As many of you know I spent ten (10) years of my life working as a Deputy District Attorney. When I was a Deputy District Attorney I worked closely with many officers. In addition, I formed long lasting relationships with several officers and I count them as some of my closest friends. Therefore this topic “Police Corruption” causes me great concern. I believe that most police officers and law enforcement officers in general are honest and hardworking people who became officers for the right reasons. They became officers because they wanted to help people and serve their community.
In addition, when I worked as a prosecutor I remember Defense Attorneys throwing around the terms “corruption” and “misconduct” as if they were required to use the terms so many times a day or be faced with some unspeakable evil. Generally when i evaluated the situations the attorneys were screaming about there was nothing to warrant the accusations by the attorney.
I know corruption existed when i was working as a prosecutor I had access to newspapers, internet and television, but i was lucky enough to never have to confront those issues on a case I was personally handling. Now I did have cases were officers had complaints in their files and other incidents that I was required to turn over pursuant to my obligations as a prosecutor. I even had cases where an officer’s credibility was called into question. But I never had an incident were I believed an officer stole money or planted evidence.
Recently, i was confronted with a situation, that I will not discuss in detail, but I was left with the feeling some malfeasance was committed by an officer. The malfeasance was minor in the grand scheme of things, but the incident left me wondering about all the times the defense attorneys came to me screaming those two words “corruption” and “misconduct”. Was I blinded because I did not want to believe that the people I worked with could engage in such conduct? Was I defensive because I wanted to protect the integrity of the case that I was prosecuting? Was I so desensitized by all of the false accusations that I was predisposed not to listen to the ones that may have had merit? Today I can’t answer those questions and deep down inside I still believe the majority of officers are hard working and honest, but I can’t help but be more critical.