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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/24/15

Veteran NYPD officer commits suicide after being arrested for raping a teenage girl he lured online

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By Shaun King

NYPD Sergeant Joel Doseau
NYPD Sergeant Joel Doseau
(Image by attribution: NYPD Mugshot)
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Just two weeks ago we told you about three different NYPD officers who had been arrested this year in different cases of raping teenage girls.

One of those officers, Sergeant Joel Doseau, 43, committed suicide last Thursday while out on bail.

"The sergeant, Joel Doseau, 43, who was suspended after his arrest, killed himself at his home in Canarsie, Brooklyn, a police official said. Earlier, the official had said he died at a home of a relative.

"Sergeant Doseau was arrested on Aug. 5 and arraigned in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on 40 criminal counts, including rape and sexual abuse. He had worked for the Police Department for 12 years at the time of his arrest."

There's a lot to learn here not only about the suicide of Officer Doseau, but the sheer lengths police officers will go to avoid jail time. My hypothesis is that the desire to avoid jail time is at the very root of a great deal of police corruption. Officer Doseau knew good and well he was guilty, but also knew there was no way in hell he was going to jail.

Last week a veteran Virginia police officer literally passed out for several minutes in court when the judge denied him bail in his murder case and told him his hearing wouldn't be until December.

But none of this should come as a surprise.

After assaulting an innocent black grandfather during a routine traffic stop, Officer Bill Melendez, knowing how extreme his actions were, was recorded planting drugs on Floyd Dent. It didn't work, and after a lifetime of police brutality, Melendez was arrested and charged with three felonies.

After shooting and killing Walter Scott in Charleston, South Carolina, Officer Michael Slager planted the Taser near his body and lied to officers on his reports about the grave threat that required him to gun down Scott. Thankfully, a cell phone video recorded the entire interaction and Slager was arrested and charged with murder.

Beyond the obvious reality that prisons suck and are poorly managed and overcrowded, police officers are well aware that life in prison for an officer is a particularly dangerous and miserable proposition. What we are seeing is that to avoid this possibility, police officers will plant evidence, lie on their reports, and even commit suicide.

What's not so clear is how we address the dangerous reality that the incentive and opportunity for officers to lie and conceal misconduct is simply too much for a fair system.

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