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Why is it so difficult to get rid of bad cops?

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  • Why is it so difficult to get rid of bad cops?

    I understand the brotherhood mentality, but after reading this story one has to wonder why after fellow detectives knew this guy was off the rails did it take so long to do something about him?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...=.0df6186bbdfb
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

  • #2
    I would guess that the people in charge did not want to make their supervisory failures known to the public. Easier to hope it all goes away somehow.

    It's a lot harder to fire people these days than we can imagine.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
      I would guess that the people in charge did not want to make their supervisory failures known to the public. Easier to hope it all goes away somehow.

      It's a lot harder to fire people these days than we can imagine.
      Yep, here it's nearly impossible to fire a cop due to civil service rules. It basically takes a violent felony (like in the WaPo story) to get fired.

      It's important to remember though that the vast majority of law enforcement officers are good men and women who have a really tough job. Bad cops must be held accountable for the good of the profession.

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      • #4
        It makes it easier to keep bad cops when the public comes out and consistently defends them. There's never any significant pressure to have them removed. The few times they are removed, they're usually just hired by a different PD anyway.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChrisF1987 View Post

          Yep, here it's nearly impossible to fire a cop due to civil service rules. It basically takes a violent felony (like in the WaPo story) to get fired.

          It's important to remember though that the vast majority of law enforcement officers are good men and women who have a really tough job. Bad cops must be held accountable for the good of the profession.
          I agree, itís a very small percentage, it is just disappointing to see things like this, it is very similar what is going on in the Catholic Church, the silence of the majority of good priests allowed the minority of bad ones to undermine the integrity of the institution.
          Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
          Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, UH, as usual it is that pesky Bill of Rights you're complaining about. You have to be able to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt.

            If you fired every LEO who had a complaint made against him or her, you wouldn't have an officer left except those who work administrative jobs.

            That's in general. In the specific, you don't fire a gay police officer in a major eastern police agency unless you have him nailed six ways from Sunday, as they finally did, in this case, in 2017.

            And even in this case he's still innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Which he hasn't been.

            Reading that article. the question leaps out to me is: why does a major police agency have interview rooms without video and audio recording?

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            • #7
              AJ on this specific case there was more than a preponderance of evidence, and as I said in my second post this is an extremely odd case, when a detective is sexually abusing and threatening suspects and witnesses, he has jeopardized how many cases?
              There is nothing I know of in the Constitution that protects anyone from prosecution.
              The investigation must be complete, in-depth and transparent, if he is as guilty as indicated, and if others knew about his abuses and ignored those abuses, careers will be in shambles, prosecutions in every case he was involved are at risk.
              We have to ensure that our justice system doesnít fall into the same trap religious leaders have, that is to view criminal activity by their peers as a moral failure of the individual and not as a crime
              by one.
              Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
              Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post
                It makes it easier to keep bad cops when the public comes out and consistently defends them. There's never any significant pressure to have them removed. The few times they are removed, they're usually just hired by a different PD anyway.
                Accusations abound - proof is harder to come by. In these profoundly racist times, a white cop is guilty of something just because he's white.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                  AJ on this specific case there was more than a preponderance of evidence, and as I said in my second post this is an extremely odd case, when a detective is sexually abusing and threatening suspects and witnesses, he has jeopardized how many cases?
                  First of all, he has not been found guilty of any crime.

                  There's no evidence mentioned in the article.

                  Your father was an LEO, and he certainly groped a lot of men. Was he a rapist? Or was he just performing the standard pat-down frisk?

                  Every one of those complaining in this case are subjects facing, or convicted of, violent felonies. Are you really so naive as to think felons do not lie?

                  Here's what strikes me about this case: the agency waited until he had his twenty years in before they fired him, which strongly suggests that they didn't have enough proof if he decided to fight. Even though the allegations go back over ten years prior to his leaving the agency, two years has passed with no prosecution; no cases pulled, no nothing.


                  Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                  There is nothing I know of in the Constitution that protects anyone from prosecution.
                  I never said there was. However, you only prosecute when you have a solid case. And all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You read a rumor published by the media and you're ready to convict and oppress.

                  That isn't how things work in America., You can't throw people into prison just because a reporter published stuff he heard.

                  Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                  The investigation must be complete, in-depth and transparent, if he is as guilty as indicated, and if others knew about his abuses and ignored those abuses, careers will be in shambles, prosecutions in every case he was involved are at risk.
                  No investigation can be transparent until after the fact. That is not just the law, but practicality.

                  And despite your lynch-mob mentality, he's innocent until proven guilty.

                  He put in his twenty before they fired him. Which means his bosses in the critical years have long since retired.

                  Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                  We have to ensure that our justice system doesnít fall into the same trap religious leaders have, that is to view criminal activity by their peers as a moral failure of the individual and not as a crime
                  by one.
                  We have to ensure that we maintain the rule of law, not the rule of public opinion.

