Bad Cops, Bad Cops, What You Gonna Do? Get House Arrest!

Posted: January 23, 2013 by duck19 in Police Corruption and the 'War on Drugs', Police Perjury, Police Role in Wrongful Convictions
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Police Corruption “is a specific form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, or career advancement for a police officer or officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest.”  In order to find recent examples of police deviance I went online and I searched newspaper articles. One that caught my attention involved five former members of the Toronto Drug Squad who were sentenced to only 45 days of house arrest after the lengthy trial and investigation.

This investigation took over 15 years and cost over 12 million dollars before this case came to a conclusion. There is a time line of what occurred prior to case which can be seen. The initial charges included conspiracy, assault, extortion, and theft. They were all found to be guilty of obstruction of justice because they covered up entering the apartment of a heroin dealer without a warrant and three out of five officers were also convicted of perjury.

There were a series of events, which led up to this case. It started initially from 1992-1997, when 16 complaints were launched against one of the officers for “assaultive conduct“. The police public complaint bureau completed investigations for how a few of the officers arrested and detained two individuals. As the years passed there were several other issues, which came up that, had to be investigated. One of those was that the officers had searched the apartment of a heroin dealer without a warrant. In their notes they added that they had obtained a warrant when this was not the case. The dealer stated that over $2000 had been taken from him but the court dismissed this claim. These officers lied to the courts so it could be possible that they did take the money, however, it was never proven. With the evidence that was given the only charges that went through were perjury and obstruction of justice.

Looking at the first typology in evaluating the officers they had nothing to gain from searching the apartment without a warrant. The only thing they got out of it was a much quicker search, which became invalid without having a warrant. There were complaints launched against one of the officers for assaultive conduct. These officers also abused their power by making false notes, which obstructed justice. These officers can be seen as meat eaters, as they abused the power they had.

When looking at the second typology we can see this example as being “the fix.” The courts were lied to in order to make the outcome how the officers wanted. They were not honest, in their police notes they wrote down that they had warrants when really they did not.

Finally since they all went in on this together they all were corrupt and lying to the justice system as a collective. They falsified their notes and abused the power that they had. There are other allegations as well however; those cannot be proved 100% such as taking money from the heroin dealer’s apartment. However, if they lied to the courts about having a warrant before entering they may have lied about many other things as well.

References

CBC NEWS. (2013, January 4). Toronto police officers get house arrest for corruptionRetrieved January 20, 2013, from CBC News:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/01/04/toronto-police-officers-sentencing.html

Mackenzie, P. (2013, January 4). Timeline of the police corruption case: 15 years to a sentence. Retrieved January 20, 2013, from thestar.com:  

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/crime/article/1310869–timeline-of-the-police-corruption-case-15-years-to-a-sentence

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Comments
  1. Mike Larsen says:

    Good description of a complicated case. We will study this case in greater detail in a few weeks.

    Your application of the various typologies to the case is accurate – but I think that there is room for some expansion.

    For example, the circumvention of laws and procedures that you describe – entry without warrants, the fabrication of evidence, etc. – could be explained as an example of ‘noble cause corruption’ (if the officers bent or broke the rules to achieve what they determined to be higher objectives of policing) . You are correct in flagging this as both meat-eating and ‘the fix’ (but be sure to explain these concepts for our readers!). I also see evidence – at least, in the initial allegations – of opportunistic theft and shakedowns.

    One of the reasons that this case is so interesting is that it demonstrates the problems that can arise when elements of the criminal legal system attempt to investigate police deviance. This case, by any reasonable interpretation, was a mess. It operated slowly, inefficiently, and ineffectively, and it met with active resistance from the police organization in question.

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