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“The police recover thousands of guns every year,” reports, “many of them through buyback programs, as well as by confiscating weapons seized during arrests — more than 5,000 guns so far this year alone. The guns are supposed to be destroyed.” TTAG commentators have often wondered . . .

how many “buyback” guns have gone walkies. After all, a small percentage of these guns are extremely valuable — just as a small percentage of cops are corrupt.

What our Armed Intelligentsia may not have anticipated — save our resident cynic Ralph — is that a bad cop might secretly divert and pocket a “buyback” gun to use a “throwdown.” That’s the term for an untraceable firearm that a cop can place next to the body of a citizen shot by a police under questionable circumstances.

The Sun Times reports that there’s a civil case against the Cicero, Illinois police alleging that a “buyback” Smith & Wesson was placed next to Cesar A. Munive, shot to death by a Cicero police officer Donald Garrity.

Usually, cases like this — and there are other cases like this — get settled quietly, so as not to tarnish the shield. Not this one. Cicero officials are set to pay the victim’s family $3.5 million to end their lawsuit.

This despite the fact that the official Chicago police investigation into the shooting concluded that “We have completed our review of the matter and found no conduct by the officer which would give rise to criminal charges.”

A good part of the civil settlement has to do with the background of Officer Garrity, promoted from patrol officer to detective after the shooting.

Garrity was making $84,707 a year when he left the department — nearly $27,000 more than he made as a patrol officer. That higher pay boosted his yearly disability payments to $55,000.

Cicero Town Attorney Mike Del Galdo says Garrity went on disability after sworn, pretrial depositions in the lawsuit revealed he had omitted key facts about his work history when he first applied for a job with the Cicero police.

Garrity had resigned as a Berwyn cop in May 2008 after being arrested by North Riverside officers who pursued him as he sped down Cermak Road in his personal car, records show. [ED: The Times didn’t provide details of the charges against Officer Garrity.]

Records also show that, while still with the Berwyn police, Garrity was once investigated for violating orders by wielding a high-powered rifle during a felony traffic stop.

It looks like this incident involved a bad cop. A stupid cop, too, if he pocketed/stole the “buyback” pistol without realizing that the gun was logged by the “buyback” administrators.

The question raised by this lawsuit: how many other police officers have removed guns from Chicago “buybacks” and how robust is the security system to make sure that confiscated/purchased gun don’t return to the street?

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  1. All cops carry drop guns…they were damn near issued equipment when my dad got on the dept in 64. Body cams, haha….suckers.

    • lol, no. Funny how everyone on the internet has a ‘cop relative’ who tells them these stories. But the idea that cops all walk around with ‘drop guns’ in this day and age is just absurd to anyone who knows what they’re talking about.

      (note: I won’t say it wasn’t a common practice in the 60s because I have no idea)

    • Not sure why my comments aren’t showing up or ‘awaiting moderation’ but sorry if there’s a dupe comment there

    • Uh huh… tell us more about your corrupt dad cop from the 60s mr. all knowing internet man.

      • You noticed that, too?

        I like this fellow’s frame of reference: “My dad was a crooked cop, had a throwdown gun just like everybody else he worked with, took bribes, stole drugs and cash, beat up his wife, kids, innocents, and suspects alike, fabricated and planted evidence, lied on police reports and in court, molested the occasional woman or child. . . Therefore, EVERY cop does it!”

        Good ol’ Dad.

      • You and Hannibal BOTH don’t ammount to a pimple on my fathers ass! Back before cops had tazers and swat teams and actually had to have some balls and a back up plan.
        Funny, every retired cop I know had a drop gun. All these punks and bitches on the street now are just revenue agents. Someone has to drive and point the cameras…..

    • Ok. Plenty of cops carry subcompact back up guns… possible you’re confusing the two?

    • For the love of doughnuts what’s next they plant drugs, they tell lies especially under oath or they commit a lot of crimes?

