Monday, January 31, 2011

Philly police: Probably worse than you think

God, I love the Philadelphia Daily News:

THE NUMBER of complaints against Philadelphia police officers has spiked in the past few years, yet getting a complaint form isn't always as easy as it's supposed to be.

At times, officers at some police-district headquarters pressure complainants for personal information regarding the complaint, and provide misinformation or even deny them the form needed to file a complaint.

In spot checks conducted recently by the Daily News, supervisors at five police districts refused to allow the complainant to remain anonymous - which is against the Police Department's own policy - and wouldn't supply the form to reporters who posed as complainants.

An additional 11 of the city's 21 police districts did not follow department policies for filing complaints. Problems included creating a hostile environment for complainants, and neglecting to inform them of the procedure and locations to file a complaint.

Not that this is shocking, but what this likely means is that all the arrests and firings of Philadelphia cops in recent years probably represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corruption and abuses of official power. The stuff we've heard about is just the stuff that was successfully reported and investigated. Doesn't it seem likely there are a lot more problems that never draw official notice because citizens either A) don't bother or B) get the runaround?

No comments: