The Drug War is a Training Camp for Corrupt Cops

In order to fight the drug war, police are trained in all the skills they need to become effective criminal masterminds. And many of them end up doing exactly that.

The Los Angeles Times tells the story of a group of narcotics officers who formed a gang that robbed dealers and sold drugs. It's a disturbing, though perfectly typical and illustrative, example of how the drug war functions as a training seminar in police corruption.

In the beginning, corruption is just a tactic for catching the bad guy:
Palomares admitted on the stand that he and fellow officers periodically planted drugs -- "cop dope," he called it -- on suspects against whom they didn't have sufficient evidence and then wrote false police reports, but he said he felt doing so was justified.

"We felt we were at war," he said. The officers who did such things, he said, "were the officers who really did their jobs and didn't let the gang members win."
Then it escalates. Widespread corruption inspires "clean" officers to turn dirty and get a taste of the action:
Palomares said he turned to crime after getting hurt on the job and becoming disillusioned by the suspension and subsequent firing of officers implicated in the Rampart police corruption scandal.
Good cops, once corrupted, make the best bad cops:
Palomares said William Ferguson, whom he met while the two worked together briefly in the Rampart Division, was a thorough searcher whom he could count on to find drugs or money hidden in locations where they conducted their bogus raids.

"I used to joke that he was like a bloodhound," Palomares testified, a slight smile crossing his face. "If there were drugs, I knew he would find them."
Police training and resources are converted into instruments of criminality:
Under questioning by prosecutor Jeffrey S. Blumberg of the Justice Department's civil rights division, Palomares at times sounded like an active duty police officer as he talked about "formulating a plan" prior to doing "takedowns" on the locations.

Blumberg asked about the significance of arriving at the locations in a police car.

"That way we wouldn't have any resistance or any problems," Palomares said.
It's important to note that the reason police are constantly arrested for drug war corruption isn’t because they're sloppy. These are highly skilled criminals with unique knowledge of how to keep their criminal enterprises under the radar. The reason we hear stories like this so often is because police corruption in the drug war is incredibly commonplace and endemic. Thus, for every such story one reads, countless similar operations continue undetected.

As this story illustrates, it does not matter if narcotics officers are subjected to rigorous psychological evaluations, background checks, or financial disclosures. This is all irrelevant because they aren't dirty when they arrive. They are rendered that way by the inherent filthiness of the job itself. The grinding, fruitless, repetitive process of whacking moles with a mallet leaves one defeated and desperate. As frustration ensues, one eventually casts the mallet aside and commences kicking the arcade machine until the coins come pouring out.

So if anybody needs a concrete demonstration of the drug war's inevitable continued failure, look no further than the daily revelations in our nation's newspapers about the role of police themselves in redistributing confiscated narcotics for personal profit.
Location: 
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Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Greed?

What these cops are, is greedy! This types' drug is money! Then, they treat all those"druggies" and "potheads" like scum under their feet! There are probably a lot more thefts going on out there in rural, small town America, where nothing is ever suspected. And, no one is ever caught!

Don't blame the wreck on the train

". . . they aren't filthy when they arrive. They are rendered that way by the inherent filthiness of the job." And who, pray tell, has made the job "inherently filthy"? (Here's a clue: It wasn't the drug users.)

If I had to hurt other people to make a living, I'd be long ago starved to death. Blaming the "job" for the lawless things that cops do is just as faulty as blaming the drug for the misdeeds of the addict. (I never stole to buy dope, either.) If cops had any integrity, they'd either do what's right or find another job.

LA Story

The more things change, the more they stay the same, at least for some cops in LA County and the surrounding area.

An old-time veteran of the Pasadena, CA, police force who worked that beat in the 1950s told me how his fellow Pasadena patrol buddies would plant marijuana on black motorists they’d pulled over to discourage blacks from moving into white neighborhoods. He said he finally became so disgusted with the practice he quit his job.

It seems that where there’s a will by those employed in the civil service sector to lie, steal, cheat, discriminate, slander, extort, blackmail, stigmatize, injure, or just plain whack somebody, the drug war is always the way.

Giordano

dirty cops

As I always say, it takes the same skills to be a criminal as to be a cop.

Drug users aren't criminals, but thieves are. also ther is that power thing. The lust for power is overpowering in some people.

getting away with murder

There was an incident in my town where a 19 year old white kid was shot in the head while being held down by 3 other officers because he "tried to grab one of the officer's gun" while being taken to the ground by the 4 blue boys. The family was outraged, obviously, but the reaction was otherwise mild. The officers were on paid suspension until "cleared of wrong-doing." The local paper ran numerous letters claiming the victim deserved it due to his past drug offenses (minor mj dealing). Made me sick.

des moines,iowa dirty cops,stealing drugs

des moines cops where given 60000.00 in assorted drugs,only 1/16 made it to the station.they use the code of blue to their advantage to often.they all carry throw away guns to frame people to justifiy thewuse of deadly force.bad cops need to be swinging by a yard arm. very strong justice for dirty police officers is needed to scare them to do honest police work.bad police are no better than meth producers themselves.put them in prison in population is where they need and the people they wrongly arrested would get justice.the same goes for judges that take money they know it is to sway a case in the other persons favor. the war on terror is here,the law enforcement is the problem.

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