We are starting a new feature here on the web site. We’re basically going to highlight what we think was the worst police misconduct story each month. We invite feedback from our readers–whether by email or postings on our Facebook page–as the stories come in during the month. We’re not going to try to tally up votes or anything like that, but having constructive feedback is always helpful to us. If our choices seem arbitrary and subjective–that’s probably because they are. Maybe after several months of hearing from our readers and the reasons they offer for particular stories, we’ll find some kinda consensus criteria. Maybe not. In any event, let’s start this.
For January 2013, it’s the story from the Los Angeles Times about two cops who would use their official police powers to coerce sex from women. According to the authorities, these officers would drive women to secluded places, threaten arrest, and then offer them “a way out.” Faced with such threats under such circumstances, the women not only feared the consequences of a false arrest (and that no one would believe them), they feared for their lives. How would one know what these cops were prepared to do?
The runner-up story comes from Ohio. Sgt. Brian Dulle died in the line of duty. A fellow officer, William Hunt, started a memorial fund for Dulle’s widow. But it turns out that Hunt stole money from that fund to pay off personal loans. Sheriff Larry Sims said, “To steal from your friend who was killed and his family, it’s just unspeakable.” Yes, it is, and it makes you wonder why the prosecutors are only asking for probation in this matter.