A USA Today investigation found that at least 85,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S. have been probed for misconduct over the past ten years. Although officers have been caught lying, stealing, dealing drugs, driving drunk, and abusing their spouses, they can generally avoid repercussions due to their roles as public servants.
Police unions and political allies have hidden and even destroyed some of these records. USA Today and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago have created a collection of police misconduct records. The records reveal at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, many of which went unreported previously.
The findings reveal that 22,924 investigations were of officers using excessive force and 3,145 include allegations of rape, child molestation, and other sexual misconduct. Another frequent issue is dishonesty. There are at least 2,227 instances of perjury, tampering with evidence or witness or falsifying reports. USA Today also found that fewer than 10% of officers in most police forces are investigated for misconduct.
USA Today will publish the records to give the public a chance to examine their police department.
Read the full story here.