Police misconduct

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Police misconduct

Angie Grullon and Sara Hossein

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Imagine yourself sitting in your backyard and playing with a garden hose nozzle. It’s not a crime, right? Yet at 4:45 pm on December 12th, 2010, Douglas Zerby was shot by two Long Beach Police Department officers while playing with a garden hose nozzle. They mistook the nozzle as a gun and killed the man. They did not warn him or tell him to put the “weapon“ down. The reason Douglas was shot was because of the officer’s lack of training. Experts discovered that the first officer was startled by a phone ringing and fired at Douglas. Douglas Zerby was not the only person to be killed by police officers like this.

Police misconduct is something that occurs a lot and has been happening since policing first started. It is also when police officers take advantage of their power and violate other people’s constitutional rights. Some examples of police misconduct include police brutality, deceiving, coercion, forced confessions, abuse of power, and sexual assault. This also includes the demand for sexual favors in exchange for leniency. Throughout the cases shown in our article, we expose cases that many people may not know.

Keith Findley from the Wisconsin Innocence Project conducted a study and found that as many as 50 percent of wrongful convictions involving DNA evidence had something to do with police misconduct. The Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project (MPMRP) statistics have shown that around one percent of all police officers commit misconduct in a year.

Issues like these create police culture, which is a set of values that shape how police officers perceive their working environment and act within it. This is shaped by issues associated with police work and shown through cynicism toward non‐police individuals and groups. This ends with an “us versus them” mentality, which is created and reinforced through officer selection, training, and work experience, which manifests in cynical attitudes toward the public and tacit acceptance of misconduct.

Racial Disparity in Police Brutality

Police brutality is a form of police misconduct that has to do with excessive force or violence. Police officers are legally permitted to use force, although this may be that does not mean they should use excessive force.

According to Jerome Herbert Skolnick, when police deal with physical problems, they tend to develop a sense of authority over society and end up using to much force. Police brutality has grown over time and has led to extreme use of force. Police brutality is also associated with racial profiling, and many cases of police misconduct are against a person of color.

An iSchool student, Ivette Sanchez described her sister, Giselle’s encounter with police. On March 13th, 2016, Giselle had been driving. A police officer had stopped them and asked them for identification to which they gave without a problem. They were then violently forced them out of the car after Giselle began to record what was happening.

According to Ivette, “They hit her in the face. she then had a broken nose, a black eye and blood in her eye.” After all of this that had occurred, the officer was promoted. This is one of the many things police officers had done before and after that related to racial profiling that happened. 

According to Ms. Strassler, a teacher at the NYC iSchool,  in the late 1900s to the early 2000s, stop and frisks were used frequently against young people of color, but when searched, whites were more likely to have something on them than a person of color, and yet people of color were twice more likely than whites to get arrested. This helps show that there are huge racial disparities in how cases are handled. An article called The Root shows statistics and evidence that about 30 percent of people living in America are Hispanic and Black. About 50 percent of unarmed people who were not attacking were Hispanics and Blacks who were killed. This was just in 2018. It has been proven that the violent crime rate has nothing to do with police shootings. Many urban high crime rates have lower rates of police killings than places with lower rates. In the same article, most cities with low rates for violent crime kill a disproportionate number of citizens. Although non-Hispanic whites make up 62 percent of the population, most of the unarmed, armed, and fleeing victims killed by police in 2018 were people of color. There was no category of police shootings where police killed more whites.

A graph displaying the common charges that the police face from 2005-2012.

Magdiel Sanchez/Sgt Chris Barnes:Cases of Police Brutality:

Woman protesting “Justice for Magdiel Sanchez”

Magdiel Sanchez was shot and killed on September 19, 2017, by Sgt Chris Barnes. Magdiel was sitting in front of his home when the incident happened. According to Sgt Chris Barnes, Sanchez was holding a long metal pipe and that is why shots were fired. Sanchez was deaf, so he had no idea what was going on and witnesses who knew the victim were trying to tell the officer that before he died (The Guardian). About 5 or 6 gunshots were fired, according to the witnesses, however, not a single one of the witnesses screams could save Sanchez. The attorney of Sanchez’s family stated that Sanchez was not a threat to the police and he stayed on his property when he got shot.

