One of the great unknowns is the number of serving police officers who are known to commit offenses, but are never charged because their colleagues do not investigate or suppress evidence. Without effective and independent supervision, it’s always going to be a temptation to use the office to protect your own or to escape punishment for your own wrongdoing. Except, of course, there are some offenses where it’s difficult to avoid facing a charge. This may be because an alert member of the public manages to catch the offense on camera, or the offense is just a little too public.
Here’s a case from Brooklyn, East New York where a serving officer crashed into several cars, injuring those inside, while driving drunk. He then approached a police stop but, instead of slowing down, he drove straight through, forcing his fellow officers to jump out of the way. When he was chased down, he was charged with DWI, reckless driving, fleeing the scene of an accident, and refusing a breathalyzer test. With such a public demonstration of criminal behavior and a lack of respect for his colleagues, it’s hardly surprising he was charged. But what if he’d stopped?