Except when it’s a “noble lie”?
Many police officers differentiate between “noble cause corruption” and “bad corruption.” “Bad corruption” would be something like taking a bribe or robbing a drug dealer, and they would not hesitate to report such criminal behavior. The line gets blurry when dealing with so-called “noble cause corruption” — the idea that police are at war and the ends justify the means, i.e., raiding a drug house without having probable cause to do so or roughing up a gang member. It’s in those cases that officers suddenly get the “I didn’t see or hear anything” syndrome.
What this means is that “noble cause corruption” is another facet of the martial law mind-set that has become so commonplace in domestic law enforcement: Since the police are “at war,” the only thing that really matters is “victory,” even if that means covering up some “collateral damage” on occasion.
And it should be remembered that “noble cause corruption” is more dangerous than the relatively petty variety, since the former involves the abuse of power at the expense of what are supposed to be our constitutionally protected liberties.