According to the medical examiner, Sanchez was shot 4 times in the torso and 1 in the left upper arm, a Taser puncture was also found on his thigh, according to the Oklahoman. The police claimed that they unsuccessfully tried to hurt Sanchez with a Taser before firing the shots. After the incident, the prosecutor in charge of this case declined to charge the police officer who shot and killed Magdiel Sanchez, according to USA Today. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater stated that the shooting was “lawful, reasonable, and not excessive.” This incident has led to a swarm of protests from all over Oklahoma for justice for Magdiel Sanchez.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez/Philando Castile:

Philando Castile’s death was revealed to the public in July of 2016. Diamond Reynolds was there at the scene recording the moment of her boyfriend’s death after he was shot several times and killed for having his brake light turned off.

Two men with hashtag for Philando Castile around their necks

According to a video released by The New York Times, he was stopped by Officer Jeronimo Yanez who shot 7 bullets, 5 of which hit Castile and 2 of which pierced through his heart. The police officer had asked for his license and his insurance, and Castile mentioned that he had a firearm, which he was licensed to carry, while he was trying to reach for his wallet.

Officer Yanez thought that he was reaching for his firearm, and he shot 7 bullets.  In the vehicle, Castile’s 4-year-old daughter was in the back, along with Castile’s girlfriend, who witnessed this terrifying scene. According to The Washington Post, his girlfriend was later cuffed in a police car and Castile’s 4-year old daughter told Reynolds not to scream because “I don’t want you to get shooted.”

According to Fox9, Castile was loved by kids as he worked for Saint Paul Public Schools. People who had known Castile were completely terrified because he was a kind person who had never done anything wrong. Officer Yanez was later charged with manslaughter and along with some other charges. Although justice has been served, Castile’s life could never come back after he left his girlfriend and his child behind on July 6, 2016.  Recently, Castile’s mother tries to continue her son’s legacy by wiping out school lunch debt, by giving 8,000 dollars which alleviated the lunch debt for Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope, Minn (NPR).

Eric Garner/Officer Daniel Pantaleo:

Eric Garner died on June 17, 2014, after he suffocated in a chokehold from Officer Daniel Pantaleo. A group of officers approached Garner and they began putting him in a chokehold after he refused to be handcuffed. He was then forcefully handcuffed and suffocated due to the chokehold.  

According to The New York Times, Garner had begged 11 times for breath, however, not a single one of his pleas made the officers pause this brutal incident. The New York Times stated that the officer’s reasoning for holding down Garner was because he was selling loose cigarettes. He was handcuffed, and although he was suffocating due to an asthma attack caused by the chokehold, he did not receive immediate aid.  His last words were “I can’t breathe,” which resulted in protests all over the world. Garner left his wife and kids on that day, he was only 43 years old.

Right after the incident, Officer Pantaleo was supposedly asking for a vacation because of this incident, however, he was on desk duty for the time being, according to the New York Post. Recently, Officer Pantaleo faces a trial 5 years after Garner’s death. The New York Times stated that the NYPD has had chokeholds be banned, however, Officer Pantaleo refuses to state that he used a chokehold on Garner. With this, Officer Pantaleo hasn’t been fired from the NYPD even with his wrongful actions on Eric Garner.  

From his perspective, Officer Pantaleo states that he was trying to calm Garner down, even though his use of his excessive force was caught on video and revealed to the whole world.

An anonymous source of ours had attended the protest for Eric Garner. “It was very powerful. There were many people who chanted his last words” He also says, “It’s important to make the people in power see how we feel and the fact that they shouldn’t be treating us like we’re below them. There have been so many cases like Eric Garner’s that prove that police need to change… We all need to change.” As our source says something needs to happen and it needs to happen soon.

Sexual Assault

Statistics by Bowling Green State University have shown that hundreds of police officers have been charged with forcible rape between 2005 and 2013. Yet statistics on sexual assault by police officers are almost nonexistent. 636 police officers have been arrested for forcible fondling, 405 police officers have been arrested for forcible rape and 219 police officers have been arrested for forcible sodomy. This does not include federal law enforcement officers.

In addition to these crimes, so many fondling, rape sodomy, etc have not been reported because of fear created by police, or police culture. People that are supposed to protect civilians and yet they commit terrible crimes. In one case, an unnamed victim went to a precinct to report a rape that happened to her but when they called her back, the police officers raped her and forced her to keep coming back or else they would convict her of a past crime which did not exist and arrest her.

The majority of police officers are good people, not rapists. But this is a big problem because the good police and civilians are affected by cases like those. They are affected because civilians will then fear the bad cops and the good cops for what they could possibly do.  This “blue wall” of silence creates a major trust issue with civilians and with officers who work together.

