Those who take the vow to offer protection to those who cannot protect themselves are often looked upon as heroes. While this is true in the majority of cities and towns across the country, there is a dark and chilling side to the famed “Blue Line’. According to a recent report, not all police officers are the heroes they are believed to be in their local communities. In the past 9 years, there have been more than 600 reported rapes committed by police officers.
For all of the officers who have been convicted of committing these terrible crimes, it is estimated that nearly five times as many are never held accountable because their victims are too afraid to come forward. Those who investigate these alleged crimes, report that the victims are often selected from the marginalized members of society. Sadly, these appear to be the real definition of power gone wrong. What’s worse, many of the victims are minors who have been either touched inappropriately or otherwise violated.
What makes these crimes even worse is that officers hold positions of respect and authority. By targeting victims who may have problems with credibility, they are almost guaranteeing that they will not be held accountable. Society tends to cast a jaundiced eye toward those who have any history of questionable behaviors. Those who have been attacked by an officer of the law wind up being victimized twice.
There are other factors that play a role in ensuring that officers may not be held accountable for any accusations. First, there is the police union. Unions are in place to protect the best interests of their members. Anytime an officer is named as a possible suspect in a crime, representatives supposedly work to divert an investigation in any way possible. It is difficult to determine how many police officers may have been shielded from repercussions due to the efforts of these unions.
In addition to the credibility of witnesses and union reps, fellow officers who may have information or suspicions about another officer are often reluctant to come forward out of fear of being accused of being a snitch. Officers who do not support one another are often targeted for retaliation. This makes it hard for one to come forward with evidence, especially if they fear for their jobs.
There have been calls for the entire police culture to be investigated and changes made where needed. Some officials and critics have recommended that arrest and traffic stop records be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure that a certain demographic of the population isn’t being targeted. Some have even suggested that officers who have take home car privileges be required to use a GPS locator at all times to ensure that they are not using the cars for unauthorized purposes.
No one wants to ever believe that those who are the most trusted would ever betray that trust, but sadly, in today’s society, monsters are not confined to the movies.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.