Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why Cops Tend to be Immune to the Law

Originally posted on Experience Project March 15th 2016

'A Cook County cop, by the name of Richard Fiorito, avoided charges after falsely arresting over 130 people on fabricated DUI charges. A recent investigation has uncovered that state’s attorney Anita Alvarez, who is notorious for letting police off the hook, prevented Fiorito from being prosecuted. During that investigation, some of Fiorito’s old cases demonstrated vast corruption. For six years, Fiorito ran a racket in which he falsely arrested people on DUI charges so he could get overtime pay for the resulting court appearance (policing for profit nothing new). In most of the cases, Fiorito stopped drivers on suspicion of driving drunk and would give them a field sobriety test; he would fail them whether they actually passed the test or not, in many cases he lied about his encounters with the victims and fabricated the details of their behavior.'

*It was suggested by some of the victims that Fiorito unfairly targeted the LGBT community, and would hunt for victims in a part of town where homosexuals often spent their time. Some victims reported that he used anti-homosexual slurs while he was arresting them (mere speculation). *

Side Note: I originally intended to omit this part because it has no bearing on the principle of the matter; his actions would not be more immoral if he specifically falsely arrested homosexuals and likewise his actions would not be less immoral if he had only arrested heterosexuals or falsely arrested people indiscriminately.

'For years, Fiorito would arrest at least one person each day for DUI, on average. Eventually, Fiorito slipped up and dash camera footage demonstrated that he lied about at least one of his DUI arrests. However, he was not fired for the offense but was just reassigned to desk duty (the usual punishment for criminal cops). After further investigation, the attorney’s office was forced to drop charges against more than 130 people who were arrested on DUI charges. After the full scope of his criminality was revealed, Fiorito resigned, but state’s attorney Anita Alvarez never pressed charges against him, despite claiming that her office had investigated the officer for over a year. '


Side Note 2: If you recall, I wrote about a similar series of false arrests perpetrated by the Dothan Police Department, which lasted for over a decade and was exposed by the Henry County Report on December 1st of last year.

EP Link

These are not isolated incidents. Over the past 20 years, criminal cops have evaded being charged in 96% of civil liberties violation cases. An investigation conducted by the Pittsburgh Tribune -Review discovered that federal prosecutors turned down 12,703 out 13,223 civil liberties violations complaints, against police, between 1995 and 2015. In comparison, federal prosecutors only turned down charges in 23% of criminal cases against civilians.

The reason police criminality is rarely prosecuted:

Prosecuting a police officer is much more difficult than prosecuting anyone else. There is a much higher standard than that of a misconduct case brought at the state or local level. Prosecutors must prove that an officer “willfully” deprived someone of their rights. If a cop acted negligently or recklessly – or 'thought' their actions to be legal at the time, they are exempt from federal charges; this is what is called 'qualified immunity.'

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