The corruption within NYPD must be stopped

As a federal republic, the United States holds a strong belief in serving justice to those who have committed crimes.

However, when those who are supposed to enforce the law commit the crime themselves, Americans have to question how much transparency our police force and government officials provide.

The U.S. justice system must be held accountable for its actions just as much as any other citizen. Internal corruption continues to leak into the workplaces of those we elect and our police officers — most recently, the New York Police Department.

On Sept. 19, former NYPD detective Johnny Diaz was sentenced to six years in prison. He was convicted of taking several bribes in his official capacity as a police officer, as well as of possessing and transporting cocaine. He was caught conducting a deal with a supposed drug dealer, unaware that an undercover informant was posing as the dealer.

Cases of corruption have repeatedly surfaced within the NYPD. In an era when society is even more wary of cop culture, it is best for the NYPD to rebuild trust among the citizens of New York City.

Police have a nasty habit of punishing those who are innocent or nonviolent and claiming they acted in defense. The NYPD needs to redesign training centered around proper behavior, reactions and judgment so officers can approach each situation in an appropriate fashion. It is difficult to eliminate abhorrent behavior, however, improved training and thorough screening can help this issue.

An officer’s responsibility is to protect, and citizens need to trust that police have their safety and well-being in mind at all times.  Police officers must be held to a higher moral standard.

Moreover, to prevent corrupt policing practices, the NYPD needs to embrace harsher sentences if corruption is found within the police force. Diaz was only sentenced to six years in prison, which is not a long time when compared with the life span of an average individual.

With longer sentences, officers would be more cognizant of their actions and their impact. They would be more mindful of breaking the law, and potentially putting the lives of those they swore to protect in jeopardy, tarnishing the honor of a police officer. Thus, When trust within the NYPD is breached, the public demands that justice be served accordingly so order can be maintained. Positive change across cop culture via proper training, as well as more awareness and accountability, are the key factors that will prevent corruption.

-Kyrah Brown

Political Science '19