An ex-Cook County sheriff in Illinois proved to be more ruthless than the career criminals he helped put behind bars. According to reports by ABC 7, officer Robert Vaughan, 44, used his authority to set up a drug organization.
Vaughn and two other officers robbed drug dealers on the streets of Chicago and found ways to make a profit. Between 2011 and 2013, Vaughn and the other officers robbed the dealers while on duty. They would identify drug dealers in neighborhoods with a large minority presence and act as if they were placing the dealers under arrest. However, the officers would steal the drugs from the dealers and allow them to leave without reporting the arrest.
Once the officers were able to steal a large quantity of drugs, they would resell the drugs to other dealers in Chicago. Within two years, the officers made over $300K.
Vaughn and his crew of police officers were caught when they robbed an undercover agent of 70 pounds of marijuana.
Vaughn was arrested and charged with one count of robbery. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
With the shootings of unarmed Black males across the country by the hands of police officers, this form of corruption is another blow for officers who have lost the trust of many in the Black community. Authorities in the Chicago area, in particular, have dealt with police corruption for years.
In February of 2015, it was discovered that Chicago police had a secret jail where they would take people who were arrested. Some victims were held in the secret prison (Holman Square) for over 17 hours. There were accounts of police brutality and one person reportedly died while in police custody. People as young as 15 were also held at the jail for hours without their legal guardian being informed. An investigation into Holman Square is currently taking place and lawsuits have been filed by individuals who were detained.
Police brutality and corruption must be regarded as a national issue. Vaughn’s arrest proves, again, that America must look closely at an overhaul of how police are chosen and allowed to conduct their duties.