A former police chief said , “If I’m a snitch, then the chance that my fellow officers will not have my back is significant.” It might be difficult but this can be fixed, policies should be put into place to make victims feel safe. Officers of the opposite sex of the suspect should comfort the victim and interview them instead of policies officers of the same sex as the suspect interrogating and scarring the victim for something that happened to them. Police officers should be tracked and rules should be put in place at precincts. There are not enough rules for police officers that will prevent problems like these. Even so, it will not be easy.

Cases of Sexual Assault:

Officer 1st Class Ryan Macklin Case:

Picture of Ryan Macklin before the charges

Officer Ryan Macklin was charged on first and second-degree rape, misconduct in office and other related charges, according to NBC Washington. The woman had reported that the officer had pulled her over at a traffic stop and attacked her in early October 11. The woman was pulled over by Officer Macklin at about 1 a.m. on October 11, 2018, in Langley Park. The woman claims that Officer Macklin had attacked her because of her immigration status, as Officer Macklin had seen her non-compliant driver’s license which indicated her immigration status.

Lizette Olmos, a spokeswoman for the immigration advocacy and assistance organization CASA de Maryland spoke expressed her opinion of this issue, from a statement in The Washington Post. Olmos stated, “she indicated that after the police officer saw her driver’s license and noticed that she was undocumented, that’s when the aggression began toward her. That’s when she realized she was in trouble.” After she was attacked, Officer Macklin forced her to perform a sex act in her car in a nearby parking lot. Then, he told the victim that he wanted to have intercourse, but luckily, the victim had called a witness to the location and Officer Macklin left the scene. Even with Officer Macklin’s reckless actions, he was pleaded not guilty.

Brent Getz and Gregory Warner Case:

Brent Getz and Gregory Warner’s mugshots

A 12-year old girl was scared for her life after she was sexually assaulted throughout a 7 year period. It all started when the little girl went to her substitute teacher telling him the situation, and the teacher then ended up telling the police, according to The New York Times.

After 7 years passed, the girl later confessed that one of the men that assaulted her was the police chief, Brent Getz. It was later revealed that Getz’s friend, Gregory Wagner, also took part in this horrifying crime, according to NBC News. Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “the defendants terrorized this young victim by assaulting her hundreds of times over seven years.”

According to Law and Crime, they have been assaulting her since she was 4 years old up until the time she was 11. This unbelievable case gets even worse after Wagner confessed to Getz had sexual contact with the girl while Wagner played video games in the same room. The 12-year old girl confessed that Wagner was a relative and that she had been assaulted by Wagner several times a week.  She would also be forced to watch pornography, according to the 12-year-old girl. Both Brent Getz and Gregory Warner were charged for the sexual assault of the child and will possibly face more charges along the way.

Activist Ms. Wattimena stated in an interview, “It must’ve been hard the girl, she must’ve had to deal with so much for the reckless actions of the two policemen.” The girl hasn’t been identified to the public, however, the horrifying memories of her past may scar her for life.

NYC’s Past of Police Abuse of Power:

In just New York, over 12,000 cases have resulted in lawsuit settlements totaling over 400 million during a 5 year period in 2014. There have been many people killed or injured by police as they’re trying to apprehend people.

Ms. Strassler, a history teacher at the iSchool says that “There has been history of cover up attempts in New York.” This has happened due to lack of training.

In the ’70s, there was a lot of bribing and collaboration with criminals. In some neighborhoods, cops tended to pursue those with less money, expecting them to do something wrong, also known as the broken window theory, which inspired police to go after those who committed smaller crimes to get the people who committed more severe crimes. This led to racial profiling against minorities.

There has also been evidence showing that in the past, the police of New York used to use numbers on how many people they arrested as competition. As a result,innocent people who might look like a criminals were incriminated.

Now, police officers wear body cameras after cases like Eric Garner. “That would have been recorded and they would have had video evidence of it instead of police reporting what happened,” Ms. Strassler said. The city should be overseeing the police and preventing issues and fear created by the police.

“Being a police officer is very difficult and very scary profession at times, and we have to respect people for that… Respecting the police but holding them accountable is very important,” says Ms. Strassler. At the beginning of the police force being used in the past, the city did not run the police. Local politicians and others were hired to clean up neighborhoods. Finally, the city took it over but police had so many chances to not do their jobs and take bribes because there was no training and they weren’t actually cops.

