We trust the members of civil service to do everything in their power to help and protect us. The firefighters of our communities risk life and limb to put out the most lethal fires. The emergency medical technicians save countless lives, even if at the risk of their own. Of course, the police stop some of the most heinous crimes and put the most vicious murderers and criminals away in jail. We are too familiar with what happens when the police give up on crimes. The problem occurs when the police officer that is put there to protect us ends up being the criminal that needs to be put away.

Prosecutors said Friday that Robinson has been charged with attempt to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. If convicted on the charges, he faces up to life in prison.

Memphis police say Robinson has been on the force since October 2008. He has been relieved of duty with pay during the investigation.

It is quite fortunate that this kind of thing does not seem to happen too often. We must be even more cautious when it comes to corruption that occurs on a wider scale, that is to say the corruption of an entire police department.

Some of them are accused of stealing cocaine, marijuana and weapons from suspects and the sheriff’s evidence property room and selling the contraband to criminals, who put it back on the street.

Others are accused of distributing steroids and weapons, including a machine gun with an obliterated serial number.

The indictment says the corruption had been going on since 1998.

“These were drugs and guns that were seized as part of their law enforcement duties that were then stolen from the property room and put back out on the streets,” U.S. Attorney John L. Brownlee said.

It is considerably more intimidating when we find that an entire department is corrupt. When one police officer is the problem, you can always go to their superior officer. When the entire department is problematic, there’s not much you can do — I suppose you would turn to the state police if it’s a local issue. On a side note, I must mention that when I was looking into police corruption I found a large number of conspiracy theory web sites — some encouraging people to leave the country due to the dire police state. I sometimes do worry about the possibility of police corruption but I would certainly not suggest leaving the country as a way to deal with it.


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