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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #695)
Drug War Issues

Cops cutting corners to make arrests, a cop caught providing protection for a load of cocaine, and a police force fired for its misbehavior make this week's rogues' gallery. Let's get to it:

In Houston, a Houston police sergeant was arrested July 27 on charges he took a bribe to provide protection for a vehicle carrying several kilograms of cocaine. Sgt. Leslie Atkins, 46, faces federal charges of aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and with accepting a $2,000 bribe to provide protection for a vehicle transporting seven kilograms of cocaine. He was arrested after a June 22 indictment was unsealed. The 19-year veteran has been suspended without pay. He faces a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence on the cocaine charge and could get life, and he faces up to 20 years for the bribery count. He is out on $50,000 bail.

In Oak Hill, Florida, the city council voted Monday to dissolve the police force over a number of issues, including the case of marijuana plants found on the property of 86-year-old Mayor Mary Lee Cook. Cook said publicly she believes the plants were placed there by someone within the department. Police Chief Diane Young and her six sworn officers were asked to turn in their guns and badges, and Volusia County is temporarily taking up some of the law enforcement slack until the city enters into a formal contract for services with the county.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Tulsa man has sued the city and a Tulsa police officer alleging that he falsified a search warrant that led to his conviction and life sentence in prison. DeMarco Williams, 36, filed the lawsuit July 28 in federal court in Tulsa and becomes the fifth person to sue the city and current or former police officers accused of falsifying search warrants and other corrupt practices in a festering scandal that keeps on giving. Williams accuses indicted Officer John Henderson of falsifying the search warrant and thus depriving him of his civil rights. He also accuses the city of Tulsa of negligence for failing to keep its cops in line. Henderson and fellow Officer Bill Yelton were indicted a year ago on a slew of criminal counts and went on trial Monday. Henderson is charged with 58 counts: 22 related to perjury, 20 related to civil rights violations, 12 related to drugs, two witness tampering counts, one firearms count and one attempted bribery count. Some duplicate charges are expected to be reduced during the trial. Yelton is charged with eight counts: four related to civil rights violations, two related to witness tampering, one related to suborning perjury and one count of attempted retaliation against a witness, which was added in September 2010. Yelton is not involved in Williams' case. Williams spent six years in jail and prison after being charged and convicted. He was released last year as the Tulsa corruption scandal broke wide open.

In New Orleans, a New Orleans police officer resigned last Friday as he was being investigated for allegedly lying about a January drug arrest in the Algiers section of the city. Officer Samuel Birks, a four-year NOPD veteran, was charged in state court late last month with filing false public records and malfeasance in office. Birks and his patrol partner, Joshua Hunt, are accused of falsely arresting Alvin Bean, planting a rock of cocaine on him, and lying about the incident. Hunt resigned in June. The charges against Bean were dropped after his defense attorney was able to convince prosecutors that the officers' stories didn't add up. The district attorney's office then dropped the charges against Bean and filed them against Birks and Hunt. They have both pleaded not guilty.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Jim Rogers (not verified)

    Creating more criminals does not strike me as a smart thing to do. Ruining people's lives and neighborhoods does not strike me as a smart thing to do. Standing by and carelessly watching as possible jobs are lost does not seem to me to be a smart thing to do.

    While the Real World seeks an end to the ancient racist laws written by angry old men,with regards to a mainly harmless plant,compared to alcohol and tobacco, our politicians stand by, carelessly throwing more people in jail every day as the desperately needed jobs aren't even considered.

    The question is"How do we get the politicians of the bubble called Washington Politics", and get them to talk about what the people want.

    No matter how often our President has been offered an opportunity to address the matter, he has failed continuesly to grasp the possibility's. But I must say it would take a brave President to commit political suicide, while in office. I'm guessing that the War will ramp up once he loses the election to whomever wins the republican popularity contest, because I've noticed that my one vote which I thought mattered, didn't.

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 8:09pm Permalink
kickback (not verified)

It`s hard to commit political suicide by favoring marijuana legalization when the majority [ over 50% ] of the American public now support marijuana legalization. When you start to see states begin to decriminalize marijuana and ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana , know that the end is near for prohibition. The genie is not going back into the bottle. Support for marijuana legalization is growing at 2% a year nationally.

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 10:58pm Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

In reply to by kickback (not verified)

And we could get a president who would end the federal government's war on drug(user)s in 2012 -- Ron Paul -- provided most (all?) reformers change their registration to Republican for just this one presidential election cycle and vote for him in the primaries/caucuses and again in the general when he succeeds in getting the Republican nomination.  

Gary Johnson is good but not nearly as popular (with people for whom reform of drug policies is not very high on their priority list) as Ron Paul happens to be (he'd be a great VP with Ron Paul as president), so we have a better chance of getting Ron Paul elected than we do Gary Johnson, be cause others would also vote for him for other reasons (his principles, his support for Constitutional government, for his understanding of the economy and monetary policies, because he is anti- undeclared war, because he is pro-freedom, etc.).  

So, if reformers truly want to end the prohibition of certain drugs, Dr. Paul is the ONLY choice for 2012.  If we miss this opportunity to elect an anti-prohibition president, it could be decades before we get another such opportunity.

Thu, 08/04/2011 - 3:01am Permalink
anonymouse (not verified)

A plant is a plant - grows from the soil.  How can a 'plant' be regulated.  This applies to the poppy, also.  The 'sheep' who represent 'us' in individual states and federal government are evil.   Whom-ever pays gets to play.  This is how this country is being blindly manipulated.   Jefferson stated something like 'when the government runs the citizens, get rid of those in power' (not exact statement but...).  The constitution has so many amendments attached or if preferred.... loop-holes, those representatives can do and do whatever suits.  Revolution is needed and now.

Sun, 08/07/2011 - 10:17am Permalink
B (not verified)

In reply to by anonymouse (not verified)

Maybe this is the one you were referring to:


The purpose of the Second Amendment is not to repel foreign invaders, but to assure the ability to overthrow the government if it ceases to be a government run for and by the people
-Thomas Jefferson.

..and perhaps these tidbits of wisdom should be thought about and considered when one starts to examine our government and society as it stands today:

(Voting, Voicing Opinion, Protesting)

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
-Thomas Jefferson

(Shady alliances with Foreign Nations)

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.
-Thomas Jefferson

(Maintaining American Military bases across the world)

Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
-Thomas Jefferson

(Rule by the Rich and Powerful)

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
-Thomas Jefferson

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
-Thomas Jefferson

(Patriot Act, Drug war, Bank Bailouts, etc.)

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
-Thomas Jefferson

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 10:51pm Permalink

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