                  Is he guilty? I don't know. But he was openly gay, which means that any male subject he handled, and those he handled were up on heavy felonies, had an opportunity to make allegations. After all, there is no penalty for making a false claim if you're already looking at a long prison term. But if you discredit the investigator...maybe you walk away free.

                  Rarely do you see a murder case without the defendant, or his lawyer, accusing the police or the prosecutor of high crimes and treason.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                    First of all, he has not been found guilty of any crime.

                    There's no evidence mentioned in the article.

                    Your father was an LEO, and he certainly groped a lot of men. Was he a rapist? Or was he just performing the standard pat-down frisk?

                    Every one of those complaining in this case are subjects facing, or convicted of, violent felonies. Are you really so naive as to think felons do not lie?

                    Here's what strikes me about this case: the agency waited until he had his twenty years in before they fired him, which strongly suggests that they didn't have enough proof if he decided to fight. Even though the allegations go back over ten years prior to his leaving the agency, two years has passed with no prosecution; no cases pulled, no nothing.




                    I never said there was. However, you only prosecute when you have a solid case. And all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You read a rumor published by the media and you're ready to convict and oppress.

                    That isn't how things work in America., You can't throw people into prison just because a reporter published stuff he heard.



                    No investigation can be transparent until after the fact. That is not just the law, but practicality.

                    And despite your lynch-mob mentality, he's innocent until proven guilty.

                    He put in his twenty before they fired him. Which means his bosses in the critical years have long since retired.



                    We have to ensure that we maintain the rule of law, not the rule of public opinion.

                    Is he guilty? I don't know. But he was openly gay, which means that any male subject he handled, and those he handled were up on heavy felonies, had an opportunity to make allegations. After all, there is no penalty for making a false claim if you're already looking at a long prison term. But if you discredit the investigator...maybe you walk away free.

                    Rarely do you see a murder case without the defendant, or his lawyer, accusing the police or the prosecutor of high crimes and treason.
                    All very good points, and by transparency I mean the results of the investigation should be made public.
                    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post

                      All very good points, and by transparency I mean the results of the investigation should be made public.
                      There's a good amount of debate about that.

                      Keep in mind that agencies of any size get a barrage of complaints. Back when I was in charge of internal investigations I would clear out four or five a week. Of course, my agency had video and audio on every interview room and officer-citizen contact, so virtually all were easily debunked.

                      But if we had notified the public of each it would have been virtually a daily event, which would have destroyed officer morale.

                      And some states allow police unions, which certainly will stand in the way of embarrassment.

                      Personally, I feel that simple things such as video and audio recording of interview rooms and complaint rooms, plus dash cams will clear out a lot of the issues. In this case specifically it would have easily either cleared or convicted the officer.

                      I was once accused of excessive force by a subject. One the date in question I was not only not on duty, but two hundred miles away teaching a class in a police academy. Yet to this day there is an investigative report on the subject in my personnel file, and a reporter could choose to say that I had been accused of using an illegal choke hold by an arrestee.

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                      • #12
                        Because the state doesn't want to risk its monopoly on violence by holding its agents to a professional or moral standard.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Duncan View Post
                          Because the state doesn't want to risk its monopoly on violence by holding its agents to a professional or moral standard.
                          Except that 'the state' does not control the police.

                          No one is sure exactly how many State & local LE agencies exist in the USA (some estimate 50,000), but the fact is that they are all autonomous.

                          And the Bill of Rights protects each and every member of those departments, buttressed with countless case law based upon the decisions of the Founding Fathers.

                          As to a 'monopoly', given that private citizens do 25 times the lethal violence each year as does the government, and over 500x the non-lethal violence, who would be foolish enough to make that claim?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                            Except that 'the state' does not control the police.

                            No one is sure exactly how many State & local LE agencies exist in the USA (some estimate 50,000), but the fact is that they are all autonomous.

                            And the Bill of Rights protects each and every member of those departments, buttressed with countless case law based upon the decisions of the Founding Fathers.

                            As to a 'monopoly', given that private citizens do 25 times the lethal violence each year as does the government, and over 500x the non-lethal violence, who would be foolish enough to make that claim?
                            Law enforcement agencies are not, in fact, "autonomous". Like all other agencies they answer to a specified chain of command. In Colorado, that chain of command leads to the Governor, unless the agency is Federal in which case it leads to that agency's head. The Governor, for example, is head of the Department of Corrections and the Highway Patrol, among others. The working heads are "executive directors".

                            Local sheriffs answer to County officials, and town/city cops answer to their respective officials as well. Other wise, there would be no control or accountability whatsoever.

                            I'm surprised at you making such a claim, AJ, considering your own claim to so much law enforcement experience.
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                              ...

                              I'm surprised at you making such a claim, AJ, considering your own claim to so much law enforcement experience.
                              Fishy, ain't it?



                              Why is it so difficult to get rid of bad cops?


                              Simple answer; Unions.
                              "Why is the Rum gone?"

                              -Captain Jack

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