Facing Years in Jail, Officer in Gun Scheme Has Regrets
Police Officer Ali Oklu said it began in 2010 with a phone call from a fellow officer: “Hey, you want a side job?”That "side job" turned out to be running stolen contraband - mainly untaxed cigarettes - alongside his fellow officers. They were moving untaxed cigarettes at first, but moved into firearms later. Oklu has changed his story repeatedly, claiming that he never knew what he was doing was illegal, that he was only doing it to help his aging parents, that he didn't know there were guns involved. His aging parents apparently needed him to buy a Mercedes convertible and a pet parrot with all the money he was bringing in.
At the time, he lived at home with his two elderly parents, helping to support them through his position with the New York Police Department, which he joined three years earlier. He remembered saying yes.
I cannot even begin to express how angry this story makes me. For the first 13 years of my life, I almost never saw my father - he was too busy working details so that he could support his family on a cop's salary. There's extra money to be made as a police officer - every year, when the paper publishes the list of the highest-paid city employees, several police officers will invariably be on the list. It's because they work crazy overtime for it, though, a point that seems to escape the narrow point the paper is trying to make.
But no, Officer Oklu took the way to easy money. I'll bet he didn't have to stand in traffic for 8 hours a day *after* his standard shift ended to make that $35K. I'll bet he didn't have to get off the midnight to 8 shift, run home, grab four hours of sleep, then go to the 3-11 detail for extra cash. No, he just showed up, help move a bunch of contraband, and went out and bought a flashy car with his 30 pieces of silver. My dad drove a ten year old beater when he was on the State police - in fact, for a good long time he didn't even have a car. He sure as hell didn't have a Mercedes.
We're supposed to put our trust in these people. For the most part, that trust is justified. It only takes a tiny fraction, though, to make you really start to doubt whether or not those appointed to be the watchers wouldn't be better served by being watched themselves. The NYPD - the only people allowed to put more than 7 rounds in their magazines in NYC - have officers on the force that think nothing of breaking the laws if there's money in it for them.
And yet they're the ones that are allowed "assault weapons" and "high capacity magazines" and even exempt full auto? Really?
That is all.