Associated Press reports that more than a thousand American policemen have lost their jobs over sexual assault.
Those who fall prey to police are often young, poor, drug abusing individuals who don’t report their cases to the authorities. Victims included motorists, schoolchildren who were patted down in searches for illegal drugs, or women forced to perform sexual favors to avoid legal troubles. Prison inmates were also forced to have sex with guards.
The real number of sexual offenses could however be much higher, as AP only looked into registered cases where an officer lost their badge because of an offense. Lawyers and police chiefs acknowledged that some departments let the sexual assaults slide to limit their liability, allowing their staff to quietly resign or transfer to other duty stations or departments.
AP points out that their findings, together with other research and interviews with experts, suggest that sexual misconduct is one of the main problems facing police departments across the US. Citing news articles and research undertaken by Phil Stinson of Bowling Green State University who looked at the period 2005 to 2011, the agency reports that his findings discovered 6,724 arrests involving more than 5,500 officers.