San Diego police misconduct

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Why is it called crime when other people do it, but “misconduct” when a cop does it?

Anyway, I have been seeing story after story about this and the splash seems to be getting bigger by the day.

In San Diego, ten police officers are currently accused of serious misconduct in unrelated cases that include allegations of rape, stalking, drunk driving, domestic abuse, and sexual assault.

In response, the chief of police has made public apologies and set up a confidential hotline.   Of course, everyone is acting all surprised that these activities were taking place within police ranks.  How could  this have gone on undetected?  Well this little tidbit might provide a clue:

Shortly after Bill Lansdowne became police chief in 2003 he quietly disbanded an anticorruption unit assigned with proactively investigating the kind of criminal allegations that have recently stained the department’s public image.

And the chief has no plans to bring it back.  However,  among other remedies, he does plan to increase ethics training for offiers because, you know, how else are cops going to know that stalking, rape, and drunk driving are wrong?

If you’re wondering why cops might behave like this, I mean aside from the fact that their fellow officers routinely cover up for them when they break the law, the answer, according to the mayor and chief of police, is simple:

In a story published by the Union-Tribune on Friday, Mayor Jerry Sanders endorsed the plan and said he continues to fully support Lansdowne as the city’s police chief. He described the rash of incidents as an embarrassment and echoed Lansdowne’s assertion that it was correlated to stress among officers.

Reading any of the stories linked to in this post will probably make your blood boil, but only because you’re heard so much of it before.  On the other hand, John Q. Public, probably thinks the problem has been discovered and will be solved forthwith.  End of story.

At least some cops are actually being charged with crimes.  I guess there was just no way to avoid that (or you can be sure they would have).

[Posted by Dave Krueger]

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

26 Responses to “San Diego police misconduct”

  1. #1 |  pegr | 

    No such thing as a good cop…

    “I mean aside from the fact that their fellow officers routinely cover up for them when they break the law”

  2. #2 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    There are good cops. We read about them here regularly …. getting in trouble for reporting bad cops.

  3. #3 |  varmintito | 

    New rule: You can refer to it as misconduct only if it is not chargeable as a misdemeanor or felony. If similar conduct by a civilian is charged as a misdemeanor of felony, it should be referred to a crime or alleged crime.

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    There is a special kind of evil that exists when you actively ignore injustice even though you have the power to stop it. It’s called politics.

  5. #5 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Lord I need to get “cop conviction tracker” up and running. In the meantime, I’ll just register http://www.fatchance.com. D’oh! $35k.

  6. #6 |  pegr | 

    #2: Yes, there are good cops, but they aren’t cops very long. Ergo, no such thing as a good cop.

    It’s almost like quantum physics. The “good cop” state collapses when observed.

  7. #7 |  ktc2 | 

    They’ll be charged and, of course, found not guilty. Or thier buddies prosecutors office will “forget to prove jurisdiction” or some other bullshit so they can get released quickly. In no time they’ll be back on another police force.

  8. #8 |  JThompson | 

    A hotline? Well isn’t that nice.
    So how long before it comes out that the cops are using the hotline to find out who’s complaining about them so they can harass them until they shut up? I mean before we find out about it, not before they do it. They’ll be doing it as soon as it’s set up.

    Confidential my ass. Anyone that calls that hotline had better do it from a pay phone or a throwaway cell phone that’s never been to their house.

  9. #9 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    They should all be charged with “Impersonating a human being”.

  10. #10 |  Mannie | 

    he quietly disbanded an anticorruption unit assigned with proactively investigating the kind of criminal allegations that have recently stained the department’s public image.

    And another course is added to the Blue Wall of Silence.

    Lansdowne’s assertion that it was correlated to stress among officers.

    Can I use work stress as an excuse to commit rape, stalking, drunk driving, domestic abuse, and sexual assault? Nah, I didn’t think so.

    It is so stressful, being required to actually obey the law.

  11. #11 |  Tyro | 

    Disturbing that a police chief should imagine that stress would be either an excuse or justification for criminal behaviour. Anyone here imagine that he applies this to anyone who isn’t a cop?

  12. #12 |  RomanCandle | 

    There’s always going to be dirty cops. What drives me crazy is that good cops cover for them. That’s the real problem.

