earlier this year, I finally watched Serpico from beginning to end. never saw the movie before as I was a kid when it was released. in total shock after watching it, especially at how he was shunned by his fellow officers after. I then wondered what happened to him. I found an article and posted it online in a few places. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/nyregion/24serpico.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 still in shock at how he still receives hate mail from law enforcement.
now he’s making news and trending and for all the right reasons. but I see what he’s saying about corruption, however, it’s no longer drug dealers, it’s white collar frauds and corrupt companies in suits and ties using our taxpayer funded law enforcement to do their dirty work. and the irony is these same corrupt companies will back lawmakers who will then strip benefits (pensions, unions, health benefits and more) from law enforcement to offset loss of revenue because of white collar fraud and corrupt companies.
“Those that speak out should be rewarded and respected by their superiors, not punished. We’re not there yet.“
“As for Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, they’re giving speeches now, after Ferguson. But it’s 20 years too late. It’s the same old problem of political power talking, and it doesn’t matter that both the president and his attorney general are African-American. Corruption is color blind. Money and power corrupt, and they are color blind too.
Only a few years ago, a cop who was in the same 81st Precinct I started in, Adrian Schoolcraft, was actually taken to a psych ward and handcuffed to a gurney for six days after he tried to complain about corruption – they wanted him to keep to a quota of summonses, and he wasn’t complying. No one would have believed him except he hid a tape recorder in his room, and recorded them making their demands. Now he’s like me, an outcast.”
we’re a longggggg ways from here, locally and nationwide… *sigh*
The sum total of all that experience can be encapsulated in a few simple rules for the future:
1. Strengthen the selection process and psychological screening process for police recruits. Police departments are simply a microcosm of the greater society. If your screening standards encourage corrupt and forceful tendencies, you will end up with a larger concentration of these types of individuals;
2. Provide ongoing, examples-based training and simulations. Not only telling but showing police officers how they are expected to behave and react is critical;
3. Require community involvement from police officers so they know the districts and the individuals they are policing. This will encourage empathy and understanding;
4. Enforce the laws against everyone, including police officers. When police officers do wrong, use those individuals as examples of what not to do – so that others know that this behavior will not be tolerated. And tell the police unions and detective endowment associations they need to keep their noses out of the justice system;
5. Support the good guys. Honest cops who tell the truth and behave in exemplary fashion should be honored, promoted and held up as strong positive examples of what it means to be a cop;
6. Last but not least, police cannot police themselves. Develop permanent, independent boards to review incidents of police corruption and brutality—and then fund them well and support them publicly. Only this can change a culture that has existed since the beginnings of the modern police department.