We originally reported back in March 2016 about how Denver Police were misusing the Law Enforcement Database for personal Gain. However it appears that this abuse is not restricted to Denver. The law enforcement database has been abused across the states to stalk individuals who were entirely unrelated to police investigations. Among those stalked include landlords, potential romantic partners, neighbors and journalists. A recent report reveals wholesale abuse of the law enforcement database for purely personal ends. The intrusions cover personal discourse, romantic spats and voyeuristic curiosity. In some cases officers were caught red handed harassing and stalking. One New York officer was in cohorts with private investigators and sold the information.
Records (2013>2015) supplied to AP via police departments and state agencies confirm 325 cases of law enforcement database abuse. Those employees and officers involved were suspended, terminated and/or resigned. Reprimands, lesser discipline rebukes and counseling totaled around 250. Another 90 cases were centered around unspecified discipline. However it was unclear in many cases as to what punishments were handed down, if at all. The AP added that violations were surely higher as many go unnoticed and records were, at best, patchy. Some evidence provided of the law enforcement database abuse included one Michigan cop who accessed woman he found attractive. A journalist who took issue with Miami Dade Police Dept was also checked by 2 officers. A cop in Akron also pleaded guilty to stalking his ex.
The victim of Stalking in Ohio cites the illicit nature of the law enforcement database abuse as dangerous. The information is wide ranging from social security numbers to your address. Thge abuse of the Law enforcement database was local and state wide. Compounded by access to the FBI’s NCIC (National Crime and Information Center). This center is accessed around 14 million times every day. The FBI database includes information on sex offenders, outstanding warrants, missing individuals, gang member suspects and those violating immigration. The most popular misuse being romantic dalliance. An officer in Denver accessed a hospital employee profile after crossing paths during an investigation. After securing a woman’s personal information a Polk County sheriff’s deputy sent her a Facebook message.
Co workers and neighbors were also the subject of background checks. Another officer in Ohio accessed information on a landlord of a female friend and threatened him over an unpaid debt at night. Information was even traded for sexual favors relating to a gun and drug trafficking investigation. An American Civil Liberties Union privacy expert (Jay Stanley) commented that many private lives are emotionally charged taking in the deadly sins. Being able to have an insight is to be able to tap in to these emotions. As well as the police court personnel, dispatchers, civilian employees and highly ranked police officials have been caught. Prosecutions however are rare. One retired NYPD officer who profited from the sale of NCIC information faced 5 years incarceration but received probation.
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