Police Bend, Suspend Rules Pr. George's Officers Deny Suspects Lawyers, Observers Say

By April Witt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Third of four articles

By the time Dennis Green realized he was in a whole lot of trouble and asked for a lawyer, he said, the detectives interrogating him simply refused.

Instead, the 17-year-old said, Prince George's County homicide detectives gave him legal advice themselves: Admit to a triple shooting that left one man dead and you'll have a good claim of self-defense.

After day became sleepless night in the interrogation room, Green confessed to pulling the trigger -- even though he did not have a gun and prosecutors later acknowledged that he was a victim in the melee.

"I had been cracked by then," Green said.

Green's claim that his request for a lawyer was denied reflects a broad pattern of allegations against Prince George's homicide detectives. Detectives repeatedly have refused to allow people they are interrogating to speak to an attorney, according to interviews and court testimony.

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