Police Corruption’s the Dark Underside of the Drug War’s Iceberg
Drug-related corruption within the Philadelphia Police Department – once again – is the target of federal authorities.
This latest action by federal authorities involves two patrolmen charged with trafficking drugs and robbing suspected drug dealers while on-duty and in full uniform.
A few days before federal authorities announced the early June indictments against those two patrolmen, Philadelphia authorities announced the arrest of a policeman arising from that officer’s scheme to rob drug dealers.
Curiously, this latest federal enforcement action against Philadelphia police tainted by drug corruption did not involve the six officers at the center of a mushrooming scandal that has resulted in Philadelphia city prosecutors refusing to prosecute drug arrests by those officers.
Philadelphia’s DA has yet to fully explain why he will no longer prosecute arrests made by those six officers, now transferred from narcotics to street patrol duty. This decision not to prosecute has led to the dismissal of over 300 cases since December 2012. This dismissal of cases involving those seemingly tainted officers exceeds even the 250 cases prosecutors dropped in the mid-1990s as a result of another a drug-related corruption scandal involving five Philadelphia policemen.
And, curiously, this latest action by federal authorities did not involve the Philadelphia policeman captured on videotape by Police Department Internal Affairs investigators stealing money from drug dealers during an investigation arising largely from evidence against that policeman provided by other police officers who witnessed several instances of his criminal conduct. That cash-copping Philly cop, fired for his corruption, was reinstated to the Police Department in early 2012 by an arbitrator following a process known to be weighted in favor of Philadelphia’s police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, which employed that tainted officer in the union’s headquarters until the union helped secure his reinstatement.
A stark contrast to the outrage officials nationwide always express in the wake of arrests involving police tainted by drug corruption is the consistent lack of outraged effort authorities give to a more serious issue.
That issue is not recurring criminality by police officers – individual and groups – horrific as that is. Rather it the festering issue the Drug War itself.