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  • Ismael Barrios

Special Units in Local Police Department Can Lead to Brutality

(photo from HBO's We Own This City)

A lot of people always want to say it's just a bad apple, or that not all cops are the same. Still, there are multiple examples of the same wrongdoing in many different states. If there is only one bad apple, wouldn't the rest of the apples be broken? Doesn't that apple compromise or pollute the rest? If that statement is true, then why would I take the risk. These "rotten apples" are often hidden, as if the farmers market folks don't want customers to know. The problem is, he's putting his entire team at risk, and these police departments are risking the lives of other officers, their reputations, and what little morale they have left. In many cases of misconduct, parts of the public may perceive these other officials as fearful of losing their jobs or worse.

These officials turned a blind eye or interfered, only to realize later on what they could have avoided or prevented. No one is saying it is their job to hold these officials accountable, but their every move could be part of the problem. Given all this information, many may assume these are new officers or offices without proper training. Aside from the fact that the opposite is almost always true, these officers have years of experience and have been promoted to Special Forces on several occasions. These corrupt officials not only conceal the actions of these officials, but also encourage and praise them.

The officers are seen to bring in the numbers and the units are said to have brought in a large number of arrests, weapons and vehicles. The problem is no one asks how, they either don't care or don't want to know it will be a problem later. Often officials wonder what they have to do to make a difference, and they seek public sympathy after tragedies, but nothing is done. The same officials who beg for forgiveness on camera are the same officials who praise and abet these overly aggressive, corrupt entities. Members of these units filed endless complaints and reports of their misconduct. Not maintained in almost all cases, the whole system spoils these officers and protects them from anything, as if they were perfect angels. These officials see "officials who are not afraid of dirty hands", but in reality they are dirty officials who cannot take their hands off innocent people. There are many examples where records show known officials have a history of misconduct, often resulting in inhumane violence and even murder. If these officers don't wake up one day and suddenly have the urge to use force, they will eventually realize how much they are allowed to do.

In some cases, these officials are managed and trained to do these things by officials with authority over them. There it was taught that people of certain colors in certain neighborhoods were called suspected criminals. Officials routinely target and harass people in these categories simply because they fall into them. There are no consequences or responsibilities for any of their actions, they lead to promotions and the creation of "Special Forces". These "elite police forces" are in the news a lot, and many people probably think that's a good thing. Over the years, these special forces have been investigated, disbanded, or charged for all the wrong reasons, and the truth is in the news. The problem wasn't just that it took longer than necessary, but the amount of work and energy that went into it. Just to bring any charges against these officers, let alone those who are better protected and hidden in special forces. These units can be found all over the United States, with multiple examples in many states, all of which can be traced back to Special Forces. Either their ego goes to their heads or they realize they've gotten away with so much that when they're taken to a special unit, they show it. There are some differences between these units and their members. If they came up with any numbers, it would be the number of reports of misconduct, investigations, prosecutions or homicides. The troops, often in plainclothes, have a reputation for being overly aggressive and conducting class actions in some areas, many said. It said the research didn't even show whether these mass stops had any effect in certain areas where crime was higher/residents were charged. Units in these areas are known to do whatever they want. Local residents have spoken of being stopped by members of these units increasing the likelihood that the situation will end negatively. Many people may see this message as a negative perception of the police or their special forces, but it's not anyone's opinion. If you haven't heard these names, at the end you'll find out why you should. There are at least thousands of stories all over America, all of which sound about the same about how it happened or how it ended. We start with the Red Dogs (2011), an Atlanta police force that disbanded about 10 years ago. Then there was the Baltimore Gun Tracking Task Force (2017), an undercover police force from Maryland. This unit was embroiled in the so-called GTTF scandal that changed Baltimore forever. More recently, the latest case to make the news is the Skorpion unit in Memphis, Tennessee.

For those of you who know or recognize these names, this may sound familiar, and for those who don't know what these names are, here are some of their stories. It started with Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old Atlanta resident who has lived in her home for the past 17 years. Until November 21, 2006, Johnson was murdered by members of the Red Dog organization in a so-called "botched drug bust". The officers with warrants broke into her home and said they shot them in the head. This resulted in 39 shots fired by police, resulting in Catherine being shot at least five times. No officers were injured other than fratricide, but Johnson was killed. After the shooting officers grew marijuana and fabricated reports that Johnston sold them cocaine. The officials later admitted what they had done after an investigation uncovered forged documents.

These members of Red Dog were charged with manslaughter and numerous other counts for their actions. Founded in 1989, Red Dogs didn't disband until 2011, itself disbanded in 2009 during a raid on a gay bar. The police force that yelled anti-gay slurs and handcuffed them during a background check ended in a million-dollar settlement two years later. Formed in 2007 and disbanded in 2017, the Gun Tracking Task Force was a group of plainclothes officers who were arrested and charged with racketeering, certain robberies, racketeering, and fraud over time. This led to more allegations and a lot of revelations for the entire department. The last is the Scorpio team, which will be formed the shortest in 2021 and will be disbanded on January 7, 2023. The unit disbanded following the murder of Tire Nichols, one of the last acts of inhumanity by these officers. After Nichols' death, many people's stories were actually covered up and exposed.

What's more, after the squad was disbanded, people became more confident to speak out. What raised many questions was the involvement of Chief Cerelyn Davis. Davis is said to have worked in Atlanta during the Red Dogs era. This might cause some problems, since she was involved in the formation of this Scorpio troop, which is very similar to the Red Dog troop. This suggests that nothing has changed over the years, no lessons or signs of reform, whatsoever. In some areas, these police departments and their units continue to treat the public as less than human.

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