Over the past few hebdomads we have been seeing in the local media constabulary officers showing questionable behaviour. If they are non running down an unarmed suspect with a patrol auto and so crushing him up, they are stealing cocaine from drug traders and so acquiring caught reselling it. But merely how corrupt are police officers in this twenty-four hours and age? Are these rare happenings, or is this behaviour the norm?
One does non hold to travel that far into the past to detect huge sums of constabulary corruptness. Travel back to New York City during the 1960s and run into a constabulary officer by the name of Frank Serpico. Frank Serpico was a member of the New York Police Department. He shortly became a plainclothes constabulary officer. Because of this place, his work had him involved with illegal drugs, illegal gaming, and harlotry ( Maas, 26 ) . The monolithic sums of money involved with these “ industries ” was merely excessively alluring for many of his fellow officers. Serpico complained to his higher-ups, but they had no desire to halt it. Fed up, Serpico went to the imperativeness and told his narrative. The New York Times ran a front-page narrative in 1970 about corruptness in the New York Police Department ( Maas, 328 ) . Serpico became the first officer in the history of the New York Police Department to non merely describe about police corruptness, but to besides attest in tribunal. ( Maas, 13 ) . Because of his actions, a monolithic reorganization occurred in the New York City Police Department. With the find of final payments to police officers ( some up to 25 thousand dollars separately ) , the constabulary commissioner every bit good as many others at the top of the constabulary section resigned. In add-on, many inspectors, captains, and lieutenants lost rank or got transferred ( Maas, 14 ) .
And what about more late? Mass corruptness in the New York Police Department has drastically decreased. Proof of this is that several old ages ago the ABC telecasting show PrimeTime had people turn in 20 billfolds and bags to twenty different constabulary officers claiming they found them. Every individual billfold and bag was returned to their rightful proprietors with all the money integral ( abcnews.go.com ) . Certain, there will still be cases where the officers of the New York Police Department cover-up their bad actions. But overall, the cult of corruptness has disappeared.
Now let us go to the West Coast to Los Angeles, California. On March 18, 1997, clandestine narcotics offer Frank Lyga fatally shot fellow constabularies officer Kevin Gaines during an act of route fury ( Sullivan, 3 ) . What started as a constabulary on constabulary shot turned into the biggest corruptness instance in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department. The probe of this shot led to the disclosure that Officer Gaines was a member of the Bloods pack ( Sullivan, 34 ) . Later in the twelvemonth on November 6, 1997, Officer David Mack executed a major bank robbery ( Sullivan, 175 ) . Besides, in March of 1998, Officer Ray Perez stole more than six lbs of cocaine from the Los Angeles Police Department ‘s Property Division ( Sullivan, 202 ) . Officer Perez subsequently stole an extra lb of cocaine. And this cocaine that was stolen was originally booked into grounds by Frank Lyga, the clandestine officer that killed Officer Kevin Gaines ( Sullivan, 203 ) .
Both Mack and Perez non merely worked in the Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, they both worked in the CRASH ( Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums ) unit ( Sullivan, 205 ) . Created as an anti-gang unit, many constabulary officers in CRASH became instead corrupt. They would beat-up suspects, works arms on suspect, and steal the drugs from traders. They would even hold sex with cocottes ( Sullivan, 223 ) . In August of 1998, Officer Ray Perez was arrested for the cocaine larceny. Confronting a twelve-year prison sentence, Perez told the prosecuting officer the traffics that went on within CRASH ( Sullivan, 228 ) . As a consequence of the statements made by Officer Perez, over a 100 felony instances have been overturned ( Sullivan, 269 ) . In add-on, a twelve constabulary officers were suspended, seven resigned, and five were fired ( pbs.org ) .
And how is the Los Angeles Police Department making today? Just like in New York City, the ABC telecasting show PrimeTime had people turn in 20 billfolds and bags to twenty different constabulary officers in Los Angeles. And merely like the constabulary officers in New York, every individual constabulary officer returned the billfolds and bags to their proprietors with all the money still in them ( abcnews.go.com ) .
Which brings us to Houston. While the Houston Police Department has ne’er had the repute of transplant and corruptness like legion other metropoliss, the Houston Police Department has been known for constabulary ferociousness of minorities. In May of 1977, Jose Campos Torres was non merely beaten by Houston constabularies officers, they threw him manacle into Buffalo Bayou where he drowned ( hypertext transfer protocol: //query.nytimes.com ) . In October of 1989, Ida Lee Delaney, a black grandma, was shot and killed by Alex Gonzales, a intoxicated off-duty constabulary officer. And one month subsequently Byron Gillum, a black security guard, was shot to decease by Officer Scott Tschirhart under questionable fortunes. Gillum was the 3rd Afro-american killed by Officer Tshirhart ( hypertext transfer protocol: //query.nytimes.com ) .
Today, although ailments of constabulary ferociousness here in Houston still occur, they are decidedly non the same as in the yesteryear. When was the last clip anyone has heard of a member of the Houston Police Department killing an guiltless individual? With the exclusion of the rare instance of a individual acquiring arrested and deceasing from a bosom onslaught while in constabulary detention, we barely of all time hear of a individual deceasing from the constabulary under questionable fortunes. And these persons who die during the injury of being arrested are normally in hapless wellness and out of form while strung out on cleft or some other illegal drug.
So why is at that place less police corruptness today than in the yesteryear? Personally, I think there are a few factors. First, communities are paying their constabulary officers more money. When the constabularies make more money, they non merely have less of a desire to perpetrate junior-grade offenses because of this addition in income, but they besides have more to lose if they get caught perpetrating these offenses. Following, there is instruction. The current constabulary force in this state is decidedly more educated that in the yesteryear. And surveies indicate the more educated an person is, the less likely he or she will perpetrate offense. With a occupation paying more and necessitating a nice instruction, constabulary sections get better recruits. And better recruits make better officers.
But what I believe is the most of import factor in forestalling constabulary corruptness, and surely police ferociousness, is the promotion of picture cameras. At one clip constabulary officers could acquire away with constabularies ferociousness because it was their word against the word of a citizen, a citizen most likely who has a condemnable record. And society wants to believe the constabulary. Now, there are video cameras everyplace. And I mean everyplace. Security cameras inside of edifices, security cameras outside of edifices. And everyone with a cellular telephone, which is reasonably much everyone, has a camera in that cellular telephone. There are even cameras in constabulary vehicles. When people know they are being recorded, they act more civilised. And the constabulary are no different. They know they are being watched. If they arrest person in public, cellphones start to enter the event, and within hours it will likely be on YouTube.
There will ever be pockets of constabulary corruptness. But these pockets are acquiring smaller and smaller. There will ever be rogue officers. The constabulary officer drawing over an attractive female who he catches rushing and so stating her he will non give her a ticket if she performs a sex act will still happen. But non about every bit frequently as in the yesteryear. There will ever be police cover-ups. Some officers will ne’er traverse the “ thin bluish line. ” However, compared to their brethren from the yesteryear, the bulk of constabulary officers do what they are supposed to make – to protect and function.