Police Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Police Corruption News Articles in Media
Britain's largest police force stole the identities of an estimated 80 dead children and issued fake passports in their names for use by undercover police officers. The Metropolitan police secretly authorised the practice for covert officers infiltrating protest groups without consulting or informing the children's parents. Over three decades generations of police officers trawled through national birth and death records in search of suitable matches. Undercover officers created aliases based on the details of the dead children and were issued with accompanying identity records such as driving licences and national insurance numbers. Some of the police officers spent up to 10 years pretending to be people who had died. The technique of using dead children as aliases has remained classified intelligence for several decades, although it was fictionalised in Frederick Forsyth's novel The Day of the Jackal. As a result, police have internally nicknamed the process of searching for suitable identities as the "jackal run". One former undercover agent compared an operation on which he was deployed to the methods used by the Stasi. The practice was introduced 40 years ago by police to lend credibility to the backstory of covert operatives spying on protesters, and to guard against the possibility that campaigners would discover their true identities. Since then dozens of SDS [Special Demonstration Squad] officers, including those who posed as anti-capitalists, animal rights activists and violent far-right campaigners, have used the identities of dead children.
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A teenage girl whose disappearance in Rome has remained a mystery for 30 years was kidnapped for sex parties by a gang involving Vatican police and foreign diplomats, the Roman Catholic Church's leading exorcist has claimed. The tomb of a mafia don buried in a basilica in Rome is to be opened in an attempt to solve a mystery that has dogged the Vatican for three decades. Emanuela Orlandi, who was 15 at the time of her disappearance, was the daughter of a Vatican employee. Father Gabriele Amorth, who was appointed by the late John Paul II as the Vatican's chief exorcist and claims to have performed thousands of exorcisms, said Emanuela Orlandi was later murdered and her body disposed of. In the latest twist in one of the Holy See's most enduring mysteries, he said the 15-year-old schoolgirl was snatched from the streets of central Rome in the summer of 1983 and forced to take part in sex parties. "This was a crime with a sexual motive. Parties were organised, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the 'recruiter' of the girls. "The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle," Father Amorth, the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists, told La Stampa newspaper.
Note: Though Father Amorth is a controversial figure, these claims most certainly deserve to be investigated. For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on sexual abuse scandals within elite institutions like the Vatican and governments, click here. And for a shocking Discovery Channel documentary showing that sophisticated child abuse rings lead to the very highest levels of government, click here.
When an on-duty police officer was shot and killed by a colleague a month ago, residents of [Santa Maria, CA, an] agricultural community north of Santa Barbara were horrified. Outrage grew when they learned the shooting occurred as fellow officers tried to arrest the policeman on suspicion he was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in the city's "Police Explorers" program. But inappropriate relationships between officers and youths in the junior police program aren't all that rare. No organization keeps statistics but an Associated Press examination of news accounts during the 21 years since the Explorers was spun off from the Boy Scouts of America found at least 97 cases involving officers accused of sexual assault on minor girls, and sometimes boys, in the program. And that's likely a fraction of all such incidents, said Samuel Walker, a University of Nebraska-Omaha criminal justice professor and expert on police misconduct and accountability. Most relationships never become public because a youth is unlikely to report it and even if fellow officers are aware, they're reluctant to do anything. "More often than not other officers know that something wrong is going on and they don't report it," Walker said. "Police departments are like villages: everybody gossips and everybody knows." The Explorer program is run by Learning for Life, a subsidiary of Boy Scouts of America.
Note: When a Chilean friend of this website's founder was facing a serious traffic ticket which could have gotten her kicked out of the country, the police officer offered to let her go if she would have sex with him later. She accepted but then managed to escape. She never reported the incident. This type of sexual abuse by authorities is likely much more common than most people would imagine. For more powerful evidence of this, click here and here.
Police officers sworn to uphold our traffic laws are among the worst speeders on South Florida roads. A three-month Sun Sentinel investigation found almost 800 cops from a dozen agencies driving 90 to 130 mph on our highways. Many weren't even on duty. The extent of the problem uncovered by the newspaper shocked South Florida's police brass. All the agencies started internal investigations. "Excessive speed," Margate Police Chief Jerry Blough warned his officers, is a "blatant violation of public trust." The evidence came from police SunPass toll records. The Sun Sentinel obtained a year's worth, hit the highways with a GPS device and figured out how fast the cops were driving based on the distance and time it took to go from one toll plaza to the next. Speeding cops can kill. Since 2004, Florida officers exceeding the speed limit have caused at least 320 crashes and 19 deaths. Only one officer went to jail - for 60 days. A cop with a history of on-the-job wrecks smashed into South Florida college student Erskin Bell Jr. as he waited at a red light in Central Florida three years ago, hitting him at 104 mph. Bell is now severely brain-damaged. "Every day, you pray for a miracle,'' said his father, Erskin Bell Sr. "Had this officer's behavior been dealt with, maybe he would not have run into our son." Law enforcement officers have been notoriously reluctant to stop their own for speeding, and the criminal justice system has proven no tougher at punishing lead-foot cops, records show.
