An extensive inquiry into the problematic ticket-writing practices and other activities of three Dallas police officers shows flaws in the way the city’s police department investigates its own, reports the Dallas Morning News. At key points during nearly a year of investigations, questions were not asked and witnesses were not interviewed. One activity included arresting vagrants, prostitutes, and other habitual offenders and adding citations that are mailed, even though many of these people did not have stable addresses. The officers were also issuing tickets to people under more than one name at the same time.
Police accountability experts say law enforcement agencies often have difficulties investigating their own. “You often find that internal affairs is reluctant to expand the scope of the investigation beyond the initial charges,” said Merrick Bobb, head of the Los Angeles-based Police Assessment Resource Center. “They put blinders on with respect to the other problems that arise. They interpret their mission very narrowly.”