Some police departments are outright criminal enterprises, to include individual police officers and their chiefs breaking the law as a matter of policy. Witness the case of two former police officers, Willie Sims and Alfonzo Cole, in East Cleveland, Ohio, who stopped motorists and robbed them of their cash and belongings. Just like gangsters shake down people. But that’s not the end of the story. Apparently, their former police chief, whose name is Scott Gardner, has committed crimes dealing with “fraud, theft, money laundering and tampering with records”. One can say that Gardner was running a criminal enterprise posing as a police department.
Any wonder why the public often mistrusts police.
In total, a dozen police officers are under investigation in the East Cleveland police department. And until the investigation ends, justice might incriminate many more in that department.
The matter came to our attention through NBC news, which published a lengthy article detailing the criminal activities of several police officers. The article is worth reading to realize how the vetting process when hiring police officers is regularly a failure. These police departments might as well recruit mafiosi directly from prisons.
Trust in police is evanescent.
VETTING AND ACCOUNTABILITY ARE LACKING
There have been many stories, over the last ten years, citing rampant police corruption at every level. In one mind-twisting instant, reporters Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg, wrote their book “I Got a Monster: the Rise and Fall of America’s most Corrupt Police Squad” about corruption in the Baltimore police department the top brass knew about, yet ignored it to the detriment of the city.
Not exactly the kind of book that highlights legacies. Like we said, some police departments are outright criminal enterprises.
Worse is another 2019 investigation by USA Today Network, which found that 85,000 police officers, across the nation, have been disciplined for misconduct. In 2019, there were 697,195 total police officers in the United States, which means over 12% of the police force were unfit to wear a uniform. What % were never caught, or disciplined by their superiors when warranted, is not part of that statistical calculation.
Grant you that this is a small percentage, and one must always assume that the majority of police officers are honest civil servants. It is disturbing, however, that tens of thousands of police officers who join the force are unfit to serve. It would be interesting to highlight the departments that regularly fail their communities, but such information is not available. Courtesy of the police fraternities, whose existence is now as criminal as the corrupt police officers they protect. Mind you, the public is becoming fully aware of their toxic role.
Trust in police is evanescent. The best we can hope for is to write about the subject, as often as possible, for accountability’s sake.