Note: Watch this ABC video clip and this one to see how crazy this is. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Police organizations across the country co-operated to spy on community organizations and activists in what the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] called one of the largest domestic intelligence operations in Canadian history, documents reveal. Information about the extensive police surveillance in advance of last year's G8 and G20 meetings in southern Ontario comes from evidence presented in the case of 17 people accused of orchestrating street turmoil during the summits. Two undercover police officers ... spent 18 months infiltrating southern Ontario community groups ahead of the June 26-27, 2010, gathering of world leaders. They were part of a much larger so-called joint intelligence group (JIG) operation [which] employed more than 500 people at its peak. "The 2010 G8 summit in Huntsville ... will likely be subject to actions taken by criminal extremists motivated by a variety of radical ideologies," reads a JIG report. "The important commonality is that these ideologies ... place these individuals and/or organizations at odds with the status quo and the current distribution of power in society." The RCMP-led intelligence team made a series of presentations to private-sector corporations, including one to "energy sector stakeholders" in November 2011. Other corporations that received intelligence from police included Canada’s major banks, telecom firms, airlines, downtown property companies and other businesses seen to be vulnerable to the effects of summit protests.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on government attacks on civil liberties, click here.
The former chief of Bolivia's anti-narcotics police has been jailed by an American court for cocaine trafficking. A Miami federal judge imposed the 14-year sentence on Rene Sanabria, 54. Gen Sanabria was head of Bolivia's anti-drug agency until 2009, and was an intelligence adviser to the government at the time of his arrest. He pleaded guilty in June to taking part in a conspiracy to ship hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Bolivia to Chile and then on to Miami. The court heard the plot was set up by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as an undercover sting operation. Sanabria was detained in Panama and taken to the United States by DEA agents for trial. He had served for 32 years in Bolivia's police force. The charge carries a required minimum 10-year sentence. But US District Judge Ursula Ungaro said he was giving Sanabria a higher sentence because of his leadership role, and to send an anti-corruption message to other government officials.
Note: So the former chief of anti-narcotics was dealing drugs. What does this say about the war on drugs? For powerful evidence from award-winning reporters that elements within the CIA and DEA are involved in the drug trade, click here.
Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, once selected to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was sentenced ... to four years in prison for tax evasion and lying to White House officials. Kerik, 54, who as head of the city's police worked closely with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks, pleaded guilty to the federal charges in November. A former police detective, and once Giuliani's driver, Kerik headed the New York City jail system before taking charge of the police department in 2000. His career began to unravel during background checks when President George W. Bush nominated him in 2004 to become Secretary of Homeland Security. Kerik withdrew, but his legal troubles later embarrassed Giuliani in his unsuccessful bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. Along with pleading guilty to lying and evading taxes, Kerik admitted receiving apartment renovations from a construction firm suspected of organized crime ties and helping the company win city contracts. The four-year sentence imposed ... exceeded the sentencing guidelines of less than three years, as laid out in Kerik's plea deal, but fell far short of the maximum possible term of 61 years.
Note: The NY City chief of police at the time of 9/11 is now in jail. The former head of the NASDAQ stock exchange, Bernie Madoff, is now in jail. Do you think there is corruption at the highest levels of government? How many more have engaged in gross corruption and gotten away with it? To see how deep it goes, click here.
