Police corruption is a serious issue and has affected many criminal cases throughout the Philadelphia and Camden metro areas. In particular, drug and gun cases have been tossed out of court when the main investigating officer was later investigated for being corrupt.
The conduct is strikingly similar:
- police officers stealing drugs, guns and money from drug dealers and non-drug dealers,
- police officers planting evidence,
- police officers destroying evidence,
- police officers selling drugs,
- police officers falsifying reports/records,
- police officers lying to grand juries and judges, and
- police officers lying at hearings and trials.
The results have been huge. Dozens of criminal cases have been dismissed in Philadelphia and Camden, especially when the evidence against the defendant was supplied by one of the known corrupt officers. That evidence could have been testimonial or physical; for instance, a drug case may have been dismissed where the drugs were seized by a known corrupt officer.
Major Police Corruption in Camden, NJ
In 2010, a major police corruption scandal erupted in Camden, NJ, just a few miles from Philadelphia. At least four police officers from the antidrug unit of the City of Camden Police Department (now known as the Camden County Police Department as of 2013), were arrested and ultimately convicted of various offenses. In the period after the scandal erupted, 200 criminal cases were dismissed or thrown out, ones that the officers were involved in.
Subsequently, almost 100 people who were arrested and many of whom served jail/prison time filed suit against the city after their cases were dismissed or their sentences were vacated by the local prosecutor’s office. Combined, those whose convictions were later overturned served over 100 years in jail/prison. The city later agreed to pay millions of dollars to a total of almost 90 plaintiffs.
One man in particular happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. While at a friend’s barbeque in Camden, the police conducted a drug raid and lied about having found a significant amount of drugs on him. He pled guilty because he feared that no one would believe that police officers set him up and planted drugs on him, and he served over a year in jail for a crime he did not commit.
The Internal Affairs division for the Camden Police Department took much of the blame for failing to conduct proper investigations of the officers’ conduct. Outdated systems and understaffing were cited as the problems. *Source: ww.aclu.org, Camden Agrees to Pay $3.5M to Victims of Police Corruption
If you or a loved one believe you’ve been the victim of police corruption and charged with a crime in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please call our criminal lawyers for a free case assessment. (215) 564-0644
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