font-family: 'Arizonia', cursive; Michael Stichauf - "As I understand it now...'til it changes": Police Corruption and Malfeasance

Friday, November 1, 2013

Police Corruption and Malfeasance

Police Corruption and Malfeasance

I've been wanting to "Blog" something in regards to Police Corruption or Police Malfeasance for some time now. These are topics that really push buttons in most people causing extremely strong opinions... and rightfully so! I suspect that, although you do hear about these stories in the news, there are plenty more that don't see the shining light of public scrutiny whether it's from the print media or the t.v./cable news or the internet. Consequently, I'm going to highlight two stories that I've run across over the last few months. The fact that I've even got one story, let alone two (over JUST a couple month's time) to talk about, is a sad editorial about the state of affairs in the police department community of "The United States of America"! Let's get the conversation going.

Whenever I hear a story about police corruption or malfeasance it starts a series of feelings inside me that I almost never experience. Over the years I've tried to make sense of these feelings, to try to put them into words, but it's extremely hard. Outrage is an easy one. Initially, there is this great feeling of outrage because these are people that we hand our trust over to. We give them this trust in order to protect us from harm. As the years have rolled on in our society, we've come to realize that there are people out there who are inherently mean, nasty and generally no good. They are the grown-up version of that bully that we've all had to deal with in school. Yes, I know that 99% of the bullies we've gone to school with naturally grow out of it and turn into "fine, up-standing citizens". I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about that rare case that never seems to realize that being a bully isn't the right way to go about living. There are other people that we've realized we need to be protected from. The thieves who want to take the fruits of our hard labor and make them theirs. There are also con artists, rapists and murderers who believe that the rules DO NOT APPLY TO THEM. These are the people who we want the police to protect us from.That's why there is this outrage that I feel when I hear about malfeasance or corruption. When the person who we've given our trust to, commits the same type of crime that we've asked them to protect us from, it's almost an unthinkable act of betrayal! Outrage!

There's also another feeling that I go through and this is the one that's so hard to put into words. I guess the best word I can come up with that best suits what I feel is "helplessness". Ya, I think that's the best descriptor. Now, you might be wondering why I would feel such a strong reaction to an incident that didn't happen to me. If you're someone who is concerned about your country and the people in it (which includes yourself), you realize that if something like this has happened to someone else, it most certainly can happen to you or someone you love. I'm starting to think that "betrayal" is at the root of all the feelings that I feel in this type of situation. The feeling of "helplessness" is a direct result of the betrayal that I feel when this happens because there is nothing that I can do about it. I have no control over that betrayal and that's why I feel helpless. It's a psychological fact that people who DON'T have control issues tend to go through "helpless" feelings when something happens that's out of their control. When someone who HAS control issues has to deal with something that they can't control, that feeling of helplessness is even stronger. 

Therefore, "outrage" and "helplessness" are the feelings that get triggered when someone I've put my trust in, breaks that trust. In essence, the "copper" who breaks this trust, ends up becoming the exact same person who we've asked him/her to protect us from in the first place. It's a despicable situation and one that should be prosecuted harshly, which brings me to my next point. 

There have only been a couple of situations of this sort that seem to have been prosecuted in the manner in which they warrant! Most of the cases you hear about, the "copper" or "coppers" get a slap on the wrist. They might get suspended for a few weeks or maybe they get stuck on desk duty for a short period of time but I'll bet that the amount of times that the offenders have been sentenced to jail is less than 2-3%! No more than that. In so many cases, NOTHING HAPPENS! It's simply outrageous! The two cases that I'm going to be giving you a link to, as far as I can tell so far, have had NO LEGAL ACTION TAKEN. Again, OUTRAGEOUS! 

The first case is from Las Vegas and it occurred in July of 2011. I got the story from an article that was written for a publication in July of this year. It's about a family that was arrested for not letting the police use their house as a stack-out spot so they could spy on their neighbors who the police suspected of domestic violence. Here's the link to the story; Read this and you'll be shocked.

The next story is current. I posted something about it on my Google+ site last night. It's a video of a police "informant" who the "coppers" sent to a "Smoke Shop" in order to plant evidence in. It actually borders on a "Stupid Criminals" story. Here's the link;

So far, nothings been done in either case. This is the worst part of these cases. No one will prosecute. I just don't understand it. Please let me know what you think. Leave me comments so we can start a conversation. And that's "As I understand it now... 'til it changes"
Michael K. Stichauf