The Corner

Law & the Courts

A Few Bad Apples in Uniform

New York Police Department officers get ready to control demonstrators at a protest against government policies and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in New York, September 7, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

When I write about police corruption, as I did today, I reliably hear complaints that I am making too much out of a “few bad apples.”

Well.

San Diego, March 2021

Former San Diego County Sheriff’s Captain Marco Garmo was sentenced to two years in prison today for years of unlawful firearms transactions and for an array of corrupt conduct relating to unlicensed marijuana dispensaries operating in his former jurisdiction.

In pronouncing sentence, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said that Garmo’s conduct demonstrated arrogance reaching a level where Garmo was “almost becoming a mob boss of sorts” in picking winners and losers and dispensing unlawful favors to friends and family.

New York, May 2021

The FBI and NYPD arrested two current police officers and one retired officer in connection with purported corruption schemes involving everything from tow trucks to heroin trafficking.

One of the cops, the feds allege, even bragged to others about how much crime he had committed while on the job, at times using racist language.

Detroit, August 2021

Subsequently, the drug trafficker offered Officer Mosley a cash bribe of $15,000 in exchange for not pursuing criminal charges based on the three-kilogram drug seizure. Officer Mosley agreed to the deal. On May 2, 2019, Officer Mosley collected $10,000 in cash left for him by the drug dealer in the backyard of an abandoned house in Detroit. On May 23, 2019, Officer Mosley accepted another $5,000 in cash left for him by the drug trafficker at the same abandoned house. In exchange, Officer Mosley gave the drug trafficker the original copy of his confession.

New Jersey, February 2021

One by one, in a series of court confessions that stretched out over 10 months, five rogue Paterson cops admitted they were part of a conspiracy involving illegal traffic stops, shakedown robberies and assaults on civilians.

Massachusetts, October 2019

Our team showed how the department exceeds budgetary limits by millions of dollars buying weapons, has zero oversight of purchases, and in some cases procures goods from businesses that recently ran afoul of the law and were investigated and fined by Mass Attorney General Maura Healey. In February, we also identified questionable state police contracts with the Arizona-based Taser International for electronic control weapons and consumables, specifically calling attention to how “Taser paid [a lobbying] firm, Lynch Associates, more than $100,000 for ‘relationship development in the Public Safety sector.’” And how Lynch “also happened to be lobbying for Taser’s biggest Massachusetts client, the state police.”

Those and several other revelations turned up in the federal case brought against former State Police Association of Massachusetts President Dana Pullman and Lynch Associates namesake Anne Lynch in August. Both were arrested at their homes, with shocking subsequent headlines about caviar and campaign contributions, but the allegations of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and obstruction of justice in the Pullman case are just the latest potholes in a marathon of bad behavior. From several dozen troopers facing criminal charges in an expansive payroll fiasco, to drunk-driving drill instructors and other one-offs, the follies continue.

Hawaii, November 2020

A U.S. judge sentenced a former high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor to 13 years in prison Monday and her retired police chief husband to seven years, saying she stole money from her own grandmother and then used his law enforcement power to frame her uncle for a crime he didn’t commit — all to maintain the couple’s lavish lifestyle.

Arizona, September 2021

A police officer in Douglas, Arizona, resigned last year after he was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly colluding with drug traffickers on the U.S-Mexico border, Phoenix New Times has learned.

Arizona, May 2011

Authorities in Arizona have arrested three employees of a sheriff’s office known for its tough stand on illegal immigration, accusing them of aiding human traffickers and drug smugglers.

Texas, September 2020

A Williamson County grand jury has indicted Sheriff Robert Chody on an evidence tampering charge in the destruction of reality TV show footage that showed deputies chasing and using force on a Black man who died last year.

Alabama, July 2021

Sheriff Mike Blakely was at a casino when he called one of his employees and asked her to send him money from a safe holding cash belonging to inmates in the Limestone County jail in north Alabama, court testimony revealed.

. . . Blakely, a Democrat, is serving his 10th term as the elected sheriff of Limestone, a fast growing county in the Huntsville metro area. He is charged with 11 crimes of theft and abuse of power, including using his position for personal gain by obtaining interest free loans from the inmate money safe.

Etc.

How about them apples?

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