”
Mr. Pierce then asked, “And we won’t get in trouble for bribing?”
“No,” Kidd replied. “You ain’t never going to talk to him.”
“It’s unbelievable,” said attorney Lee Sexton who represented the Pierces in their criminal case.
After the recording, the charges were dismissed. That’s when the FBI launched their investigation into Kidd.
Of course, Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Lawson denies that Kidd had any contacts within the office. But in the conversation, it sounded like this was a frequent practice for this corrupt cop.
“Any conceivable reason he could be saying that?” WSB-TV reporter asked Clayton County Police Chief Michael Register. “No,” said the chief. “It certainly is a conversation from my standpoint that just turns your stomach.”
“Instances such as this undermine public trust and confidence in our judicial system,” said attorney Darryl Scott. “Their sense of security has been violated, and they did exactly what they were supposed to do by contacting law enforcement, and it backfired.”
To say that this instance undermines the trust is accurate and the reason for so much of the divide in America today. Law enforcement in this country, we are told, is composed of heroic men and women who put their lives on the line every single day to maintain order. However, this case, and many more like it, sends this fantastical facade crumbling to the ground.
In an interview with WSB-TV, Cheif Register summed it up perfectly by stating that this is “another reason people feel the way they do about law enforcement.”