Wrongly accused former inmate sues retired officers
The retired officer was charged with bribing witnesses to give false testimony that led to an unlawful conviction.
Darren Rogers, father of three, spent fourteen months behind bars for murder before charges were dropped. Now he is filing a malicious prosecution lawsuit in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, stating that retired detective John Komorowski pressured two witnesses to identify Rogers as a suspect in a fatal shooting at Jamal Washington, north Philadelphia in July 2017 . Rogers kept his innocence and he was released in June 2019.
The officer named in the lawsuit, Detective John Komorowski, has already been on the department’s radar for alleged misconduct. He was put to a desk for allegedly using a racial fraud on camera in 2018 and retired in 2019 after being charged with DUI and threatening a responding officer. Now he has been accused by Rogers of conducting a corrupt investigation.
“What is most alarming about this case is that two witnesses told the same essential story about detectives’ wrongdoing in photo-array trials,” said Jonathan Feinberg, Attorney General, who represents Rogers in the civil case. “They instructed witnesses which photo to identify.”
Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash
The first witness helped Washington with his wheelchair the night he died and initially told police that the shooter “bore no resemblance to Rogers” in his testimony. He later said he could not remember anything about the shooter “except the fact that Mr. Rogers is a black man,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that detectives insisted that Rogers was the shooter, which prompted the witness to sign a photo identifying Rogers. At Rogers’ preliminary hearing, that witness testified that Rogers was not the Sagittarius and had lighter skin tone and a different beard than the Sagittarius. “
Another witness may have had a motive to work with authorities after he was arrested in 2018 on a family court arrest warrant for driving license. He only identified Rogers as the perpetrator when asked by Komorowski.
“This witness testified at Rogers’ preliminary hearing that Rogers was the shooter, but later found that he had previously met Rogers and his family and likely identified him as the perpetrator because he looked familiar and was under pressure from Komorowski.” According to the lawsuit.
Komorowski was involved in a sex act with a prostitute while on duty. He was filmed during the incident and named the Hispanic viewer who recorded him as a racial fraud. He was then arrested after allegedly beating his vehicle into two parked cars while drunk. He said to the answering officer with these trousers and the belt still open: “I will surprise you and end your career. I will find you. Get a gun, you piece … “, it says in the report.
Komorowski was investigated by Internal Affairs for a December 2018 for the video that appeared on social media. It allegedly showed him getting out of his car and trying to put on his shirt. The man who recorded the video accused Komorowski of requesting a prostitute, and the officer responded with abusive language. Sgt. Eric Gripp, a police spokesman, confirmed that Komorowski was retiring some time after his arrest. “He’s no longer in action,” said Gripp.
The retired Philly detective was charged in the lawsuit of arresting an innocent man for murder
The Philadelphia detective, who was being investigated on a racist incident, was arrested for DUI and threatened an officer