A man goes to cash a large check he received from his recently deceased father’s estate. When he arrives at the bank, the cashier thinks the check is suspicious because it is so large and calls the police. The police arrive and take the check from him and tell him they will return when they have verified it. The man attempts to grab the check from the officer and is charged with resisting with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. The officer later asks a judge to sentence him to ten years in prison.
Two undercover officers approach an addict and tell her they will give her some crack if she goes an buys a large quantity of crack for them. Despite her misgivings, she agrees. She returns with the drugs and is arrested for a second degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years.
An older man is walking through a park. Another man approaches him and propositions him for oral sex. The older man reluctantly agrees, only to be immediately arrested for solicitation of a lewd act.
A young man who has never been arrested before receives a call from a friend of a friend who is asking for a large amount of ecstasy. The young man has a job and is going to school and has never sold drugs before. He politely declines, only to be called again a few days later by the same “friend” for the same purpose. He refuses. Over the next two weeks, he is bombarded by text messages and voicemails claiming that the “friend” knows he sells “X” and that he is holding out on him. Finally, the young man gives in and makes some calls. When the young man goes to pick up the money from the “friend,” the “friend” shoots him in the neck and paralyzes him from the neck down. Permanently. Later, the “friend” would reveal that he was actually and undercover narcotics officer and claim that the young man pulled a gun on him. The young man’s family is confused, as no one in the family has ever owned a gun.
All of these are criminal defense cases I have encountered over the years. And all of them have one thing in common: they would not have happened but for the police.
Police exist to prevent crime, pursue criminals, and protect civilians. Police should not, under any circumstances, create crimes. It’s immoral. It’s unethical. I would even say that it is evil.
In my years as a criminal defense attorney, I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of police-created crimes. In fact, police created crimes are the majority of drug cases I defend. You may be asking “Is there no recourse?” “Isn’t this entrapment?” “Shouldn’t police be arrested for the crimes they commit too?”
My friend, I have been asking these same questions for decades. Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court has spoken on the issue of entrapment. The Court places the burden on the entrapped to prove their innocence, and if there is any indication that the crime would have happened regardless of the police’s involvement, the defense fails. This means that the government can dig up prior convictions and establish that the person has a “tendency” to engage in criminal behavior, and therefore would have committed this crime anyways.
Regardless of the many moral qualms surrounding police-created crime, it remains a staple in many law enforcement agencies. It is glamorized in movies and TV shows as righteous undercover work, with nary a mention of its often unsuspecting victims. It needs to stop.
If you are facing prosecution for a police-created crime, visit my website at www.shafercriminallaw.com or call me at (904)350-9333 for a free consultation.