      • Didn’t someone just get busted for leaving his body cam on while he planted drugs? Just sayin…

  2. It’s so funny that PDs can’t even do basic background checks, of public records, on the cops they are hiring.

    • Legitimate respect for police all too often results in letting the police unions get away with murder. Figuratively speaking, of course.

    • Its not that they “can’t”, its that they “don’t”. Its called plausible deniability.

    • Depending on the locale, it can be insanely hard, or insanely easy to be hired by a department. Sometimes it’s as easy as joining the army. Other times the process resembles the FBI level of scrutiny. No matter which occurs, bad people still find a way to get into positions of authority everywhere. For the same reason child molesters become day care workers and priests. And why sociopaths become politicians.

    • Its funny because they want to know all your business just looking at you walk around.
      Where you going?
      Where you coming from?
      What’s in your pockets?
      What’s your name?
      You got Id?

    • Its funny because they want to know all your business just looking at you walking around.
      Where you going?
      Where you coming from?
      What’s in your pockets?
      What’s your name?
      You got Id?

  3. “We have completed our review of the matter and found no conduct by the officer which would give rise to criminal charges.”

    People who write crap like this are part of the reason the public doesn’t trust cops.

    • Ultimately no one should ever fully trust any government entity, or politician for that matter. No matter how good their record is. And really, trusting anyone, even close family, can be risky.

  4. Al Capone had this to say about Chicago/Cicero police “Never trust a cop, you never know when they’ll decide to go straight.”

  5. Ralph ain’t the only one…Cicero(hometown of Joe Mantegna)is one of the most corrupt towns in Illinois. I’ve sold burgler alarms there as well as other fun things. The Italians are pizzed that all the Spanglish and black folks outnumber them now. Of course this cop planted a gun…Chicago cops learned from the mob controlled Cicero Mafia.

  6. The are several stories out about LEOs including ones from the the ATF stealing guns from their organization, selling them, getting caught and being sentenced to 1.5-2 years and fines from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. These extremely light sentences seem to indicate that something is wrong to me. It is as if maybe deals were cut to keep the cases from getting much bigger. I don’t have a problem with most police just the fact that the bad ones are rarely suffer justice. This problem seems pervasive and systemic to me.

    • Yeah, that kinda shit should be double maximums as the minimums. If you’re a LEO and you commit blatant acts of corruption you should get a lot of prison time.

      • Yep, I’m in favor of DOUBLING the normal maximum sentence for a cop if he is convicted of a crime while carrying out official duties, and making said double-max the mandatory minimum.

        And might seem excessive but I think a cop perjuring himself should be a life sentence.

    • You think the problem is just with out of whack sentences for cops? The whole “justice” system is unjust. We have prisons full of people caught for having possession of a plant or substance labelled as verboten and we have instances like the following:

      O.J. Simpson – convicted of participating in armed robbery and kidnapping – sentenced to 33 years and got paroled after 9.

      Oliver Schmidt – VW engineer caught “cheating” the emissions test decreed by The Empire – sentenced to 169 years! This person was not armed, did not rob anyone, did not kidnap or maim or kill anyone…but oh the horror of making car engines emit fractions of a percent more nitrogen oxides! Oh the horror I tell you!

      • “You think the problem is just with out of whack sentences for cops? The whole “justice” system is unjust.”

        You are absolutely correct in this, which is why malfeasance in the courts must be dealt with in the most absolutely harsh manner imaginable.

        If a prosecutor is found to withhold evidence that points to a defendants innocence and is subsequently found guilty, the prosecutor must serve the sentence he was responsible for wrongly imposing. That includes the death penalty. Yes, if you’re a prosecutor and you send an innocent person to death row, I want you to fucking die.

      • No, I don’t think the only problem is bad cops. I think much the same things you do.

    • “it’s called a ham sandwich.”

      I thought it was called “How to eat pressed ham through the wrapper”.

