One Camden police officer was convicted and another was acquitted after a four-week trial in U.S. District Court in a case that involved falsified reports, planted evidence, and stolen money.
Antonio Figueroa, 35, was convicted of three of five counts in what federal prosecutors called an attack on "the foundation of the entire criminal justice system."
The second suspended officer, Robert Bayard, 33, was acquitted of all charges.
Figueroa clasped his head in his hands as the guilty verdicts were announced. Looking stunned as he exited the courtroom, he declined to comment.
"We're disappointed in the verdict," said his attorney, Ralph A. Jacobs, adding that an appeal was planned.
Moments after the verdicts were read, Bayard gave his attorney a bear hug as they sat at the defense table. He then sat down and wiped his eyes. His wife, Donielle, who was in the courtroom for the entire trial, also wiped away tears as she sat in the spectators' benches.
Bayard's attorney, Robert N. Agre, said the jury of four men and eight women may have been swayed by the improbability of the prosecution's claim that Bayard started to break the law just three days after joining the elite Special Operations Unit on July 28, 2008.
Deputy U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick said "it's difficult to speculate" why the jury split its verdict. "We certainly respect the jury's decision," he said.
The two men were charged with one count of conspiring to violate the civil rights of Camden residents in connection with 13 incidents in 2008 and 2009.
Each was also charged with four other similar counts involving individual incidents.
Much of the prosecution's case rested on the testimony of three other officers who earlier pleaded guilty to similar charges, and now face up to 10 years in prison.
Defense attorneys attempted to shift blame to the three, particularly ex-officer Jason Stetser, saying they were implicating Bayard and Figueroa to win shorter prison terms.
The FBI investigation and subsequent indictments have resulted in state prosecutors' dismissing charges or erasing convictions of about 200 people. In most instances, those arrested had pleaded guilty to drug possession and related offenses. Many are now suing the city, and attorneys for some monitored the trial.
John Williamson, the Camden FOP president, said he was not surprised that Bayard was acquitted.
"I know him personally, and his father is a retired police officer and had been in Internal Affairs for 15 years," said Williamson, who attended part of the trial.
"I knew that Rob would never do anything to bring embarrassment on his family, or that would taint his father's career," said Williamson.
Of Figueroa, he said, "It's unfortunate. I have never known Figueroa to be like that, or engage in that type of behavior."
Chief Scott Thomson said in a text message that "Camden police will continue to hold our officers to the highest standards of integrity and honesty while upholding our solemn oath to protect and serve."