David S. Bernstein at the Boston Phoenix writes about the widespread nature of the problem in the BPD regarding search and seizure and BPD culture that embraces falsifying police records in order to get the bad guy, rather than adhering to procedures that protect constitutional rights of all citizens.
Bernstein also raises the issue of the difficulty Commissioner Davis will have changing BPD culture to a culture of zero tolerance for falsifying police records. Read the whole thing, "Bright Line" For The BPD?
The problem is that routine, casual dishonesty has been engrained in the BPD culture and practices for so long, its like the entire departmental biosystem has grown around it. Lehr quotes an unnamed BPD officer confessing the routine matter of "testilying" by falsifying police reports: "We call it 'creative writing'," the cop says.
...Many falsehoods begin as retroactive attempts to make an arrest, or other action, conform to proper procedure so that evidence won't be thrown out on procedural grounds. Often in the stress or perceived danger of an investigation or an encounter with a suspect, an officer breaks the ground rules. So, they write their report, or provide testimony, in a way that paints an untruthful picture of the officer conforming to the rules. (A little of this may have happened in the Crowley-Gates affair, BTW.)
...There is tremendous incentive, all along the line, for everyone to blindly accept these tales rather than risk letting criminals go.
The trouble is that when this happens routinely, then everybody knows it's OK to do it -- which means they don't have to be real vigilant about following the ground rules, because they can always just say they did later...