      (That’s an *old* Wambaugh ‘The Choirboys’ reference…)

  7. Man that’s pretty dumb if he planted a buyback gun, since those are all recorded. What a moron.

    • The part of this that is omitted is that they did a trace on the gun, found out it belonged to a judge and then he told them it was turned in via buy back. At least that is what I’ve heard. I really suspect that this guy wouldn’t have been stupid enough to log the gun in then use it as a throw away gun.

        • Not really. Anyone could have let the gun walk, where it would surely walk into a criminal’s hands. It could just as easily have been a legit shooting. But the department is boned either way because that gun got out of there SOMEHOW.

      • If it wasn’t a judge, but a regular citizen, the cops would have arrested him for “providing the gun to the criminal.” Judges in Chicago, OTOH, have absolute immunity of the important kind: they’re part of the mafia apparatus and therefore untouchable – unless they go straight.

    • Doesn’t this cop own file or a dremmel tool? If you’re gonna plant a gun, why not commit the evil sin of removing the serno???

      • “Doesn’t this cop own file or a dremmel tool?”

        Filing or grinding a number off is *not* a permanent way to destroy the number. There are some advanced techniques that can somehow ‘read’ the changes in the metal under the numbers.

        If you want that number truly destroyed, you must remove all the metal below it, like drilling all the way through until you see daylight…

        • Indeed. Some kind of acid wash, I believe. But you are correct, simply grinding off the serial number is insufficient

  8. One of my family members was a policeman in a large city. The term that I remember hearing was a “throw-away piece” — a handgun that a policeman stole from a previous detainment or arrest. As this article indicates, policemen kept one in case they needed it to bolster their story in a questionable arrest or use of force.

    That was then. I have no idea how prevalent this practice is today.

  9. just as a small percentage of cops are corrupt.

    Fake News. There is no such thing as a clean cop or politician.

  10. Seems like an argument for universal background checks and gun registration … for everything a cop comes in contact with. It must be a good idea; they keep advocating for it.

  11. Well of course he did. You don’t expect the cops to buy their throwaway guns do you?

  12. Taxpayers paid the family $3.5M to cover this up and now the taxpayers are going to pay the cop $55K/year for the rest of his life in disability retirement.

    I think that’s what I just read.

    • Not only the throw down firearms. We have an epidemic of these LEO parsasites on either totally fake disability or on disability for life’s various accumulated aches and pain. Tax free baby.

      • Tax free will depend. A Worker’s Comp lump sum payment will be tax free. A disability pension may or may not be tax free depending on income levels. If like so many other “disabled” cops (and firemen) he starts working another job , it will probably push at least a portion of the pension into taxable status.

  13. what a douche….there are way easier ways to get a “throw down” gun that won’t get you busted….wait what??

  14. I automatically assume that every cop knows to have the department’s gun(s), your own on the book guns (ones you purchased through an FFL), your own off the book guns, and “other” guns. Those would be guns “recovered” from crime scenes that you got stashed around town and that never made it to the evidence locker. They are “just in case” guns you can destroy at the end of your career.

    • You know what they say about assuming.

      Those stories you hear on the internet- including here- about “oh I had a relative that was a cop and he told me…” are bullshit. Maybe they were true at some point, I don’t know, but they aren’t true now.

      That doesn’t mean there aren’t crooked cops out there that might decide to try it in the same way some thugs saw “The Godfather” and started acting like the stereotypes they saw in the film.

      • Bullshit Hannibal. I could link to literally a story a day of this type of bullshit going on with our “public servants”. Rape, robbery, murder, drugs being planted, all manner of cops behaving badly.

        • You could do the same to gun owners. So should we demand higher restrictions on gun ownership?

        • With roughly 3 quarters of a million cops in this country (local, state, and federal), yeah, I’m sure you could. You can find examples of ANY kind of abuse if your sample size is large enough. Now, even a single corrupt cop is a problem, and the lack of accountability unfortunately taints them all. But don’t assume an epidemic of bad behaviors simply because of context free numbers. This, by the way, from a guy who frequently disagrees with Hannibal and has no love for the police

        • “I could link to literally a story a day of this type of bullshit going on with our “public servants”.”

