Over at Cato’s Police Misconduct web site, we have identified the worst case for the month of January. It was the case from Suffolk County, New York, involving now former police officer, Scott Greene. He was convicted of repeated instances of theft.
According to the evidence introduced at the trial, Greene would target Hispanic drivers, pull them over, order them to surrender their wallets, or invent a reason to search their vehicles and then steal cash located inside. By stealing from persons he thought were illegal immigrants, Greene thought his victims would not come forward to file any complaint. And he would enrich himself by using his police powers. Prosecutor Tom Spota called Greene a “thief with a badge” and says he will be seeking the maximum possible prison sentence–about four years.
Alas, there are problems in the Suffolk department even beyond Greene. The recently departed chief, James Burke, has been indicted for abusing a suspect and then coercing his subordinate officers to cover up his crime. Local community activists say the department is so corrupt that they want a federal takeover. Stay tuned about that.