Alexandra Torrensvila, 23 is a victim to police corruption. She was arrested by four cops for a DUI due to an accident that the officers had caused themselves. As of now, the charges against her have been dropped by the Broward State Attorney’s Office. Thankfully for Alexandra, the attention moved from her to the four cops. Prosecutors are now looking into the Hollywood police who made up the entire story to cover up a February traffic accident involving a cop car. The interesting thing about this case is that it was all caught on tape by one of the officer’s dashboard cameras. This video shows Alexandra handcuffed in the back of a squad car as the officers try to decide on a story to explain what had happened.
Officer Joel Francisco, 36 is an 11 year veteran. He was the officer who crashed into the back of Torrensvila’s vehicle on February 17 at midnight. Francisco then radioed the other cops who arrived at the scene to try to find a way to bail him out. Officer Dewey Pressley arrived on scene after and questioned Torrensvila. She told him that she had been drinking and Pressley takes this information to his advantage and arrests her for DUI. If you listen closely to the video, you can hear the officers brainstorm ideas for excuses of the accident. In the video one of the cops acknowledges that what they are doing is illegal but decides there is nothing wrong with bending the law for a few cops.
When taking a closer look into police corruption we can classify these officers into three typologies. Typology one is from the Knapp Commission. These officers would be described as Meat-Eaters; this is when officers abuse authority for self gain. In this situation, these officers used Torrensvila to take blame for their own accident. Although these officers did say, “I never lie and make things up ever because it’s wrong”, they did however not mind “bending” the law for a fellow police officer. These officers took advantage of their authority and believed they were above the law. Instead of protecting civilians like police are suppose to, these officer framed Torrensvila for an accident she didn’t cause.
In typology two from Categories of practice by Barker and Roebuck, Francisco and Pressley would fall under direct criminal activities and flaking and padding. These officers committed a crime in clear violation of criminal norms. In the video, the cops acknowledged several times that what they are doing is illegal. I would also consider that these officers committed flaking and padding. They constructed a false story against Torrensvila to ensure a conviction against her. In the video, a cop debates with Pressley on who is going to write the false police report and they go over different stories they can use to put the blame on Torrensvila.
In this case, the camera on the dashboard of the cop car caught the incident on film. But there are numerous incidents in which cops abuse their power that unfortunately go undetected. If we refer to history, we can see many cases like this in which cops have failed to follow standard legal procedures. For example, in the cause of Robert Dziekanski, the cops failed to communicate with Mr. Dziekanski properly which lead to his death. It is quite unfortunate that incident like these occur because officers overuse their authority. One of the main responsibilities of cops is to ensure that citizens are following the law accordingly. However, cops need to understand that the term citizens involves everyone, including other cops. Cops should not and are not immune to the consequences of breaking the law.
Former Hollywood Cop Gets 90 Days In Jail. (January 13, 2012). CBS Local News. Retrieved by
Charges Dropped Against Woman Framed By Cops. (July 29, 2009). NBC News. Retreived by
Former Hollywood Cop On Trial For Alleged Cover Up. (November 28, 2011). CBS Local News. Retrieved from