How many bad apples does it take to spoil the whole barrel?
Every week, all over the country, police misconduct takes place, much of it violent. Cops take heat if the misconduct is related to big stories — the tear-gas-and-rubber-bullets attack on Occupy Oakland that has left Scott Olsen with brain damage, the pepper-spray attack on women protesters in Manhattan by Deputy Inspector Tony Baloney — but most of their bad behavior is never challenged by the media or the general public.
Politicians laud cops as heroes, except for the “bad apples.” Once in a while, a reporter shines a light on some flagrantly illegal police action — sometimes violent, sometimes not. When this happens, police officials accuse the media of casting all cops as bad apples.
All of which is to preface the following — no big deal except insofar as it reminds us of the extent of the rot in the apple barrel:
Sixteen New York Police Department officers pleaded not guilty to charges of widespread fixing of traffic tickets as well as more serious crimes, in the second scandal to hit the force in a week. Five civilians were also netted in the nearly three-year undercover probe that involved the wire tapping of more than 10,000 phone calls and resulted in indictments containing some 1,600 misdemeanor and felony counts.
Although most charges were for relatively minor crimes of tampering with traffic tickets to help friends and relations, the probe bared an ugly side to New York’s so-called “Finest” just days after the arrest of officers in an unrelated gun-running scandal…
On Tuesday, eight serving or retired officers were among 12 people arrested on charges of conspiracy to smuggle assault rifles, handguns and other items worth more than $1 million…
Footnote: I think my anti-cop fervor flared after I read of how closely the NYPD is tied to the Wall Street robbers they should have arrested a few years ago.
Update: Even the NYT couldn’t help commenting on the NYPD’s arrogance: “A three-year investigation into the police’s habit of fixing traffic and parking tickets in the Bronx ended in the unsealing of indictments on Friday and a stunning display of vitriol by hundreds of off-duty officers, who converged on the courthouse to applaud their accused colleagues and denounce their prosecution.”