John Whitehead's Commentary
Predator Cops, Guilty of Sex Crimes Against Women and Children, Are a Menace to Society [SHORT]
How could this be happening right under our noses?
That’s what readers wanted to know after my column went viral about the extent to which young children are being bought and sold for sex in America.
Where are the police when these children—some as young as 9 years old—are being raped repeatedly?
It turns out that rather than being part of the solution, America’s police forces—riddled with corruption, brutality, sexual misconduct and drug abuse—have become part of the problem.
Now that’s not to say that there are many good cops in this country, but the bad cops have become symptomatic of a criminal justice system that is deeply rotten through and through.
For instance, in a number of cases, victims of sex trafficking report that police are among those “buying” young girls and women for sex.
In New York, seven NYPD cops—three sergeants, two detectives and two officers—were accused of running brothels that sold 15-minute sexual encounters, raking in more than $2 million over the course of 13 months.
In California, a police sergeant—a 16-year veteran of the police force—was arrested for raping a 16-year-old girl who was being held captive and sold for sex in a home in an upscale neighborhood.
A week-long sting in Florida ended with 277 arrests of individuals accused of sex trafficking, including doctors, pharmacists and police officers.
While the problem of cops engaged in sex trafficking is part of the American police state’s seedy underbelly that doesn’t get addressed enough, equally alarming is the number of cops who commit sex crimes against those they encounter as part of their job duties, a largely underreported number given the “blue wall of silence” that shields police misconduct.
Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper describes cases in which cops fondled prisoners, made false traffic stops of attractive women, traded sexual favors for freedom, had sex with teenagers and raped children.
Young girls are particularly vulnerable to these predators in blue.
According to The Washington Post, a national study found that 40 percent of reported cases of police sexual misconduct involved teens.
For example, a Pennsylvania police chief and his friend were arrested for allegedly raping a young girl hundreds of times—orally, vaginally, and anally several times a week—over the course of seven years, starting when she was 4 years old.
In 2017, two NYPD cops were accused of arresting a teenager, handcuffing her, and driving her in an unmarked van to a nearby parking lot, where they raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on them, then dropped her off on a nearby street corner.
The New York Times reports that “a sheriff’s deputy in San Antonio was charged with sexually assaulting the 4-year-old daughter of an undocumented Guatemalan woman and threatening to have her deported if she reported the abuse.”
One young girl, J.E., was kidnapped by a Border Patrol agent when she was 14 years old, taken to his apartment and raped.
Two teenage girls accused a Customs and Border Protection officer of forcing them to strip, fondling them, then trying to get them to stop crying by offering chocolates, potato chips and a blanket. The government settled the case for $125,000.
The police state’s sexual assaults of children are sickening enough, but when you add sex crimes against grown women into the mix, the picture becomes even more sordid.
Police sexual misconduct is a systemic problem, and the dangers arise every time police are dispatched: traffic stops, domestic abuse calls, minor offenses, drug arrests, police interactions with teenagers, investigations into sex trafficking.
According to research from Bowling Green State University, police officers in the U.S. were charged with more than 400 rapes over a 9-year period. During that same time period, 600 police officers were arrested for forcible fondling; 219 were charged with forcible sodomy; 186 were arrested for statutory rape; 58 for sexual assault with an object; and 98 with indecent exposure.
Sexual assault is believed to be the second-most reported form of misconduct against police officers after the use of excessive force.
Even so, these crimes are believed to be largely underreported.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that is hiding in plain sight, covered up by government agencies that are failing in their constitutional duties to serve and protect “we the people.”
That thin blue line of knee-jerk adulation and absolute loyalty to police above and beyond what the law requires—a line frequently pushed by President Trump—is creating a menace to society that cannot be ignored.
As researcher Jonathan Blanks notes, “The system is rigged to protect police officers from outside accountability. The worst cops are going to get the most protection.”
Hyped up on the power of the badge and their weaponry, protected from charges of wrongdoing by police unions and government agencies, and empowered by rapidly advancing tools—technological and otherwise—that make it all too easy to identify, track and take advantage of vulnerable members of society, predators on the nation’s police forces are growing in number.
So where does this leave us?
The courts, by allowing the government’s desire for unregulated, unaccountable, expansive power to trump justice and the rule of law, have turned away from this menace. Politicians, eager for the support of the powerful police unions, have turned away from this menace. Religious leaders who should know better but instead have silenced their moral conscience in order to cozy up to political power have turned away from this menace.
Distracted by political theater, divided by politics, disenfranchised by a legislative and judicial system that renders us powerless in the face of the police state’s many abuses, “we the people” have also turned a blind eye to this menace.
We must stop turning away from this menace in our midst.
Misconduct by local police has become a national problem. Therefore, the response to this national problem must start at the local level.
This is no longer a matter of a few bad apples.
It’s difficult to say whether modern-day policing with its deep-seated corruption, immunity from accountability, and authoritarian approach to law enforcement attracts this kind of deviant behavior or cultivates it, but empowering police to view themselves as the best, or even the only, solution to the public’s problems, while failing to hold them accountable for misconduct, will only deepen the policing crisis that grows deadlier and more menacing by the day.