Sunday, March 14, 2010

NYPD officers drive drunk with impunity

According to a special report in the New York Daily News, New York City Police Officers drive drunk and keep their jobs. Here is a snippet from the article:

New York City cops caught driving drunk may have problems to worry about - but losing their job usually isn't one of them.

Since 1999, at least 55 active duty cops have been charged with drunken driving while on the force. All pleaded down to nonfelony charges and nearly all remained on the job.

That includes a sergeant who seriously injured passengers in another car, another charged with resisting arrest, and four cops who had drunken-driving convictions before joining the force.

These are the findings of a Daily News probe that examined NYPD records and criminal histories for the 13 southernmost counties of New York State. The department confirmed the results.

The disturbing phenomenon emerges after a spate of headlines about cops charged with driving drunk. Officer Andrew Kelly was indicted in the September death of a preacher's daughter. The next month, Detective Kevin Spellman was charged with killing a Bronx grandmother. Both refused to submit to sobriety tests.

Since then, three more cops have been charged with drunken driving: one who trashed a department car at the Midtown Tunnel, another who flipped his luxury sedan onto the sidewalk in front of Tiffany's, and a third who crashed into a parked car.

The number of cops convicted in drunken-driving incidents is an extremely tiny percentage of the 30,000-member force. But the incidents occur fairly regularly, year after year.

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