In the 80s and 90s, the city started doing more things to hold police accountable, including screening police officers and checking on them more frequently. There was more oversight than there was in the 60s and 70s after the crime rate spiked after civilians lost their trust in the police for them not doing their job. In recent times, some people on the police force has abused their power since they are in a position of power, some people will abuse that power and they need to be investigated and removed.

Ms. Strassler says, “Better policing leads to less corrupt policing.” Policing in New York City has improved, but that doesn’t mean that we should let our guard down and let them slip.

Central Park Five Case:

The Central Park Five Case has recently become popular due to the new limited Netflix series released in 2019 called When They See Us. The Central Five park case took place on April 19, 1989. The victim was brutally raped and put into a coma for 12 days. Five young males, one Hispanic and four blacks were arrested for the crimes committed in Central Park.

These young males were coerced and confessed to crimes they didn’t commit believing that confessing would get them out of going to prison. Before the trial, the FBI tested the DNA in the rape kit and found that it did not match the suspects. Yet, they were convicted in 1990 in two separate trials.

Yusef Salaam giving a speech

The young boys received sentences ranging between 5-15 years. Later, in 2002 a convicted murderer and serial rapist named Matias Reyes had confessed to raping the jogger. His DNA had matched the DNA in the case. He had also described things about the case the public had not known. Even so, the statute of limitations had passed by the time he had confessed. The five convicted men had been released afterward. They had still lost their childhoods. All five men had sued the city for racial discrimination, malicious prosecution, and emotional distress. However, the city felt they would win under Mayor Bloomberg, but after Bill De Blasio became mayor, the case was settled for $41 million dollars in 2014. After this case, the five men were pursuing $52 million in damages from New York.

Forced Confessions/Coercion:

America has had more than 360 wrongful convictions and more than 50% of those convictions had something to do with false confessions or coercion. The main reason suspects confess to a crime they didn’t do it because an officer has scared them into confessing.

that most forms of forced confessions include the suspect confessing to get out of the interrogation room due to being deprived of food, exhausted, or thirsty. the threat of force, or in some cases mental limitations. Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner, by the use of threats or force. In many interrogations, police officers need to be scary or tough to get a confession from an actual perpetrator, but that doesn’t mean that they should force it out of them.

In many wrongful convictions, the police officer that put the wrong person in jail does not face consequences. Around 33% of officers who commit misconduct are convicted. This mostly has to do with the fact that when a brutality case is reported, it gets sent to the same police department that the officer is from, making it harder to fight for the case.  Police coercion or forced confessions are illegal and are not allowed to occur but it still happens. Whether it is accidental or on purpose.

Detective Luis Ortiz says, “If you hold a suspect for too long, they might confess because they’re tired or something like that. You always have to make sure, and check what they say.”

Cases of Force Confessions/Coercion:

Djurdjulov Case:

Djurdjulov was only 17 when he was accused of committing first-degree murder. They told him that he was a member of the Spanish Cobras gang. Apparently, a bottle was thrown through his window, and he had retaliated by creating a fire and in the building of where members of the rival gang lived in.

The police came to Roosevelt High School, looking for Djurdjulov and two other teenagers. They eventually let him go because Djurdjulov told the cops that he was just visiting his two brothers at around the time of the crime. Not too long after, the police found him again, so they picked him up again and told him to verify his alibi, then they went to arrest him for an unrelated crime on March 10, 2017.

Santiago, Djurdjulov’s friend, told the officers that Djurdjulov went to the apartment the night of the crime and that he tried to change his clothes and get rid of his pants. Santiago claimed that when they saw the
news about the fire, Djurdjulov stated: “I burned down a building.”  

According to the Marshall Plan, Santiago had told the defense investigators that he was promised that he would be released from custody if he had incriminated Djurdjulov. Santiago’s fiancee, Angelita LaSalle stated that Djurdjulov had a valid alibi and after Santiago was arrested, her story completely changed.

An article called the Marshall Plan, LaSalle told the defense investigators that she only incriminated Djurdjulov because the cops promised that they would release her fiance if she did so. He was then again brought to the police station and he was respected, as no one laid a hand on him, however that didn’t last long.

According to the Marshall Project, a detective said, “[O]h, this fucking make[s] you smirk, huh? Your little smirk, a seven-year-old girl is dead. You think this is a fucking joke?… What do you think they’re gonna do to you? You’ll be in the fucking penitentiary until you’re fucking a hundred and ten fucking years old if you make it that far. That’s if they don’t fucking give you the fucking lethal injection.” The detective then stated, “‘[Y]ou could very well spend the rest of your fucking life in prison if they don’t fucking give you the needle? I mean you realize that…. For something that might’ve been a fucking mistake, might’ve been a plan that went to[o] far. But we won’t know that until you tell us exactly what happened, who was there, how it went down.”

