by Rachel Blevins, The Free Thought Project:
The investigation found that less than 1 percent of the 65,000 complaints filed in the state resulted in the officers being charged with a crime.
The results have been released in a two-year investigation into police conduct in the state of New Jersey, and it has revealed a system of rampant corruption that has cost taxpayers more than $42 million to cover up the actions of killer cops in the last decade.
The money was used to settle lawsuits from more than 200 citizens over things such as wrongful deaths, physical abuses, sexual misconduct and harassment. According to the investigation, which was conducted the Asbury Park Press, not only did the majority of the officers never face charges for their actions—they often kept their jobs and were later promoted.
Nearly 65,000 internal affairs complaints have been filed since 2011, and only 226—which is less than 1 percent—resulted in the officers being charged with a crime.
The officers who resigned often received compensation, even when it was their deadly or corrupt actions that led to their resignation in the first place. The report claimed that taxpayers shelled out more than $700,000 to 68 officers as compensation for their quiet resignations. Three of those officers went on to become “gypsy cops,” a phenomenon documented by The Free Thought Project that occurs when officers commit heinous offenses, and then simply transfer to a new department.
The investigation is notable because the majority of the corruption has gone on behind closed doors. As the Asbury Park Press reported, “the damage is concealed by government officials who use a veil of secret settlements and nondisclosure agreements to silence victims.”
“Investigations of rogue cops are routinely hidden from the public by police, elected officials and even the courts. The secretive payouts that keep abuses quiet are a vital part of a system that enables bad cops to do their worst. The secrecy starts at the police department and rises through the highest levels of government. Some of the state’s largest cities and insurance carriers refused to release government documents that are at the core of the rogue cop problem. But the tens of millions of dollars paid to settle hundreds of legal claims are not the worst part. Many of the bad cops remain on the street.”
One of the officers highlighted in the investigation was MD Kahn. He was involved in a police chase on June 4, 2017, when the car officers were pursuing crashed into another car, causing it to catch on fire. Miguel Feliz, an innocent father who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught on fire along with his car after he was the victim in the crash.
When a bystander, who was filming the scene, saw Feliz scrambling to take off his burning clothes, he called out to the officers to help him. As TFTP reported, they did the opposite, and “after police rapidly approached the man, with guns drawn, they began kicking him in the ribs and head, apparently mistaking him for Pinkston. It was only after kicking and beating him that they then decided to drag him away from the flames of the burning vehicle.”
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