© 2005 Chuck Klein 

O.J. Simpson has been in the news lately due to it being the 10th anniversary of his acquittal of criminal charges for the murder of two innocent persons. Though he was found not guilty of the crimes against his former wife and a delivery person, he WAS found responsible, in civil court, for slashing these two to death. Note that the significant event hyped is his acquittal - not the heinous crime itself. Ain't that America

The media and the Jesse Jackson's of the world have always insisted that the police doctored the evidence because The Juice was black and his victims were white. There is little doubt that the cops did taint the crime scene, but the real reason why they did it - has nothing to do with race.

My experience in the police world, coupled with observations and correspondence with police officers, is that the LADP was trying to avoid the embarrassment of a not guilty verdict. They were worried - even though they had a good case against him - that he would obtain powerful attorneys who might be successful THE
BEST OF CHUCK KLEINin having some of the evidence tossed out. Therefore, they desired to make this good case better by "enhancing" the evidence. Also, knowing that their main suspect was a high profile figure and the trial would draw a lot of media attention, a loss in court would not only cause the police to lose face, but they might be suspected of racial motives in charging O.J. in the first place. These weren't beat cops. These were detectives and ranking officers that conspired to make sure the guilty person was punished. This, of course, is not the function of the LAPD or any other police agency.

The larger the agency and the higher up the police hierarchy you go, the less demographics becomes a factor and the more politics, covering your backside and saving face become the driving force for criminal investigations.

Though there will always be crooked cops, there are far too many American police departments that condone and/or practice unethical tactics on a regular basis. One example: Statistics kept by police agencies sometimes are "adjusted" to yield targeted results. Suppose the cops want to demonstrate that their policing efforts are reducing robberies. One way is to change the reports (or method of reporting) of a Robbery to the crime of Theft (when no shots were fired). Or, of course, if the police wish to show that robbery is increasing, they do the reverse and then whine to the politicians that they now need more officers/guns/radios/whatever to combat the "statistically proven" increase in crime.

SOLUTION: Require police officers, including ranking officers, to submit to periodic polygraph tests - conducted by a non-police affiliated agency and under the control of elected officials.