Djurdjulov had felt so terrified, so he stated that a member of his Cobras gang had planned to start the fire and that he had heard about the fire and that he saw the fire when it had started. After that, the police had confronted with him about the cell phone records, so he changed his story stating that it wasn’t a member of the Cobras gang who started the fire, it was a member of the Spanish Gangster Disciples, who started the fire out of revenge. This led to Djurdjulov being found guilty after the Jurors had looked through his transcript of the interrogation and his cellphone records. Djurdjulov was sentenced for two consecutive 45-year sentences until his conviction was overturned.

Lawrence Montoya Case:

Lawrence Montoya lost 14 years of his life because of a forced confession. Montoya was only 14 years old when he was a suspect of killing a teacher. When he was being questioned, the detectives were screaming at him and they were banging on the table; one of them told him that he would be in prison for the rest of his life, so Montoya confessed. He was cornered against a wall and told that he should say goodbye to his mother, his parents weren’t present for most of the 3 hours that he was interrogated.

According to the lawsuit,

A picture of Lawrence Montoya when he was 14 years old, taken on January 13, 2000.

Montoya confessed about 65 times that he had nothing to do with the murder, however, they didn’t believe that.  He was released from prison in 2014 because of new DNA tests, which raised doubts about his involvement with the murder.

“He basically grew up in prison for something that he didn’t do,… He has tried to get used to living in a world of internet and cellphones and stuff that he did not have access to before,” said Jane Fisher-Byrialsen, one of Mr. Montoya’s lawyers. Montoya is suing Denver Police for 30 million dollars.

According to Attorney Fisher, 44 percent of juveniles exonerated by DNA were coerced into false confessions, which could give another explanation as to Montoya confessed.

Detective Arjune stated, “it’s so upsetting that one’s life could change in the blink of the eye. Montoya was too young and too innocent to be put through all that trouble.”

Sadly, Montoya is having trouble adapting to the technological generation as he has been behind bars for so long, he missed so many important milestones in his life that can’t come back.

Unclear cases/Tampered Evidence:

Tampering with evidence, or evidence tampering, is an act in which a person alters, conceals, falsifies, or destroys evidence with the intent to interfere with an investigation.

In 2015, the FBI admitted to decades of relying on faulty hair analysis in trials, a gigantic error in criminal cases. 32 defendants have been sentenced to death of cases having to do with those faulty hair analyses. 14 have died in prison or have been executed.

When officers destroy evidence, they can be prosecuted for the act of evidence tampering. Some of the common reasons for a police officer to tamper with the evidence is if they had made a mistake during the investigation or if they believe a certain suspect is guilty, so they tamper the evidence to prove that they are guilty of the tampering of the evidence.

There has been a statistic from Daily News, stating that 319 NYPD police officers kept their jobs despite deceiving or assaulting New Yorkers. In addition, fifty of the 319 cops and civilian workers supposedly lied to official reports, according to internal police files. Even so, some of this evidence isn’t tampered with but uncertain.

An interview with an NYC police officer says, “We’ve had a couple of cases were the evidence was uncertain but we knew the guy was guilty and we had to let him go because we couldn’t prove it.”

Examples of unclear cases/tampered evidence:

Officer Brian Trainer/Terrence Sterling Case:

Terrence Sterling was shot and killed on September 11, 2016. He was stopped by Officer Brian Trainer because of a report of a motorcycle driving erratically throughout D.C., according to PBS.

Sterling supposedly rammed his vehicle into the police car intentionally, which led to Officer Trainer striking Sterling in the head and back. Witnesses were stating that they didn’t believe that Sterling intentionally struck the police car. Although what happened in that incident isn’t clear, Trainer and his partner didn’t turn on their body cameras until about a minute after the shots were fired. Recently, a grand jury decided that Officer Trainer was not guilty of the three charges that he faced. He was on paid administrative leave after the incident and it is somewhat unknown if he was fired.

The family of Sterling stated, “It is hard to reconcile how quickly the police will charge our citizens yet when it’s one of their own, it seems as if they are looking for any way to avoid it.” Although Officer Trainer was found not guilty, the events that occurred on that day aren’t surely known.

