It wasn’t too long ago that David Barnes was one of the top detectives in the Phoenix Police Department.
But that was before he spoke out against the department.
Now he is just another victim of a questionable raid by Phoenix police; his own brotherhood in blue.
And like Jeff Pataky, whose house was raided after he criticized the Phoenix Police Department on his blog, police have yet to give a solid explanation as to why they raided his house.
But the reason becomes obvious after you read an email sent out by Phoenix Police Assistant Chief Tracy Montgomery in 2007.
“Dave Barnes is a repeat offender and it is my hope that his specific conduct be addressed formally, rather than informally,” wrote Assistant Chief Tracy Montgomery in an e-mail obtained by The Times dated Oct. 16, 2007.
“Mark my words, if Dave is dealt with, others will think twice about lab bashing.”
In an article written by Arizona reporter Shanna Hogan, Barnes is described as one of the detectives who spoke out against the constant blunders committed by the Phoenix police crime lab, which affected several cases.
The most serious blunder resulted in an additional seven people being murdered by a serial killer, according to the article.
The serial killer was dubbed the Baseline Killer because he chose his victims in the vicinity of Baseline Road in South Phoenix.
He killed nine people between August 2005 and June 2006, and raped and kidnapped several other victims in that same time period.
For more than a year, police were stumped, chasing leads in all directions that ended up going nowhere.
Finally, they got a break. From a piece of evidence that had been sitting in a Phoenix police locker for almost a year.
That piece of evidence lead to the arrest of Mark Goudeau, who is currently awaiting trial on the murders.
According to the detective and other Phoenix police insiders, the last seven murders committed by the Baseline Killer could have been prevented if evidence gathered at one of the early crime scenes had been properly processed by the Phoenix crime lab.
Documents obtained by The Times support those claims and reveal that the DNA evidence used to crack the case and ultimately identify the suspected killer had been in police possession for nine months prior to his arrest.
Blunders in the Phoenix police crime lab are nothing new. I even wrote about them back in 2003 when I was a cop reporter for the arizona republic.
But what is new is the retaliatory methods the top brass at the police department has undergone to keep a lid on things, even going as far as removing one of their best detectives from his beat.
The cases (Barnes) investigated had an above-average clearance rate, and he consistently received positive monthly and annual performance evaluations. In one evaluation a former supervisor wrote, “Your work performance and the dedication you show to your victims is something others should learn by.”
Barnes, who was demoted to patrol officer and then placed on administrative leave after he criticized the ongoing mistakes within the lab, is suspected of providing inside information to Pataky for his blog.
Both their houses were raided last month under questionable search warrants signed by a questionable judge.
Now it’s a question on whether the U.S. Department of Justice will serve a search warrant on the top brass within the Phoenix Police Department.
I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar, which helps pay for the thousands of dollars I’ve acrued in debt since my arrest. To keep updated on the latest articles, join my networks at Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed.