04/03/2010

NJ residents say cops are 'worse than criminals'

Camden dropped charges against 185 people after police misconduct investigation

Associated Press

CAMDEN, N.J. — Prosecutors say some police officers in one southern New Jersey city have bullied residents for years, making cases by planting drugs on suspects, falsifying police reports, and conducting searches without warrants.

Now four Camden officers are being investigated by a federal grand jury and have been suspended; one officer has already pleaded guilty.

And prosecutors say they've had to drop charges or vacate convictions in 185 criminal cases because of possibly corrupt police work - meaning scores of criminals could end up back on Camden's drug-infested streets.

Neighbors claim they were terrorized for years by Jason Stetser, one of the officers being investigated.

No charges have been filed against Stetser. His lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.

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