Phila. D.A. charges city cop with perjury for lying in court

By Jon Campisi | Mar 10, 2014

A city police officer faces dismissal from the force after the Philadelphia

District Attorney’s Office charged the six-year veteran with perjury and related crimes stemming from his alleged lying on the witness stand.

Officer Steven Lupo stands accused of lying under oath while giving testimony in court on Oct. 18, 2011.

District Attorney Seth Williams alleges that Lupo testified falsely during a hearing about the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a suspect identified as Amiraria Farsi that summer.

During the course of that investigation, the District Attorney’s Office announced, detectives with the police department’s Internal Affairs Division found evidence that Lupo had testified falsely about the circumstances surrounding the arrest of another suspect, Joseph Tuamba, on Sept. 25, 2010.

Lupo had testified before Philadelphia Municipal Court judges at preliminary hearings about the facts in those cases; the testimony in each case was later deemed to be false.

In the case of Tuamba, Lupo and his partner had arrested the man and the other occupant of a 2010 Lincoln SKS, which has been parked outside of a Chinese takeout in northwest Philadelphia, after the officers claimed they smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Lupo had stated that he was not able to tell if the Lincoln was unoccupied at the time because the vehicle had tinted windows.

Three witnesses, however, including an agency operator for Avis Rent-a-Car, testified that the vehicle did not have tinted windows.

Investigators also determined that Lupo gave false testimony about the arrest of Amiraria Farsi back in the summer of 2011.

At the time, Lupo and a partner stopped a 1998 Buick Regal driven by Farsi and occupied by two other men.

The officers pulled the men from the vehicles after they smelled marijuana, after which they requested a K9 officer at the scene to further examine the vehicle for additional drugs, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Lupo later testified that he waited to conduct a search of the vehicle’s trunk until a search warrant had arrived, but videotape from a surveillance camera at the scene showed that Lupo’s account was false, and that he actually searched the inside and trunk of the vehicle before the K9 united arrived and before the search warrant was approved.

Lupo, who is soon expected to surrender himself to authorities, is charged with perjury, false swearing in official matters, unsworn falsification, false reports to law enforcement and obstructing administration of law.

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