Which US city has the most corrupt law enforcement?
July 18, 2013 Tim Dees, Retired cop and criminal justice professor, Reno Police Department
NYPD works at keeping itself free from corruption, but its monstrous bureaucracy and deeply-ingrained organizational culture works in favor of cops with corruption scams. Roughly every 20 years there is a major flare-up of a corruption scheme large enough to make the papers. The penetration of these corruption outbreaks seems to shrink with every iteration. Most recently, a ticket-fixing operation was limited to one operational division. The various "pads" (ongoing bribe and protection schemes) of the 1960s and early 1970s went city-wide.
LAPD has been more or less free of what is regarded as corruption in most cities since the 1950s, when Chief William Parker professionalized the department and drove out the rampant corruption that pervaded the department. Since then, most of its scandals have centered on relatively small groups of officers engaging in excessive force as an intimidation tactic. There was a huge dust-up a few years back surrounding gang-type criminal activity within the Rampart patrol area, and several LAPD officers went to prison for long terms. Virtually every officer in Rampart was reassigned. LAPD had a reputation for being heavy-handed, but this was aberrant for this agency.
As other answerers have mentioned, the New Orleans Police department seems to take the prize for the most corrupt large police agency in America. Low pay for many years helped bring this about. Many NOPD officers kept their city jobs only because they were the gateway to more lucrative "pay jobs" working for private employers while in uniform and representing the police department. These "pay job" arrangements are still common, especially in the South and Midwest, but they obviously provide opportunity for misuse of police powers.
Several dynamic chiefs and a federal oversight effort have not fully cleaned up NOPD. The organizational culture of the agency can take 20 years to change, and the people who profit most by having deviant practices in place just lay low and wait out the reformers before they resume their activities. Unless you fire everyone and start over with all new people (which would be all but impossible), that organizational culture will endure.
Possibly the best example of the pervasiveness of NOPD's corruption is illustrated by its roster of former officers who are in prison. NOPD has the distinction of being the only police department in America with three former officers on death row for murder. Two of the murders were committed on duty. In one of these, the offender killed her own partner, left the scene, and then returned in response to a radio call to investigate the crime. Chutzpah.
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New Orleans police officer arrested, booked with forcible rape
By Dannah Kirby Fox8
New Orleans, La.- The New Orleans Police Department announces the arrest of an NOPD officer. Desmond Pratt Sr. was arrested at his home Wednesday night.
A police spokeswoman confirms Pratt was booked with forcible rape and sexual battery.
The alleged victim is a 15 year old girl. The NOPD says Pratt was placed on emergency suspension without pay after the arrest.
Pratt is a 16 year veteran of the NOPD. He most recently worked in the Sixth District.
His bond was set at $50,000.
New Orleans Police Officers Charged With Rape, Child Porn Still On Force
May 13, 2015 By Aric Mitchell WDSU
The New Orleans Police Department may not be living up to the whole “to protect and serve” mantra that its citizens expect after startling revelations that two officers are still on the force in spite of having been charged with child pornography and child rape.
The officers — Bradley Wax, 54, and Michael Thomassie, age not given — were arrested after allegations were made of possessing pornographic images depicting children (Wax) and aggravated rape of a victim less than 10-years-old (Thomassie).
Wax’s alleged crimes, if punished to the fullest extent of the law, would qualify him for a 500-year sentence.
Actually, according to a 2014 report from WAFB, Wax was charged with 38 separate counts of child pornography and each count carries with it a sentence of 20 years, for an exact total of 760 years.
Thomassie faces the most severe sex crime in state law.
According to a report from WDSU’s investigative team, the two men were suspended but are now back on active duty and getting a taxpayer-funded paycheck.
While the New Orleans Police Department maintains that the two men are on light duties, they are still allowed to carry their weapons.
The “emergency suspension” that officers are placed on following charges of this nature is limited to just 120 days, and if you look at the case of Ananie Mitchell, there’s not even a guarantee they’ll serve the whole time.
Mitchell is an officer that works on the city’s gang task force, and he was back in action after just 50 days following his alleged solicitation of a prostitute.
How could something like this happen in the 21st century, you may be asking? Four words: “innocent until proven guilty.”
Since Wax and Thomassie have served their suspensions and their trials are not scheduled until this summer, the NOPD doesn’t have any other choice but to go on rewarding the men with a paycheck and all the authority they had prior to the allegations.
