John Whitehead's Commentary
Predators with Badges: The Sex Traffickers on America’s Police Forces [SHORT]
We are a nation on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Undeniably, the blowback from COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates continues to reverberate around the country, impacting the nation’s struggling workplaces, choking the economy and justifying all manner of authoritarian tyrannies being inflicted on the populace by state and federal governments.
Yet while it is easy to be distracted by political theater, distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and divided over authoritarian lockdowns and mandates, there are still darker forces afoot that cannot—should not—must not be ignored.
Here’s a news flash for you: there are sexual predators on America’s police forces.
Indeed, when it comes to sex trafficking—the buying and selling of young girls, boys and women for sex—police have become both predators and pimps. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, “Hundreds of police officers across the country have turned from protectors to predators, using the power of their badge to extort sex.”
Victims of sex trafficking report that police are among those “buying” young girls and women for sex. Incredibly, this COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in even greater numbers of children being preyed upon by sex traffickers.
Unfortunately, rather than being part of the solution, America’s police forces—riddled with corruption, brutality, sexual misconduct and drug abuse—have largely become part of the problem.
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 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. Police unions, which have been at the forefront of the effort to shield sexual misconduct by cops, have exacerbated this menace.
Yet for the sake of the most vulnerable among us, we as a nation must stop turning away from this menace in our midst.
This is no longer a matter of a few bad apples. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, the entire system has become corrupted and must be reformed.