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Social Import: The Cracks in the System

An integral component to the infrastructure of government is law enforcement. In over two hundred years of prosperity, the United States has relied heavily upon the integrity of its law enforcement in maintaining order and securing the civil liberties of the American. The conduct and code of the police force in the United States has been exemplary, and has set the standards by which many nations have modeled their police departments after that of the U.S.. Disregarding the chain of the insidious debauchery during the 1920's where prohibition resulted in prevalent organized crime and police corruption, law enforcement in America has maintained its scruples. However, as America enters into the new millennium, the integrity of the United States Law Enforcement is being compromised once again. With the recent outbursts of brutality and corruption within the urban areas of the United States, the civil liberties and public freedoms that this great nation was founded upon are being jeopardized as the citizens from the urban sectors to the suburban regions of America are being denied their rights.

Numerous incidents of police scandal have been recorded in several different cities throughout the United States. These incidents are becoming commonplace in the daily lives of many urban Americans. Police departments across the nation are becoming increasingly careless and apathetic in the preservation of integrity in their departments, but none have been as blatantly in violation of law enforcement codes as the Los Angeles Police Department. With its reputation in question for the better part of the 1990's after recovering from the mishandling of the 1965 Watts Riots, the Los Angeles Police Department proved has proven itself guilty of violent brutality and devious corruption in the recent scandal; the largest scandal in the history of the department.

In an investigation conducted by a collaboration of agencies from the FBI to the Los Angeles District Attorney's to the LAPD's internal-affairs unit, investigators unraveled the cases of hundreds of wrong fully indicted victims. The evidence found in these investigations have led to the reversals of forty criminal convictions and hundreds of cases opened for review, including thousands of cases awaiting examination. In the ongoing process of apprehending of mischievous of the Los Angeles police officers, there have been four indicted officers, two others fired, twenty officers relieved of their duties, and scores of officers placed under suspicion.

A riveting two thousand page testimony of Los Angeles cop, Rafael Perez, accused of stealing six pounds of cocaine from a downtown headquarters, reveals the extent of the police corruption. The "gangster cops", no different from the gang members they arrest on the streets (some of which are members of notorious street gangs), are noted to have beaten, framed, shot, and raped innocent citizens within the Rampart borders on a regular basis. On one of the many occasions of criminal conduct confessed by Perez, the officer admitted to having shot an unarmed nineteen year old Hispanic boy and planted a rifle on him to cover up the deed. On yet another incident, Perez reported to having raped a seventeen year-old girl in a squad car while on duty. These despicably putrid accounts of crime fill the testimony of Rafael Perez who revealed much of the criminal activity LAPD's Rampart division. The tragic abuse of power has disturbed the local residents, and the rest of the nation. "The most powerful public official in the city of Los Angeles is not the mayor, it's the officer we put out there on the



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