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Extreme Police Corruption Essay

1727 words - 7 pages

Extreme Police Corruption 1
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote taken from a letter by Lord Acton to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887 is as true today as it was back then. Power, and the corruption that this power brings, is found in every facet of our society. From corporate CEOs to the police officers sworn to protect and uphold the law, extreme corruption continues to tarnish Lady Liberty. Across America, severe police corruption has given a black eye to a noble profession. New Orleans, New York, and Las Angeles have been hit hard by corrupted police officers who abused the power they were given in order to manipulate the judicial ...view middle of the document...

Another corrupt police officer in New Orleans was Officer Antoinette Frank. Officer Frank, along with “an accomplice entered a Vietnamese restaurant in east New Orleans, shot the off-duty police officer moonlighting as a security guard, and then executed a brother and sister who worked at their family’s restaurant”. Officer Frank had initially failed “the civil service psychiatric evaluation,” but somehow “hired her own physician to find her fit”. How could this happen? She was eventually convicted of this crime and “sentenced to death in September 1995”.
In Gerald Smith’s article “The Ones That Are Taking Money Are The Ones Giving The Beatings,” the reader is shown a corrupt police precinct in the heart of New York. Early in the 1990s, the mayor of New York investigated the city’s police corruption. What he found sent shock waves throughout the city. One of the agents in the internal affairs division was actually told by commanders to try and be less effective in order to not uncover serious misconduct or any action that would bring humiliation to the Department. Smith reported that “this investigation resulted in the arrests of more than thirty police officers for theft, drug distribution, brutality, and related charges”. The mayor’s intent was to restore “faith in the NYPD”. What he got, however, was a city in fear of the very ones who were supposed to serve and protect them. One important correlation the mayor’s investigation report revealed was the relationship between police brutality and police corruption. Smith reported:

Extreme Police Corruption 3

Brutality, regardless of the motive, sometimes serves as a rite of passage to other forms of corruption and misconduct. Some officers told us that brutality was how they first crossed the line toward abandoning their integrity. Once the line was

crossed without consequences, it was easier to abuse their authority in other ways, including corruption.
Smith reports that “when public officials consistently allow the police to get away with acts of abuse against citizens, they are, whether or not they know it, inviting the cops to descend into corrupt activities”.
Along with New Orleans and New York, Las Angeles has seen more than its fair share of corrupt police officers. Jeffery Kaye of KCET, Los Angeles, reported that “in one court hearing after another, prosecutors have made a series of stunning admissions about corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department”. Kaye stated:
So far, 32 cases have been thrown out. 11 officers have been relieved of duty. More are under investigation in a scandal that LA County District Attorney Gil Garcetti says is the most important case his office has handled in the 31 years he’s been a prosecutor.
Kaye reported that Rafael Perez, the main officer who has been...

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