Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Monday, April 30, 2007

"Culture of Misconduct"

No, this post is not about a few Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, elected and appointed officials in and around City Hall.

It's about the Atlanta Police Department and the federal investigation resulting from the "culture of misconduct" that encouraged officers to falsify information for search warrants.

The key word in the US Attorney's phrase is "culture." This was not one or two officers gone bad. This was an agency whose supervisors have tacitly approved their subordinates' use of federal civil rights violations to produce crime suppression. This was a practice approved for use in the narcotics law enforcement subculture inside the Atlanta Police Department.

"So what," some will say. "The cops are the good guys and the drug dealers are the bad guys. So the cops fudge a little information to catch the bad guys. What harm can that do?"

The lede in The Atlanta Journal Constitution story headlined Pleas won't end probe of Atlanta police answers that:

What started with a few bags of marijuana being planted near a suspected street dealer quickly spiraled out of control. Narcotics officers lied to a judge, illegally broke into 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston's house, fired 39 shots at her — and then one handcuffed her as she lay bleeding before he planted drugs in her basement.
The April 27, 2007, article was by AJC reporter Bill Torpy.

Torpy's article headlined Feds: Atlanta police often lie to obtain search warrants on April 26, 2007, had reported:

Atlanta police narcotics officers often falsified search warrants to make busts and pad their arrests records hoping to satisfy goals set for them by upper brass, federal investigators said.
The Atlanta Police Department does not have exclusive ownership of the "culture of misconduct." The strong, moral leadership lacking in Atlanta is found in other departments as well. Where the leadership lacks courage and integrity, misconduct will exist.


Anonymous brentandrews said...

This culture of misconduct extends far beyond Atlanta. It goes where the war on drugs goes - official oppression and drug suppression go hand in hand. Is this your country? Then this is your war on drugs. If you know any drug warriors, tell them they're killing America, but if there's any justice in this world, they're next.

"This war is over, if you want it." - Eric Schlosser, Reefer Madness

2:00 PM, May 01, 2007  

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