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We all know campus cops take a few more liberties than the average city officer. College students are easy prey, and many take full advantage of the fear that permeates throughout their jurisdiction. While the city guys don’t always take the high road, to have an officer openly admit to selective policing and blatant profiling is part of what makes this story so interesting.
Below is the current image that the Philadelphia Police Department is using to lure recruits. Keep this in mind as you read and appreciate the irony.
Six former Philadelphia narcotics officers are in legal trouble at the moment while on trial for federal police corruption charges. Those six officers, along with one of their former colleagues that is currently testifying against them, were part of an undercover drug squad that allegedly did very little to follow the law. The men are accused of stealing almost $80,000 in the midst of illegal raids plagued by violence and intimidation. Some officers are even accused of planting drugs and guns on suspects. The men said they did it for two reasons: cash and praise.
From 6 ABC:
Walker, 46, said police brass applauded the drug squad because they made big arrests that made them look good. Squad leader Thomas Liciardello, the lead defendant, “produced big jobs, a lot of arrests,” he said.
“They liked that, as far as the bosses and supervisors were concerned. It made them look good. It was nothing but a dog and pony show. That’s all it is,” Walker said.
Liciardello, he said, always got a cut of the money stolen or skimmed from drug suspects, while the others split the “jobs” they worked, Walker said.
Jeffrey Walker, the man quoted above, is the former colleague testifying against his squad. He was arrested last year in an FBI sting and was accused of stealing $15,000 and planting drugs in someone’s car. The reason I specifically point him out is because he’s the guy who takes an otherwise disgusting story and turns it into a disgusting story that affects all of you. Hell, it affects me, too.
While speaking to jurors yesterday during the trial of the six other officers, he told them they targeted one specific type of person.
Jeffrey Walker told jurors that the Philadelphia Police Department drug squad targeted white “college-boy, … khaki-pants types” who were “easy to intimidate.”
White, khaki pants-wearing college boys sounds familiar. Could that relate to the residents of the average fraternity row? We’ll probably never know the affiliations of his victims, but it adds an interesting twist to the idea we’ve all held for years. Not looking like a criminal doesn’t always benefit you.
To add to the issues of those he targeted, the former officer also admitted that he not only planted evidence and stole drug money, he lied on much of his police paperwork. He did all of this so much that he lost count. His description of the men they targeted matches many of the former drug dealers that have testified during the trial, which only added credence to his statement. Walker pleaded guilty following his arrest and trial this past year, and just since his admission of guilt, the justice system has overturned over 160 convictions in cases that involved the disgraced former cop.
I guess this image from the department’s academy means more than meets the eye.
Always be careful, boys..
[via 6 ABC]