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Prosecutor Testifies in Case Against Bergen County Police Officers

Officers are accused of tampering with the scene of a shooting four years ago, report says.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli took the stand Wednesday in a trial against two Bergen County Police Officers accused of misconduct, tampering with evidence, and giving false statements, NorthJersey.com reported.

Officers Saheed Baksh and Jeffrey Roberts were involved in a high-speed chase through six Bergen County towns in 2010 that ended with Baksh firing two shots at fleeing burglary suspects, the report said. Baksh and Roberts are accused of removing shell casings from the scene after the shooting, the report said.

Molinelli said Wednesday that he was dissatisfied with the BCPD's internal affairs investigation into the shooting, and that after referring the investigation into the incident to the BCPD, his office then took it back, which led to the charges against the two officers, the report said.

Defense attorneys have said the two officers are symbols in the ongoing feud between Molinelli and County Executive Kathleen Donovan over the future of the county police department, it said. 

According to the report, Molinelli testified that in the months after the incident, he usurped the investigation from then BCPD Chief Brian Higgins, which elicited a negative reaction from Donovan, who said the prosecutor overstepped his boundaries.

Molinelli's testimony concluded Wednesday, and the trial was expected to continue Thursday, the report said.

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