Police State Update: Do Police Officers Lie?

Police State Update: Do Police Officers Lie?

Police State Update: Do Police Officers Lie?
Description: Dame Wales confronts riot police
Attribution: Joseph Morewood Staniforth (1898)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Police officers are widely viewed as honest public servants. Unfortunately, it turns out they lie under oath, possibly on a massive scale. Yes indeed, the police state is alive and well in the United States. Why do police lie you may ask? Simple. First, they can get away with it. And second, they’re rewarded for it. Here’s more on the rising American police state from the New York Times:

…Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.”

The New York City Police Department is not exempt from this critique. In 2011, hundreds of drug cases were dismissed after several police officers were accused of mishandling evidence. That year, Justice Gustin L. Reichbach of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn condemned a widespread culture of lying and corruption in the department’s drug enforcement units. “I thought I was not naïve,” he said when announcing a guilty verdict involving a police detective who had planted crack cocaine on a pair of suspects. “But even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.”

(See the rest at the New York Times)

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