Police corruption

Posted: January 29, 2013 by alishakhan13 in Food for Thought, Police Corruption and the 'War on Drugs'

 3 Chicago cops accused of robbing drug dealers, and selling drugs for cash incentives

            Police corruption is a controversial subject at the heart of policing debates and policing mandates everywhere around the world. According to Punch, police corruption refers to “an officer knowingly doing or not doing something that is against his or her duty for some form of financial or material gain or promise of such a gain (Punch, 2009). Although it took me quite a bit of time to find an article regarding police deviance, there was one news article that caught my attention. The article constitutes three Chicago-suburb cops robbing drug dealers of their stash while performing search warrants, and selling heroin, cocaine and marijuana for cash incentive.

Any police officer, who aggressively misuses their police powers for personal gain is a form of corruption. In the illegal act of the three Chicago men who stole from crooks for their own personal gain, they are visibly perceived as “meat-eaters.” Being labelled a meat-eater exemplifies an individual who makes deals either of mutual benefit to the parties involved or disobeying police power for their own personal gain. This article shows a clear understanding of how the three officers stole from crooks to by selling drugs to gain cash incentives for themselves, as they executed search warrants on homes and cars. Not only are these officers viewed as meat-eaters, but they are also perceived as a typology by Barker and Roebuck referred to as “opportunistic theft.”

According to Barker and Roebuck, opportunistic theft is stealing from individuals who have been arrested and crime victims or their corpse. In this article, the three Chicago police officers were stealing from crooks. As these officers were on duty executing warrants on homes and cars, they would rob local dealers of drugs and cash, and later sell the drugs for money. It is quite detrimental that these individuals would partake in illegal activities as a result their behaviour is consequently labelled as deviance and law-breaking. This form of behaviour leads to typology 3, which is known as “crusaders.”

Crusaders are known to be officers who detest criminals and search for these criminals with remorse. In addition, this leads to a one-sided war against crime which can then lead the officer into an act of deviance and law-breaking. The three police officers portray the typology crusaders, because their job is to protect their city and prevent crimes, they are the ones that are the criminals in this instance. As a result, these police officers are engaged in a one-sided war against crime and they have encountered acts of deviance and law-breaking.


Punch, M. (2009). Police corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. New York, NY: Routledge.

New York Daily News (2013, January 17). 3 Chicago-suburb cops accused of robbing drug dealers, selling cocaine. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/trio-charged-robbed-dealers-sold-cocaine-article-1.1241750

  1. Mike Larsen says:

    Generally, a good post. The ‘crusader’ typology does not seem to fit, though. The officers involved were engaged in corruption for profit, as opposed to corruption in furtherance of a perceived moral imperative. The officers were not operating under the assumption that their actions were contributing to a ‘war on crime’, so much as they were using their positions to steal from persons who do not fit the conventional definition of ‘victims’.

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