a reply to: Thecakeisalie
I agree with you completely. All people who have legal authority over the public should be held to a higher standard because they have so much
potential to abuse the public they're paid to serve. For me, that goes for politicians, govt bureaucrats, parole officers, prison guards, and judges,
as well. Giving them reduced liability for abuses of power only rewards that behavior.
And I'm positive that at least a different aspect of this story that's being overlooked is systemic, though I don't think the majority of officers
actively engage in it. From the OP's Vice link, it also says the following:
Prosecutors say the squad, which was tasked with getting illegal guns off the streets, abused its power by robbing suspects and innocent
people, raiding homes without warrants, and selling confiscated drugs, among other crimes.
Now I know for a fact that that goes on around the country. I've never been to Baltimore, yet I traveled extensively across the country back when I
was in the underground hip hop business. And there were police in many locations who would demand a cut of profits or outright beat up and take the
goods from people I knew. I mean phones, contraband, cash, shoes, studio equipment, etc.
They'd also come in clubs when we were performing or hanging out, shake down the owners, and allow the shows to continue if they got their cut, even
when there was suspected illegal activity going on in the crowd. They'd kick in legal personal studios and suspected drug houses all the same, and
would leave with either a bunch of arrests or a bunch of "seized assets", all depending on what deals they could squeeze out of the people involved.
Some of my friends had their legally purchased guns and studio equipment taken in a similar "raid", yet no arrests were made. And others were minors
when they were chased, beaten, had their stuff "seized", yet weren't arrested.
I've mentioned it before on ATS but everyone just called it a "tax" and considered it a cost of doing business. As in, pay the "tax" and they'll allow
you to do business, or risk your word against theirs in court. But I have to reiterate that I don't think the majority of officers actively engage in
this side of the "business". I'm saying that because I saw with my own eyes a disagreement between cops over how to handle a situation like that
(sorry, not going into detail on that one though, heh heh).