by Claire Bernish, The Free Thought Project:
… our data directly contradicts some of the prevailing assumptions and the proposition that only a small group of rotten apples perpetrate the vast majority of police crime.”
A new study tracking criminal activity perpetrated by police found, on average, three law enforcement officers are arrested each day — around 1,100 cops every year — and, more pointedly, this is not the case of a few rotten apples.
“The most common crimes were simple assault, drunken driving and aggravated assault, and significant numbers of sex crimes were also found.
About 72 percent of officers charged are convicted, more than 40 percent of the crimes are committed on duty, and nearly 95 percent of the officers charged are men,” the Washington Post summarized.
Researchers from Bowling Green State University received funding from the Department of Justice for the study, aptly titled “Police Integrity Lost: A Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested.”
Analyzing data from 2005 through 2011, researchers sought to provide “guidance” in three areas, as the report explains:
“First, the study provides agencies information on the types of crime that are most frequently perpetrated by police officers. Second, the research provides information on the relationship between police crimes and other types of behavior that collectively comprise the problem officer. Third, nationwide data on police crimes and the manner in which arrested officers are organizationally sanctioned provides points of comparison for law enforcement agencies that confront these problems, as well as information on the degree to which law enforcement agencies tend to sanction or ignore certain crimes committed by officers.”
As study authors note, similar to the lack of a national reporting requirement for killings by police, no database currently exists to aggregate national statistics about any criminal activity by law enforcement officers.
During the period studied, researchers analyzed over 6,700 crimes, including a number of officers with multiple offenses. About 60 percent of the police crime was carried out while the officer was “technically” off-duty, but often employed the cloak of authority — such as producing a badge or service weapon — to commit the offense.
Please follow SGT Report on Twitter & help share the message.