Hundreds of Cops Kicked Off Force for Committing Sex Crimes
Experts said it isn’t just threats of retaliation that deter victims from reporting the crimes, but also skepticism about the ability of officers and prosecutors to investigate their colleagues.
Milwaukee Police Officer Ladmarald Cates was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2012 for raping a woman he was dispatched to help. Despite screaming “He raped me!” repeatedly to other officers present, she was accused of assaulting an officer and jailed for four days, her lawyer said. The district attorney, citing a lack of evidence, declined to prosecute Cates. Only after a federal investigation was he tried and convicted.
It’s a story that doesn’t surprise Penny Harrington, a former police chief in Portland, Oregon, who co-founded the National Center for Women in Policing and has served as an expert witness in officer misconduct cases. She said officers sometimes avoid charges or can beat a conviction because they are so steeped in the system.
“They knew the DAs. They knew the judges. They knew the safe houses. They knew how to testify in court. They knew how to make her look like a nut,” she said. “How are you going to get anything to happen when he’s part of the system and when he threatens you and when you know he has a gun and … you know he can find you wherever you go?”