Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cop admits lying in special-unit probe

If I limited this blog to "bad cop" posts, it would practically write itself.

The Special Operations Section of the Chicago Police Department was supposed to be the good guys. Instead, as this Chicago Tribune article reveals, one officer after another is pleading guilty to lying to Internal Affairs Division investigators about breaking the law and covering up by filing false police reports.

How do you know? How do you know this couldn't happen to you?

The cop behind you sees your nice ride, runs your tags and decides to pull you over. In the story, this happened to someone driving a Cadillac with upgraded rims--despite the fact he had not committed a traffic violation. This is a violation of the driver's constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. If a cop wants to pull over someone who is driving legally, then he must set up a roadblock and stop everyone.

So the cop pulls you over. (As any cop can tell you, if he had followed you for a few blocks, he probably could have come up with a traffic violation anyway.) He gives no reason for the "traffic stop" and insists on a complete search of your vehicle. He takes what he wants, intimidates you in case you might want to report the incident, and lets you go on your way. Or he forces you to let him into your residence and takes more stuff. According to the article, that's exactly what happened. Then the cop files a false police report.

Except that one of the officers was female. Since she did not profit financially and is cooperating, her sentence was 60 days in jail.

Cops take advantage in ways big and small. Free coffee at convenience stores. Free passes at the movies. (Working at Golf Mill Theatres, I was instructed to comp Niles cops.) I don't have a problem with that.

Free off-duty metered parking by putting the checkered hat on the dash? Not (officially) permitted. And now, as we see, they freely take advantage of their badges and guns to take the law into their own hands by helping themselves. We are at their mercy.

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