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Social Import: The Cracks in the System

An integral component to the infrastructure of government is law enforcement. In over two hundred years of prosperity, the United States has relied heavily upon the integrity of its law enforcement in maintaining order and securing the civil liberties of the American. The conduct and code of the police force in the United States has been exemplary, and has set the standards by which many nations have modeled their police departments after that of the U. S..

Disregarding the chain of the insidious debauchery during the 1920’s where prohibition resulted in prevalent organized crime and police corruption, law enforcement in America has maintained its scruples. However, as America enters into the new millennium, the integrity of the United States Law Enforcement is being compromised once again. With the recent outbursts of brutality and corruption within the urban areas of the United States, the civil liberties and public freedoms that this great nation was founded upon are being jeopardized as the citizens from the urban sectors to the suburban regions of America are being denied their rights.

Numerous incidents of police scandal have been recorded in several different cities throughout the United States. These incidents are becoming commonplace in the daily lives of many urban Americans. Police departments across the nation are becoming increasingly careless and apathetic in the preservation of integrity in their departments, but none have been as blatantly in violation of law enforcement codes as the Los Angeles Police Department.

With its reputation in question for the better part of the 1990’s after recovering from the mishandling of the 1965 Watts Riots, the Los Angeles Police Department proved has proven itself guilty of violent brutality and devious corruption in the recent scandal; the largest scandal in the history of the department. In an investigation conducted by a collaboration of agencies from the FBI to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s to the LAPD’s internal-affairs unit, investigators unraveled the cases of hundreds of wrong fully indicted victims.

The evidence found in these investigations have led to the reversals of forty criminal convictions and hundreds of cases opened for review, including thousands of cases awaiting examination. In the ongoing process of apprehending of mischievous of the Los Angeles police officers, there have been four indicted officers, two others fired, twenty officers relieved of their duties, and scores of officers placed under suspicion. A riveting two thousand page testimony of Los Angeles cop, Rafael Perez, accused of stealing six pounds of cocaine from a downtown headquarters, reveals the extent of the police corruption.

The “gangster cops”, no different from the gang members they arrest on the streets (some of which are members of notorious street gangs), are noted to have beaten, framed, shot, and raped innocent citizens within the Rampart borders on a regular basis. On one of the many occasions of criminal conduct confessed by Perez, the officer admitted to having shot an unarmed nineteen year old Hispanic boy and planted a rifle on him to cover up the deed. On yet another incident, Perez reported to having raped a seventeen year-old girl in a squad car while on duty.

These despicably putrid accounts of crime fill the testimony of Rafael Perez who revealed much of the criminal activity LAPD’s Rampart division. The tragic abuse of power has disturbed the local residents, and the rest of the nation. “The most powerful public official in the city of Los Angeles is not the mayor, it’s the officer we put out there on the street in a black-and-white car with guns, badges, shotguns and assault weapons,” quotes Robert Hansohn, a newly appointed captain responsible for restructuring the Rampart Division.

This statement addresses the degree of power with which the police officers patrol the streets of the United States. The abuses of this authority continue to manifest within the metropolitan cities and urban neighborhoods with only of fraction of misconduct being reported. On the opposite coast of the this country, police officers of the New York Police Department have been charged with the same type of rampant corruption and lawlessness as their fraternal counterparts in Los Angeles.

The widespread coverage of the Abner Louima torture case, where four New York cops were suspended for having committed the atrociously brutal beating of a New York resident, evidenced the horrors within the NYPD. The most recent allegations link NYPD officers to the ruthless murder of an unarmed Amadou Diallo, a law abiding African-American New Yorker. The suspected police officers unleashed hate filled forty bullets into the blameless Diallo, creating an outrage in the New York community and a full-fledged media frenzy.

From Los Angeles to New York, all across the country, outbreaks of unjust police behavior occur on a daily basis. There have been thousands of reported incidents of police misconduct in the countless cities throughout the nation, and probably thousands more that transpire without any mention. Law enforcement officers in the United States have been granted powerful authority to assist them in serving and protecting the people of this country. Many of them use their authority to uphold their duties with honor and integrity. However, the abuses of these powers are taking place with more and more frequency.

The police scandals that have surfaced within the past decade have been multiplying. If drastic measures are not taken to restore the integrity of the United States Law Enforcement, chaos will permeate throughout the nation. As citizens begin to lose their trust for law enforcement, they will gradually lose their trust in the “system. ” One of the most essential factors in the maintenance of the solid infrastructure of the American government since it came into power more than two hundred years ago, has been the authority of law enforcement.

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