Officials with the New Jersey attorney general’s office said on Monday that the state had agreed to a $400,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by a former state trooper who said that he was beaten and harassed by members of a secret group of rogue officers within the State Police. The former trooper, Justin Hopson, filed the lawsuit in 2003. In it, he described a series of beatings, threats and acts of vandalism that he said occurred after he refused to support an arrest by another trooper in 2002. Mr. Hopson said that he was attacked by members of a loose-knit group within the State Police known as the Lords of Discipline. For years, minority and female troopers have complained that they have been harassed by members of the group. In 2005, the state attorney general’s office issued a report that found seven troopers guilty of harassing their colleagues. The troopers received punishments ranging from reprimands to 45-day suspensions. Mr. Hopson, 33, filed suit after the March 2002 arrest of a woman for drunken driving, which he said was improper because the woman had not been behind the wheel. When Mr. Hopson refused to endorse fellow troopers’ versions of events surrounding the arrest, court papers said, a campaign to silence him began. First, there were threatening notes left around his station house. Then, Mr. Hopson said, his car was vandalized. By the time he sued the state in December 2003, Mr. Hopson said that he had been the victim of a series of beatings at the hands of another trooper.
Note: Read a follow-up article on how this good man is calling for all of us to step up. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews. From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists. They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. In hundreds of reports stamped “N.Y.P.D. Secret,” the Intelligence Division chronicled the views and plans of people who had no apparent intention of breaking the law. These included members of street theater companies, church groups and antiwar organizations. Three New York City elected officials were cited in the reports. In at least some cases, intelligence on what appeared to be lawful activity was shared with police departments in other cities. In addition to sharing information with other police departments, New York undercover officers were active themselves in at least 15 places outside New York — including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montreal, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. — and in Europe. To date, as the boundaries of the department’s expanded powers continue to be debated, police officials have provided only glimpses of its intelligence-gathering.
Fifty police officers across Britain have been arrested as part of a crackdown on suspected paedophiles who pay to access child pornography websites, detectives revealed today. The officers were among 1,300 people arrested on suspicion of accessing or downloading indecent images of children - some as young as five - from US-based Internet sites. Thirty-four men were arrested in London this morning as part of the investigation - codenamed Operation Ore - following raids on 45 addresses across the capital. In addition, 40 children nationwide - 28 of them in London - had been identified as being at risk of being abused and appropriate steps had been taken with other agencies to ensure that all the youngsters were safe. Before today's arrests, the Metropolitan Police had executed 75 warrants across the capital with 65 arrests and more than 130 computers seized. The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Carole Howlett, said today's raids represented the single largest operation of its kind mounted so far by the force. Operation Ore is the UK wing of a huge FBI operation which traced 250,000 paedophiles worldwide last year through credit card details used to pay for downloading child porn. The names of British suspects were passed on by US investigators.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on child sexual abuse, click here.
New York City ended the year with the fewest murders and the lowest crime figures in decades, the mayor and the NYPD said Friday. There were 290 murders in the nation's largest city in 2017, compared to 335 killings the previous year, said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a news conference. “No one believed it was possible to get under 300 murders,” de Blasio said. The murder rate is a far cry from 1990, when 2,245 people were killed in the city. The numbers of other crimes - shootings, robberies, burglaries and grand larcenies auto - also dropped, officials said. “To see crime levels as low as we have today, you’d have to go back to 1951, when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and a slice was 15 cents,” de Blasio added. Overall, 2017 was the fourth straight year of declines in crime in New York City. According to NYPD records there were 96,517 crimes reported last year, compared with 102,052 in 2016, a drop of 5.4 percent.
I traveled from Baltimore to join hundreds of thousands of protesters at counterdemonstrations around Mr. Trump’s swearing-in. Little did I know that I would be swept up into a legal nightmare that demonstrates how prosecutors intimidate and manipulate defendants into giving up their rights. Minutes after I got to downtown Washington on Jan. 20, police officers used pepper spray, “sting-ball” grenades and flailing batons to sweep up an entire city block in a mass-arrest tactic known as “kettling.” Next, prosecutors ... took the highly unusual step of indicting more than 200 of those arrested. Most of the people in the group, which includes journalists, legal observers and volunteer medics, face charges of engaging in a riot, inciting a riot, conspiracy to riot and property damage. In addition to seizing the contents of at least 100 cellphones, prosecutors secured broad warrants for Facebook pages. The government has failed to provide most defendants in the case with evidence of their alleged individual wrongdoing. For example, I was offered a plea deal (to a single misdemeanor charge) on the basis of virtually nothing more than being at the site of the protest. This serves to illustrate a critical problem in the American justice system: Prosecutors have the power to single-handedly destroy lives, and there are few consequences for abuse of that power. At the same time, their main measure of success is the ability to secure convictions, not the degree to which justice is served.