Officer Richard Pinheiro:

On January 24, 2014, Richard Pinheiro used false evidence to get an innocent man in jail for several months. Officer Pinheiro found a soup can with drugs stuffed inside a plastic bag outside of a row house, this was to arrest a Baltimore man on suspicion of drug charges. His body camera caught the first 30 seconds of the incident without his knowledge, there wasn’t any audio, however, it shows Officer Pinheiro placing the bag in the trash. It also caught him walking away to announce his discovery. The suspect is now free from charges, however, he was still put in prison for Officer Pinheiro reckless actions.

PBS NewsHour had stated that Officer Pinheiro has been a witness in another 53 cases. This created the concern that someone may have been falsely accused of something that they didn’t do.

According to Baltimore Sun, Officer Pinheiro was charged with fabricating evidence, a misdemeanor that carries up to three years’ imprisonment. Along with that, he was charged with misconduct in office, this allows the court to choose any penalty for Officer Pinheiro.

Officer Pinheiro claims that he re-traced his steps and put the bag back into the pile of trash for “documentation purposes”. “I could have sworn he was there,” which is what Officer Pinheiro claims because he states that he thought that the arresting police officer was there and he didn’t want to investigate further because he wasn’t the arresting police officer. One thing is for certain, he was caught putting the bag inside that pile of trash and he did go back, stating that he found evidence, he was not also mindful that the body camera records 30 seconds before activation.

Meredith Kercher:

On November 2, 2007, Amanda Knox had returned to her home. She found the bathroom covered in blood, which was odd since her roommate was very neat and tidy.

Knox had spent the night at her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito’s house. She attempted to enter her roommate Meredith Kercher’s room to find out what happened and could not open the door because it was locked.

The third roommate, Filomena Romanelli, returned home after talking to Amanda. Romanelli was afraid they were robbed, so she walked around looking and accidentally disturbed the crime scene.

A picture of Meredith Kercher

Romanelli uncovered Kercher’s cell phones in a garden nearby and called the cops. She requested to break down the door to Kercher’s room to which the police said no. Romanelli’s friend broke through the door and discovered Kercher’s body, which was covered in blood and was partially naked.

It was later found out through autopsy that most of Kercher’s injuries were sustained as a result of being restrained during a sexual assault. Both Knox and Sollecito were arrested and charged with Kercher’s murder due to trace amounts of their DNA found on the murder weapon and apartment. Once Meredith Kercher’s room was searched, the police officers had found fingerprints, footprints, and DNA on Kercher’s body, which belonged to a man who went on a date with the victim the night of her murder.

For some reason, the police were convinced that Knox, Sollecito, and the date had ganged up and killed Kercher together. 4 years later, experts discovered many flaws in the evidence against Sollecito and Knox. For example, police allowed cross contamination to occur because they did not change their gloves as they gathered the evidence. They also discovered that the alleged murder weapon did not have the victims DNA. In 2015, both Knox and Sollecito were exonerated for Kercher’s murder.

OJ Simpson:

A mug shot of OJ Simpson.

On June 12th, 1994,  Ron Goldman and OJ Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown’s bodies were found outside of Nicole Brown’s home. When the detectives arrived at OJ Simpson’s home to inform him, they noticed blood on Simpson’s white Ford Bronco. An article called The Britannica says that without a search warrant, Detective Mark Fuhrman and three other detectives believed that Simpson might have been injured and went to go check on him and investigate. Mark Fuhrman found a bloody glove matching one that was found at the crime scene. All of the missteps of the forensic team came to light during the trial. The defense noted that many items, including a vial of OJ Simpson’s blood, had gone missing. The Jurors were infuriated by evidence of racism and questioned whether the case was tampered with. Simpson’s car had been impounded at an LAPD facility and entered a couple of times without authorization. OJ Simpson was found not guilty in 1995.

 

Officers have beaten civilians, people of the public, committed crimes by tampering with evidence by planting evidence, and have used the fact that they are police to harass women. They have forced confessions, lied to the public, abused their power, etc. How police departments hide many crimes when they are supposed to fight crime. Despite their role to help and protect civilians, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe, can avoid problems for the misconduct they do. The records of their misconduct are filed away, covered up and kept a secret from anyone outside their departments. Not all police officers are bad, most police officers do what their job requires them to do and solve problems the right way. Even so many cases in America help prove how wrong “the blue wall of silence” is, the fear that some police officers spread through thinking that they are above the law.