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CA: Sex crimes by cops an outgrowth of their ‘power and coercive authority,’ expert says

[ocregister.com – 11/12/19]

LAPD officers who took advantage of their power imbalance to commit sexual assaults fit national trends, says prominent criminologist.

LAPD officers Luis Valenzuela and James C. Nichols sexually assaulted a woman at this McDonald’s parking lot, located at 405 N Alvarado St. at W. Temple St. in Los Angeles. They were on duty using a black Jetta. Photographed on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Olga Grigoryants | ogrigoryants@scng.com and Sarah Favot | Los Angeles Daily News
PUBLISHED: November 12, 2019 at 10:03 am | UPDATED: November 12, 2019 at 10:03 am

Criminologist Philip Stinson has spent more than a decade studying bad cops and oversees a national database that often explains exactly how they came to violate their sworn duty.

Often, Stinson says, the power imbalance between a police officer and the civilians they encounter leads some astray.

Police officers regularly come in contact with vulnerable people who are “subject to the power and coercive authority granted to police,” said the criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, who is a nationally recognized expert on police behavior and misconduct.

Prominent among such criminal activity are sex-related crimes, he says.

“There’s a lot of power and control that comes with the gun and the badge in terms of being able to coerce people, specifically women and girls,” said Stinson, himself a former police officer in Virginia and New Hampshire.

Additionally, circumstances related to police work make it conducive to committing sex-related crimes.

Many police officers, Stinson says, are free from direct supervision while they are on patrol and sometimes work alone. Also, many police interactions occur late at night outside public view.

Read more

 

Join the discussion

  1. Bill

    No surprise there.

    Abuse of power and authority goes all the way back when early man picked up a large leg bone and starting bashing people with it.

    And what is the ultimate expression of that hubris? Sexual assault. Rape. Violating others. Even killing.

    Because they can. The person behind the power is still a person. Flawed, insecure, scared, angry, greedy, and arrogant.

    In my opinion most people are not cut out to have power of authority over others.

    But here we are…

    • Los

      This is a great premise and caveat that tops everyones list of questions. Your intro is quick and to to the point. But you need so much more content to prove yourself correct. We know in our experiences what you say has weight but research and examples are necessary. Bad cops dont rag on bad cops and rotten legislators dont admit their bills are unlawful. Its our job to prove what you state as being fact.

  2. pgm111

    I am interested in performing analysis of the rates of sexual misconduct by police officers. My preliminary analysis indicates that the public is more at risk of being sexually assaulted by a cop than SORNA registrant. If someone wants to help me please send me a note to: pm805409@gmail.com

  3. G4Change

    Maybe it’s time for a registry for all cops who harm people under the color of authority.
    Hey, I can dream, can’t I???

    • That David

      There actually is a registry for bad cops. It is called the Brady List. However many jurisdictions simply don’t maintain them or release them. Because it is not like they will keep the community safer, and it prevents those on the list from getting or keeping jobs.

      • AJ

        @That David:
        Sounds like a great item for a FOIA request…

      • New Person

        So the Brady list isn’t shared in part that it can decrease the chances of getting or keeping a job? Is that a fact or conjecture? I saw online that the Brady list is enforced not to be used in court settings. Thanks in advance to a link or source quote.

    • alienated

      G4Change,

      That Cop registry exists and there is a link somewhere in that article. I am not a fan of registries and or shaming but it does exist.

  4. Bill

    @G4Change

    You don’t have to dream. Websites are either cheap or free to make.

    After all sites like City Data or Homefacts pull info from Megan’s website and put it on their’s. Because of that Registrant info can easily appear on Google search.

    And apparently there has been no legal recourse because they’re still up.

    So if you want to put on a site specifically for disgraced cops go ahead. But then again why stop there? How about fallen politicians like Anthony Weiner?

    • Tim in WI

      The Byrne Grant benevolent folks convinced we the people it was ok the perform ab hominen online attacks! The abandonment of judicial authority to void obvious ex post law because of the sex offender lurking in my hood. All that really was approved was unfettered use of database to collect and store private information and browsing records for analysis. It is one thing to have a database of known convicts but completely different act is to indenture a man to the machine property upkeep. Are the cops on the Brady list required to maintain it? HARDLY.SO MUCH FOR EQUAL PROTECTION. Scapegoat for domestic surveillance saints and a burgeoning surveillance economy. Super predator was the hook of the day.

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