An article on CNN reports that despite assumptions to the contrary, police officers often lie in reports and other statements. The article referenced a study where a researcher found that police officers lied in about 6.3% of reports or statements—but many believe the problem is far more common than this.
According to the article, some police officers lie so they don’t get in trouble for doing something wrong or illegal. Others lie because of a phenomenon called “noble cause corruption”, wherein officers lie to justify actions that they believe keep communities safe. Here, officers may believe that the ends justify the means. According to criminologist Phillip Stinson, this is “an ingrained part of the police subculture in many communities across the country.”
Police are Often Not Held Accountable
One reason police officers continue to lie is that they are often not held accountable, the article reports. Even if there is a video of the incident in question, officers may lie about something they claimed occurred before the filming began. Or, other times videos that contradict officer accounts are not made public. Further, because police officers are authority figures and inherently trusted, the investigation process often favors them. This is exacerbated by the fact that when potential misconduct occurs, police officers are often investigated by other police officers. This is something Zeff Law Firm has helped change through advocacy.
Racial discrimination and other biases can also make it less likely that someone complaining of police misconduct will be believed.
Police Discipline is Minimal
According to the article, even when officers are found to have committed misconduct, the discipline of them is often minimal to non-existent. Derek Chauvin, the officer accused of killing George Floyd, had at least eighteen complaints against him at the time of Floyd’s death. Only two of these complaints led to discipline.
Zeff Law Firm hopes that as the country becomes more aware of police misconduct, including dishonesty by police officers, misconduct will become far less common. In the meantime, if you feel you were a victim of police brutality, contact us to discuss the best way to expose the lies and/or misconduct of the officers.
Read the article here.