Hundreds of New York City cops crammed into a courthouse Friday in support of fellow officers accused of crimes, blocking photojournalists from accessing the courtroom, including one instance of grabbing a videographer’s lens and shoving him backwards.

Court officers, who allowed the officers into the hallway outside the courtroom, also prevented the media from accessing the same hallway.

And even before that, the 16 officers accused of crimes were spared the customary “perp walk” where the media is allowed to document defendants entering the courthouse.

But prosecutors expect us to believe they will receive a fair trial.

According to The New York Times:

The unsealed indictments contained more than 1,600 criminal counts, the bulk of them misdemeanors having to do with making tickets disappear as favors for friends, relatives and others with clout. But they also outlined more serious crimes, related both to ticket-fixing and drugs, grand larceny and unrelated corruption. Four of the officers were charged with helping a man get away with assault.

But in the eyes of the hundreds of officers who stood outside the courtroom protesting, it was all just business as usual. Many held up signs stating “Just Following Orders.”

The president of the police union, who had organized the protest, said ticket-fixing was something that has been “accepted at all ranks for decades.”

But the habit is so extensive that it has cost the City of New York almost $2 million.

Prosecutors were even looking into charging the union under the state’s racketeering law, which is frequently used against organized crime families.

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