  13. #13 |  Mannie | 

    #12 | RomanCandle | May 16th, 2011 at 11:17 am
    There’s always going to be dirty cops. What drives me crazy is that good cops cover for them. That’s the real problem.

    That’s why many of us have come to the conclusion there are no good cops. The system is so corrupt, it corrupts everything it touches. Corruption is so ubiquitous, they think they’re honest.

  14. #14 |  Mario | 

    The meaning behind the “bad apple” proverb is that one piece of spoiled fruit will eventually spoil all of the apples in the bushel. (Spoiling fruit gives off chemicals which hasten the spoiling of nearby fruit.) That’s why I find it ironic when police quote this as some sort of explanation. They employ the proverb as if to say that one bad apple spoils the reputation of the others in the bushel.

    Ha! They unintentionally speak the truth, despite themselves.

  15. #15 |  Charlie O | 

    Ah, San Diego, CA. The city of my youth. The city where I learned to despise police. The city where I cheered Sagon Penn’s acquittal for killing a cop in self defense. SDPD, the absolute largest bunch of gang assholes in the US.

  16. #16 |  Greg | 

    Lord I need to get “cop conviction tracker” up and running.

    @Boyd,

    Before you go to the trouble, you may wish to peruse http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com – my current favorite aggregator of misdeeds of cops.

    Usually good about updating disposition of cases against cops as well as the stuff that is never even charged.

  17. #17 |  derfel cadarn | 

    These assholes should be suffering from the stress of going to prison!

  18. #18 |  Kristen | 

    I had a panic-inducing work situation yesterday, and since it was Sunday it was pretty damn stressful trying to get ahold of someone, anyone, who could help me. I should have shot my neighbor’s dog and beat up the kid that dribbles a basketball outside my balcony. It wouldn’t have been considered a crime because of the work stress, right? Right?!?!

  19. #19 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    There’s always going to be dirty cops. What drives me crazy is that good cops cover for them. That’s the real problem.

    If they’re deliberately covering for criminals, in what sense are they still good cops?

  20. #20 |  TC | 

    “Before you go to the trouble, you may wish to peruse http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com – my current favorite aggregator of misdeeds of cops.”

    Once a week makes me reach for a potential self harm device!

    Not sure how he does it, hell not real sure how Radley does it. Can cause severe jading and for sure pedestal bashing!

    But I am very very happy they both take the time and expend the energy for us to stay aware.

  21. #21 |  demize! | 

    You can’t alter a corrupt system from within, you will either become corrupt or be purged. To illustrate that the police are an inherently bad institution I can only reiterate that unquestioned support for fellow officers only goes one way, to those who commit bad acts. Officers who try to act in an ethical manor are given no support from colleagues or brass. They’re called rats and worse. But a crimminal who wears a badge will have a courtroom filled with fellow cops in the rare case that they get indicted.

  22. #22 |  F*ck the Police – Part II | Dueling Barstools | 

    [...] fail the pitifully low standard of conduct required of them. Radley Balko’s personal site the Agitator does a great job covering police misconduct and outrageous abuse of authority. Here’s an all [...]

  23. #23 |  eric | 

    SDPD Officers told the public what would happen 18 months ago. No one listened and said they were just greedy. Its only going to get worse as the standard of cop continues to decline until people take a mature look at the problem. This issue comes up every 25 to 30 years, so if you are under 30 you have never seen this from an adult perspective. You will see it again as soon as people forget what they will go through over the next 5 years.

  24. #24 |  June Updates (Part Two) « The Honest Courtesan | 

    [...] Dave Krueger asked in his May 16th guest blog on The Agitator, “Why is it called crime when other people do it, but “misconduct” when a cop does it?” [...]

  25. #25 |  Ren | 

    It’s not just Serb Diego with this problem check out your local news to find out how bad this really is. citizenfirst@newsvine.com

  26. #26 |  Good Cop | 

    I would hope 911 is never dialed from any anti-government member of this site. The obvious solution would be to move…or stop complaining. How many who sit and type behind the confines of their home have actually had a bad experience? Better yet….how many have done something about it in the form of a complaint etc? Where do you think police come from?? Hello?? They come from the community in which you live. How many idiots do you work with? If you are unable to think of one you may be the idiot others are thinking of. To generalize is to promote the bigotry and ignorance that already fills this blog. God bless you and God bless the men and woman who protect you.

Leave a Reply