Key witness testifies at Minneapolis police corruption trialby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
A convicted gang member took the stand in the corruption trial against a Minneapolis police officer. Taylor Trump became an FBI informant after he was found guilty of federal drug charges. Trump says Minneapolis Officer Mike Roberts took bribes in exchange for details about investigations.
St. Paul, Minn. — Taylor Trump, a convicted felon and gang member, took the stand in an orange prison jumpsuit in a downtown St. Paul courtroom, and the subject of his credibility was front and center for much of the day.
Trump testified that Minneapolis police officer Mike Roberts accepted payment in return for information about ongoing investigations. Jurors watched video in court of Roberts accepting $200 for handing over non-public information to Trump on a gang rival.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle told jurors at one point that Trump was a cooperating witness for the prosecution who could get time taken off his federal drug conviction sentence for his testimony in court and that it was their responsibility to determine Trump's credibility.
This is not the first time Trump has been a witness for the government. He was convicted on drug charges in 1990 and faced a potential life sentence. But the sentence was knocked down to five years after he cooperated with federal investigators.
Under cross-examination, defense attorneys representing officer Roberts emphasized Trump's background saying his testimony was questionable. Robert's lawyers say the officer was entrapped as part of a larger investigation into corruption in the Minneapolis police force.
Officer Roberts was the only person indicted as part of that probe.
- All Things Considered, 05/12/2009, 5:44 p.m.