As reported on NewsOn6.com, a key witness in the Tulsa Police corruption case is hoping to get $400,000 from authorities after helping the FBI to build a case against corrupt Tulsa Police officers. There will always be controversy over paying convicted criminals to provide information to law enforcement, but it is surely impossible to put a price on the value to society in rooting out corrupt officials.
Tulsa’s budget will have to accommodate between $700,000 to $900,000 to handle a wave of lawsuits which are arising as a result of a corruption scandal in the city’s police department. As reported by Tulsa World, three lawsuits have already been filed against the Tulsa police for wrongful imprisonment. This is because police officers allegedly stole drugs and money, planted drugs in houses, falsified search warrants and made up confidential informants.
Sheila Devereux has asked for a review of her 2005 drugs trafficking conviction for which she is currently serving time in prison. As reported in Tulsa World, the request is justified by the fact that her arrest involved two Tulsa police officers who are charged with planting drugs and fabricating confidential informants. Devereux has maintained her innocence throughout. 21 people have already had their convictions or cases against them dismissed in one of Oklahoma’s most revealing police corruption trials.
How could all of this have been avoided? Better procedures, processes and accountability mechanisms would have been a start. The world of undercover narcotics investigations is typically opaque, but that doesn’t mean that internal control mechanisms can’t be effective in maintaining management oversight.
Demario Harris must be a happy man. On Wednesday his life sentence for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute was thrown out by a U.S. District Judge because two police officers allegedly used a fabricated confidential informant and a falsified search warrant to justify his arrest. As reported by Tulsa World, Harris is the 21st person to be released early from prison as a result of an investigation into corruption within the police.
It must be highly frustrating for Tulsa Police to see convicted drug dealers having their sentences dismissed. However, it emphasises the point that shortcuts should never be taken to secure an arrest. Take a moment to think about the communities in Tulsa though – 21 people that police and the judicial system said were criminals are now exonerated and back in the community – faith in the judicial system really must be at an all time low, and all because of a few over-zealous cops…