Problems with police abusing their authority are nothing new, though they frequently go unknown to the public. Those within the force often band together in order to cover their crimes, seeing a little abuse as par for the course. Sometimes they get overlooked due to lack of evidence, though this is becoming less of a problem as video cameras are attached to police cars and carried by virtually every citizen within their cell phones. But when these crimes are found out, they often lead to lawsuits. And these lawsuits, when successful, come out of the taxpayers’ pockets.
One person did a study of a single police force, that of the city of Chicago, and ended up with some very interesting results. As it turns out, this one police force alone paid out more than $45 million in misconduct lawsuits over the course of the last three years. But what makes it even more interesting, and sad as well, is that around one percent of officers account for one-quarter of all this money.
Repeat offenders are the key to this discovered mathematical equation, as that one percent encompasses only those who are known to have stepped over the line on multiple occasions. So why are these cops allowed to continue after they’ve proven that they are not worthy of the public’s trust? It’s a double whammy when those with little self-control can abuse citizens and then effectively charge them for that “privilege”.
This atrocity is further put into perspective when you realize that the majority of police misconduct cases never make it to trial. What would happen if the justice system were more efficient in regards to punishing rogue officers? What would the bill be then?
If we’re not willing to sack these repeat offenders, then this problem is never going to end. They will continue to do exactly what they want and leave accountability up to taxpayers. Without more oversight, our police departments may very well find themselves broke before too long.