Dr. John Penny, criminologist at Southern University at New Orleans, found it “incredibly hard to imagine anyone in that capacity would be back working and being paid for it at taxpayer expense.”
“It sends a very dangerous message to the citizens of this community,” he added.
Allegations of sex crimes among active duty police officers are nothing new. Take this story about a former school resource officer who used his position to rape 22 boys.
Do you think the New Orleans Police Department is well within its right to fire these men regardless of what happens at trial?
NOPD officer arrested, accused of raping teenage male relative
September 24, 2016 By Ken Daley NOLA
A 19-year veteran New Orleans police officer was arrested Friday night (Sept. 23) on accusations that he raped a teenage male relative who visited his Algiers apartment earlier this year.
Officer Marcellus White is accused of luring the boy into his bedroom, pushing him onto a bed and performing oral sex on the teen against the boy's wishes. Court documents said the 15-year-old boy and his mother have moved to Mississippi, unable to bear living in New Orleans in the wake of the sexual assault alleged to have occurred in March or early April of this year when the boy was 14.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit sworn by NOPD sex crimes detective Lawrence Jones, police investigators obtained from the boy's mother a June 20 email exchange with White, in which the officer pleads for forgiveness while also asking that the mother drop her demand that White "step down from all positions" that give him access to minor children.
"Words cannot explain how I am sorry for the pain I have caused the family and the trust I have violated," White wrote to the mother, according to the court documents. "In closing, your asking me to step down from 'all' positions that would put me in contact with minor children ... Doing that would put further financial stress on me, due to having no other source of income other than my job."
White, 45, was booked with felony counts of second-degree rape, molestation of a juvenile and indecent behavior with a juvenile. Second-degree rape is punishable in Louisiana by a five- to 40-year prison term, with at least two years without the possibility of probation or parole.
The NOPD said White has been placed on emergency administrative suspension, a common first step when an officer has been arrested. Records show White has previously been assigned to the NOPD's Fiscal Management department and most recently to the 2nd District policing Uptown.
White, shackled and clad in an orange jail jumpsuit, was the lone inmate brought into New Orleans' Magistrate Court on Saturday, where Commissioner Brigid Collins set his bond at $350,000. White was represented Saturday by public defender Thomas Frampton, but told the judge he expected to be represented later by Donovan Livaccari, lead attorney for the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Frampton argued Saturday for a lower bond, asserting that, "These allegations are inconsistent with anything known about Mr. White's history or career."
But the evidence cited in the arrest warrant affidavit painted a different picture. In addition to the email exchange cited by officers, the report also said the victim's mother phoned White to demand the truth about her son's allegations.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry," White responded, according to the mother's statement to police.
The report said that after the allegations were made this week from out of state, NOPD detectives assigned to the Public Integrity Bureau arranged for the boy to be forensically interviewed at a child advocacy center in Mississippi. Though he was unable to recall the date of the assault, he told interviewers it occurred in late March or early April when he and his brothers were visiting White's home in the 3100 block of Rue Parc Fontaine in Algiers.
The accuser said he was asleep in another room when White woke him up at 2 a.m. and directed him to take a shower in the bathroom connected to White's bedroom. The boy said White approached him after he came out of the shower, but that he told White, "Na, I ain't with that."
The teen said White pulled down his shorts, pushed him onto the edge of the bed, and knelt to perform oral sex. The boy told interviewers he asked, "What are you doing?" He said White responded, "Relax, I know what I'm doing."
White is the third NOPD officer since February 2014 to be arrested on allegations of sexually assaulting a minor.
Officer Michael Thomassie was indicted on Feb. 13, 2014, charged with raping his girlfriend's daughter in 2003 when the child was 7 years old. Though that sexual assault was not reported until July 2013, Thomassie was convicted of aggravated rape in August 2015 and four months later was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Thomassie has appealed his conviction and sentence to Louisiana's 4th Circuit Court, which has not issued a ruling.
Officer Willie Gant Sr. was arrested in July 2014 on allegations that he twice committed sexual battery against a visiting relative, a 12-year-old girl. Gant's trial date has been postponed several times, and another hearing in his case is scheduled for Wednesday.
White is also one of nine officers who was investigated in 2009 after Adolph Grimes III, 22, was fatally shot by police on New Year's Day. Grimes was shot 14 times by a plainclothes police unit after allegedly shooting at the officers first. NOPD cleared all nine members and reassigned them to administrative desk duty.