In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, six officers — Thomas Liciardello, Perry Betts, Lindwood Norman, Brian Reynolds, John Speiser, and Michael Spicer — with the occupation and moral obligation to protect the public from unlawful activity and other means of harm, were arrested for drug theft that occurred over the course of nearly seven years. The men served the public in their titles of Narcotics Officers for a range of five to 13 years. Despite this, the federal indictment includes 26 charges involving theft, extortion, kidnapping, and drug dealing. These bad cops were all taken away without disturbance or a scene on the morning of Wednesday, July 30. Along with the charges and subsequent news articles attaching their names with criminal activity, all men were said to be suspended for one month with high potential for termination. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey wants to make the situation right, claiming, “Conduct like this is simply unacceptable, cannot be tolerated and is inexcusable.”
Bad Cops Arrested
It is believed that these bad cops had stolen a significant volume of drugs and money worth greater than $500,000, dating as far back as February 2006 to as recently as November 2012. The accusation is said to be based on concrete evidence stemming from the foundation of a two-year case amongst officials that included the FBI and U.S. District Attorney’s office. Upon the years that officials spent gathering incriminating evidence on them, the accused men were claimed to have regularly targeted and tracked down known drug dealers so that they could steal drugs and money from them.
Thomas Liciardello and Brian Reynolds – two of the accused officers – were allegedly involved with Officer Jeffrey Walker in a specific robbery of $30,000 from a suspect who was then unlawfully held while the officers stole an additional $80,000 from the very same person of interests’ house. Other situations included Officer Linwood Norman supposedly endangering a man’s life by holding him over the edge of a building 18 stories high. Michael Spicer did the same to another man, except on the 35th level. Along with threatening a man’s life, Norman and another were also accused of having robbed a significant amount of cocaine from a suspect. On top of all this, the U.S. Attorney claims that the men tampered with their statements on criminals’ documents to make up for the missing money that they stole from offenders. Officials gradually retrieved supporting evidence of these accusations during their secret investigation, upon receiving all of the names of the bad cops from their informant, Officer Walker, who was arrested for the same type of suspicious activity this past May. With Walker included, this totaled up to seven police officers being caught for their illegal schemes.
Bad Cops Abuse Their Power
Because of these bad cops abusing their authority, it was said that over 80 criminal cases involving drugs were overturned. In addition to this, hundreds of new cases were thrown out as well. When people hold positions where they are supposed to have the public’s best interest in mind, and choose not to follow through with their oath, they negatively impact the rest of society. The decisions that these cops made ultimately set free hundreds of criminals, which means that more criminal activity will occur since they are not behind bars or being punished for their wrongdoings. When authorities are intentionally breaking the law, how are citizens supposed to trust law enforcement workers and the legal system in general? This situation where officials proved to be criminals gives other officers a bad name when a majority risk their lives regularly to aid the public. Police Commissioner Ramsey went on to say, “This is one of the worst cases of corruption that I have ever heard.”
Bad Cops vs. Good Cops
Although there is no excuse for this behavior, we hope that those police officers who do protect and serve and have the public’s best interest at heart still receive the respect they deserve. These corrupt police officers may have taken advantage of the system and the people in it, but now that they are being held accountable for their actions, we can move on and be more aware of the dangers that drugs and violence can bring. Hopefully, this will end any present or future ideas of being a bad cop.