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Police corruption is a fixation of movies and TV drama. A plot to our favorite daytime soap, but it couldn’t possibly be a reality in our American dream, freedom of everything society, could it? Understandably the citizens of America must accept the reality of police corruption when faced with increasingly frequent headlines of dishonesty and police brutality amidst United States Police Departments. The Los Angeles Times in July of 2000 reported seventy officers under investigation for purposely committing or failing to report crime, as well as 100 convictions that had to be overturned due to police misconduct. In Philadelphia in 1995 in the 39th district alone, ten officers were charged with planting drugs on suspects, taking money from drug dealers or breaking in and stealing drugs and cash from civilians.
New York City’s Mollen Commission identified power and vigilante justice as motives for drug-related police corruption. In New Orleans in 1998, eleven officers were convicted of accepting money to protect a 286 pound supply of cocaine, an investigation of which ended in the death of a witness that had been ordered by a New Orleans police officer. A 1998 report by the General Accounting Office listed examples of drug-related police corruption in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Savannah and Washington D.C. The GAO report also noted that “Although profit was found to be a motive common to traditional and drug related police corruption, New York City’s Mullen Commission identified power and vigilante justice as two additional motives for police corruption”. It is the abuse of power in these situations that leads to an abundance of police corruption. While drug related corruption is a problem, the most typical forms of police abuse are in the form of brutality and failure to complete their duty. Such derelictions of duty are often not prosecuted, generally not even pursued. When complaints are filed, there is a lack of accountability and cover up from administration. In this matter an abundance of police corruption continues to exist in America.