The latest narcotics corruption scandal among New York police offers a striking example of officers who appeared to have gone too far to make arrests. One law enforcement official called it “noble-cause corruption,” reports the New York Times. A retired police commander said the officers involved had “become, in essence, crack dealers” by paying off confidential informants not with cash or leniency but with drugs. Four narcotics officers in Brooklyn have been arrested for paying off informants with with drugs taken from the dealers who were arrested after the informants pointed them out. The scandal, first reported by the New York Daily News, came to light after an officer was caught on a department audio tape bragging about the practice in September.
Prosecutors have moved to dismiss more than 80 criminal cases because the officers caught in the scandal were considered critical to successful prosecutions, law enforcement officials said. The Brooklyn district attorney is analyzing about 100 more potentially tainted cases. Three additional officers have been suspended without pay, two others have been placed on modified assignment, and about a dozen more have been switched to desk duty. Four supervisors have been transferred, and a new commander has been brought in to supervise the Narcotics Division.