Note: United Nations officials recently said that the US government's treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
This week, Donald Trump lifted the ban on certain military-grade weapons and equipment available from the Pentagon to our local police forces across the nation. Before Barack Obama signed an executive order in 2015 limiting the transfer of certain types of military equipment under the Pentagon’s 1033 Program, the Department of Defense transferred more than $5bn in surplus military equipment directly to police agencies. The Pentagon program creates a pipeline that bypasses normal ... procurement processes, enabling police departments to acquire expensive-to-maintain and often unneeded military equipment directly from the Pentagon without the approval or even knowledge of [elected] government officials. Citizens are left to pay the price when these military “toys” are put into the anxious hands of often untrained local law enforcement. Handing our police weapons of war, including but not limited to large-capacity, rapid-fire weapons and ammunition – including .50-calibers – bayonets, grenade launchers, armored vehicles including military tanks, unmanned vehicles (armed drones), explosives and pyrotechnics, and similar explosive devices, makes us less safe. It also drives a wedge between police officers and ... communities. Our nation was built on the principle that there are clear lines between our armed forces and domestic police. Moreover ... law enforcement is subject to civilian authority. This program blurs those lines. Militarizing America’s main streets won’t make us any safer, just more fearful.
Note: The above was written by US Congressman Hank Johnson, author of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2017. The Pentagon's 1033 program now being revived led to what the ACLU called an "excessive militarization of American policing". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
Local police departments will soon have access to grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and other surplus U.S. military gear after President Donald Trump signed an order Monday reviving a Pentagon program that civil rights groups say inflames tensions between officers and their communities. President Barack Obama had sharply curtailed the program in 2015. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called the plan a dangerous expansion of government power that would "subsidize militarization." Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina said the program "incentivizes the militarization of local police departments, as they are encouraged to grab more equipment than they need." Congress authorized the program in 1990, allowing police to receive surplus equipment to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism. Agencies requested and received everything from camouflage uniforms and bullet-proof vests to firearms, bayonets and drones. More than $5 billion in surplus equipment has been given to agencies. The new order largely lets local agencies set their own controls and rules governing use of the equipment. The plan to restore access to military equipment comes after [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions has said he intends to pull back on court-enforceable plans to resolve allegations of pervasive civil rights violations. Sessions ... has also revived a widely criticized form of asset forfeiture that lets local police seize cash and property with federal help.
Note: The Pentagon's 1033 program now being revived led to what the ACLU called an "excessive militarization of American policing". The civil asset forfeiture program now being revived was widely criticized because it made it easy for corrupt police to steal money and property from poor people and seize private assets based on departmental "wish lists".
In the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths. Many who die are among society’s vulnerable – unarmed, in psychological distress and seeking help. As her husband stalked around the back yard, upending chairs and screaming about demons, Nancy Schrock ... dialed the police. “He needs to be in the hospital,” she told a 911 dispatcher. Tom Schrock had struggled with depression ... throughout their 35-year marriage. Police had visited the family’s [house] more than a dozen times. Typically, Tom was taken to the hospital, medicated and sent home after 72 hours. Not this time. Three officers answered the call, categorized by the dispatcher as a disturbance involving an unarmed man with mental health issues. Nancy took them through the house to the back; Santiago Mota, a veteran cop, drew his Taser. As officers came out the back door, Tom strode toward them. Mota fired the Taser. Tom buckled, then retreated. Mota followed, pressed the electric stun gun to Tom’s chest and fired again. The 57-year-old collapsed [and] never regained consciousness. “I called for help,” Nancy said. “I didn’t call for them to come and kill him.” Reuters documented 1,005 incidents in the United States in which people died after police stunned them with Tasers. In nine of every 10 incidents, the deceased was unarmed. More than 100 of the fatal encounters began with a 911 call for help during a medical emergency.
Jose Charles was dazed, bleeding from his head and surrounded by police. His mother had gone to take one of the 15-year-old’s siblings to the bathroom at a Fourth of July celebration in Greensboro, N.C. - and returned to find an officer’s hand around Jose’s neck. Police charged Jose with four crimes, including attacking an officer. The teenager and his mother say police slammed and choked him without provocation. In a month, the court’s interpretation of the incident could determine Jose’s fate. Body camera footage from several officers who were at the scene of the encounter is sitting ... where almost no one can see it. Standing in the way of clarity and transparency, critics say, is a new North Carolina law that makes it more difficult than ever to view recordings of controversial interactions between police and members of the public. The law requires anyone who wants to see police body camera footage to pay a fee and plead their case to a Superior Court judge. The law gives an inordinate amount of power to prosecutors. Jose Charles’s mom, Tamara Figueroa ... said [her son] suffers from schizoaffective disorder. She said prosecutors have told her that if Jose doesn’t plead guilty to assault, they’ll ask a judge to send him to a [facility] which Figueroa calls “a kiddie jail,” unequipped to treat his mental illness. The video could change public perception and her son’s fate, Figueroa said: She has seen the footage and remains adamant that her son didn’t assault a police officer.
