Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story 8/27/04

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


At least one reader had an issue with one of last week's corrupt cop stories, Buffalo, New York, police officer Ronnie Funderburk, who faces felony charges for advising his drug dealer brother-in-law how to avoid arrest. The reader suggested that Funderburk was essentially doing nothing more than a little harm reduction for his in-law. That is true. What in our opinion makes Funderburk corrupt is that he was doing it only for family members. Because Funderburk was a cop, brother-in-law got special favors unavailable to the general public. If police officers wish to issue pamphlets on how drug offenders can avoid arrest, and they make them generally available, we're all for it.

This week's corrupt cops story is a bit more straightforward. The Newark Star-Ledger reported Tuesday that the Newark Police Department and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice have been investigating allegations that up to a half-dozen "rogue cops" have been shaking down drug dealers and prostitutes, then peddling the guns and drugs seized from their victims. The evidence is about to be presented to a statewide grand jury, law enforcement officials told the Star-Ledger.

Police trotted out familiar platitudes about bad apples. "There is an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice targeting corruption in the ranks of the Newark Police Department," said Newark Police Director Anthony Ambrose. "The vast majority of the Newark Police Department are good, hardworking officers," Ambrose said of the 1,900-person police department. "But like anywhere else, there may be a few rotten apples in the bunch. These are the ones who can blemish the good people who come to work every day and do their jobs."

But there may be more than a few bad apples. According to Newark police union leader Jack McEntee, more than 80 police officers have received letters from the Division of Criminal Justice saying they are either potential witnesses or subjects of the investigation. And it could be more than shakedowns and dope-dealing cops. "Officials familiar with the probe" told the Star-Ledger the investigation is also checking out allegations Newark police conducted illegal searches, planted drugs on suspects or failed to turn in all of the funds seized during drug raids. "Pure and simple, this is about bad cops doing bad things on the street," one of the officials said.

One official told the Star-Ledger the bad cops "did not hesitate resorting to violence" and that the haul from their robberies of drug dealers was in the thousands of dollars. That same official added that the rogue officers did not appear to be working together. Oh, great! We have groups of Newark cops independently arriving at the same corrupt and vicious course of action. Could there be a structural problem here?

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #351, 8/27/04 Editorial: Prohibition Itself Must Go | Timely Intervention Helps Block Student Drug Testing: The Case of Oregon's Lebanon Community School District | Arkansas Medical Marijuana Initiative Hands in More Signatures, Drive to Make Ballot Still Alive | Two Web Sites Now Online Are Naming Names and Seeking Info on Narcs and Snitches | Newsbrief: No Criminal Charges Against Cops in Goose Creek High School Raid | Newsbrief: Baltimore Needle Exchange Hailed on Tenth Anniversary | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Virginia Judge Jails Woman for Taking Prescription Methadone | Newsbrief: Minneapolis City Council Rejects Medical Marijuana Initiative | Newsbrief: Seattle Hempfest Endorses Kerry | Newsbrief: DPA Reaches Out to GOP Conventioneers | Newsbrief: Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Pulls Out of NYC GOP Anti-Drug War March, Broader Event Will Go On Instead | Online Petition on Marc Emery and Canadian Marijuana Law Reform | Keith Cylar Activist Fund | Media Scan: Kunstler Rockefeller Video, Counterpunch | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]