Wednesday, December 08, 2004

'Gypsy cop' in Wikipedia

I've been using the Wikipedia service recently, and while they had a good entry on the Tulia drug stings (I have no idea who wrote it), they didn't have the phrase "gypsy cop," so I added one. Let me know what you think:

Gypsy Cop

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The phrase "gypsy cop" is law enforcement slang for a peace officer who floats from department to department regardless of, or because of, misconduct or poor job performance. The phrase entered public parlance after the infamous Tulia drug stings, where gypsy cop Tom Coleman allegedly set up innocent people, most of them black, as part of a long-term undercover operation. There are many other examples of gypsy cops, though, often associated with smaller departments and drug task forces funded by the federal Byrne grant program.
For those who've never seen it, Wikipedia is a free, collaborative encyclopedia, meaning if you don't like the definition, or any definition, you can edit it yourself.

For more information see Profile of a Gypsy Cop Part One, and Part Two, Trailing Gypsy Cops, and ACLU of TX Testimony vs. Special Police Forces. Here's an academic article from a Canadian police chief on the subject of "gypsy cops."

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