Study Finds Police Officers Arrested 1,100 Times Per Year, or 3 Per Day, Nationwide

Daniel Holtzclaw (center) listens as Oklahoma County assistant district attorney Gayland Gieger (right) speaks during Holtzclaw's sentencing hearing in Oklahoma City, January 2016. Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer, was convicted of raping and sexually victimizing eight women on his beat. He received a 263-year sentence. PHOTO: NPR/Sue Ogrocki/AP

By Tom Jackman | 22 June 2016

WASHINGTON POST — So far this month, two New York City police commanders have been arrested on corruption allegations, an officer in Killeen, Tex., has been accused of sexually assaulting a female driver, a Philadelphia police officer has been charged with extortion of a drug dealer, and an officer in Hono­lulu has been accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Such sporadic news accounts of police officers being arrested led one group of researchers to a question: How much crime do police officers commit?  No one was keeping track, much as no one was tracking how often police officers shoot and kill civilians, although both may involve use of police power and abuse of public trust.

Now there is an answer: Police officers are arrested about 1,100 times a year, or roughly three officers charged every day, according to a new national study. The most common crimes were simple assault, drunken driving and aggravated assault, and significant numbers of sex crimes were also found. About 72 percent of officers charged in cases with known outcomes are convicted, more than 40 percent of the crimes are committed on duty, and nearly 95 percent of the officers charged are men. […]

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