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was convicted Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation into corrupt and violent guards who took bribes to smuggle contraband into the jails he ran and savagely beat inmates. The trial ... cast a dark shadow over a distinguished 50-year law enforcement career that abruptly ended with his resignation in 2014 as the corruption investigation spread from rank-and-file deputies to his inner circle. Baca appeared to have escaped the fate of more than a dozen underlings indicted by federal prosecutors until a year ago, when he pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements to federal authorities about what role he played in efforts to thwart the FBI. A deal with prosecutors called for a sentence no greater than six months. When a judge rejected that as too lenient, Baca withdrew his guilty plea and prosecutors hit him with two additional charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The federal probe began in 2011 when Baca’s jail guards discovered an inmate with a contraband cellphone was acting as an FBI mole to record jail beatings and report what he witnessed. Word quickly reached Baca, who convened a group to derail the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said during closing arguments that corruption in the nation’s largest jail system “started from the top and went all the way down.” Baca’s subordinates hid the FBI informant from federal agents [and] tried to intimidate his FBI handler by threatening to arrest her.
White supremacists and other domestic extremists maintain an active presence in U.S. police departments and other law enforcement agencies. [FBI] policies have been crafted to take this infiltration into account. An October 2006 FBI internal intelligence assessment ... raised the alarm over white supremacist groups’ “historical” interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” In 2009 ... a Department of Homeland Security intelligence study, written in coordination with the FBI, warned of the “resurgence” of right-wing extremism. The report concluded that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” The report caused an uproar. Faced with mounting criticism, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano disavowed the document. The agency’s unit investigating right-wing extremism was largely dismantled and the report’s lead investigator was pushed out. “They stopped doing intel on that, and that was that,” Heidi Beirich, who leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s tracking of extremist groups, told The Intercept. Daryl Johnson, who was the lead researcher on the DHS report ... says the problem has since gotten “a lot more troublesome.” Homeland Security has given up tracking right-wing domestic extremists. “It’s only the FBI now,” he said, adding that local police departments don’t seem to be doing anything to address the problem.
For a shocking glimpse of what’s been happening in the name of criminal justice in America, look no further than a Justice Department report last week on police behavior in Louisiana. Officers there have routinely arrested hundreds of citizens annually without probable cause, strip-searching them and denying them contact with their family and lawyers for days - all in an unconstitutional attempt to force cooperation with detectives who finally admitted they were operating on a mere “hunch” or “feeling.” This wholesale violation of the Constitution’s protection against unlawful search and seizure ... was standard procedure. The report described as “staggering” the number of people who were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more” with no opportunity to contest their arrest, in what the police euphemistically termed “investigative holds.” The sheriff’s office in Evangeline, with a population of 33,578, initiated over 200 such arrest-and-grilling sessions between 2012 and 2014. In Ville Platte, which has 7,303 residents, the local police department used the practice more than 700 times during the same years. The residents faced demands for information, the report said, “under threat of continued wrongful incarceration,” resulting in what may have been false confessions and improper convictions. “Literally anyone in Evangeline Parish or Ville Platte could be arrested and placed ‘on hold’ at any time,” the report found.
The president of America’s largest police management organization on Monday issued a formal apology to the nation’s minority population “for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.” Terrence M. Cunningham, the chief of police in Wellesley, Mass., delivered his remarks at the convention in San Diego of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, whose membership includes 23,000 police officials in the United States. The statement ... comes as police executives continue to grapple with tense relationships between officers and minority groups in the wake of high-profile civilian deaths in New York, South Carolina, Minnesota and elsewhere, the sometimes violent citizen protests which have ensued as well as the ambush killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Cunningham continued, “While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that we must change the future ... For our part, the first step is for law enforcement and the IACP to acknowledge and apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.” He concluded, “It is my hope that, by working together, we can break this historic cycle of mistrust and build a better and safer future for us all.” Jeffery Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, applauded Cunningham’s statement. “It seems to me that this is a very significant admission,” Robinson said.
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