          Nonsense. You could link 10 stories per day, and those are the rare few that get caught, don’t get badged out of, then get to the DA, and the DA charges.

          Hannibal apparently works for the cleanest department in all of the LA metro, and likely in the whole darn country. Southland was Law & Order squeaky clean. Training Day was an understated riff on the real-life day-to-day of Rampart Division, and the next systemic scandal is just around the corner.

          I’m sorry Hannibal, but your reality, isn’t the one many of us have seen, and experienced. There’s at least one guy on most squads with a drop gun, not to mention drop drugs, there’s whole departments that have made seizures a source of luxe living – even when the people can prove the legitimacy of the cash, There are roided-up cowboys out there, looking to hassle people, there are cops dealing drugs and guns, there are cops coked-up or on heroin who roll dealers (or provide protection in exchange for their fix). There are cops who roll hard, just because they can, not because they’re even needed to respond. They drive drunk and badge-out, if they hit something they leave the scene.

          Yes they’re sort of the minority, but the reality is that everybody covers for it until something comes down from on high, or something that can’t be covered up happens.

      • So you’re saying that cops don’t plant evidence, in the comment thread for a story about a cop doing exactly that… Do you not see the contradiction there?

        • Don’t forget the very recent cop who planted drugs, and then turned on his body cam – forgetting that it has a loop recording before you hit record.

      • My original point is not that all cops are crooked. Its that it is in human nature to try empower one’s self and cut through red tape. Alot of cops operate in cities and jobs that at least get the gears turning in the direction I mentioned. It depends on the city but there general are alot of guns out there and it would be, and has been, easy for a cop to simply let one gun out of a bunch walk off. Cops are people too and people do not always follow the directions.

  15. I remember a case from New Orleans from years ago. Cop kills a teenager after a chase. Officer says he fired when the he saw that the suspect was armed. Kid’s father didn’t believe it. It took him five years, but Dad was finally able to establish that the gun”found” on his son’s body was a crime gun that had been slated for–and reported as–destroyed by the police. Cop did hard time in Angola for that.

    • Glad he actually got punished; that’s entirely too rare. And holy shit, Angola? So, he got killed, then. Even if he checked in immediately, there’s no way he survived his sentence. Good riddance

  16. “After all, a small percentage of these guns are extremely valuable — just as a small percentage of cops are NOT corrupt.”


  17. Two options here, neither of them good, but one is worse than the other:

    1) Worse option: cop stole the gun from the buyback and carried it around with him without anyone noticing just in case he happened to shoot someone at which point he ‘dropped it,’ again without anyone noticing. Trace evidence and latent fingerprinting could easily inculpate him, not to mention the fact that he would be an idiot to ‘drop’ a gun that could so easily be tied to the police

    2) Bad option: In an ironic series of events a gun is turned in and somehow ends up being sold back out by some entrepreneur in the department (probably from the property department, etc). Gun then finds its way into the pocket of a criminal because most non-criminals don’t buy guns in alleys. Criminal then gets shot by an unknowing cop who ends up in a soup sandwich.

    The cop in this case has a history that isn’t great, although nothing that really points to this. Could be true but a thorough investigation would be most useful. One that, for one reason or another, I suspect won’t happen.

    • “The cop in this case has a history that isn’t great”.

      ? they teach you guys this cop speak at the academy or is it on the job training? You know, glossing over cops behaving badly with weasel words.

  18. It makes no sense for cops to carry drop guns these days. It’s easier and less incriminating for the cop to carry a drop burner cell phone and claim it looked like a gun.

    A quick google search turned up more than 20 of such shootings. There are probably hundreds.

    • that’s so last year. now they just have to say ‘he made a move towards his waistband and I feared for my life’

  19. Chicago is not Cicero. Cicero is not Chicago. Not everything bad in IL happens in the Chi..check out

    • Check the map. Cicero is not part of Chicago on paper, but driving from one to another you need sign to see whereone ends and the other begins.

  20. Here’s a question about these “buy-backs” (I put that in quotes, because since the LEO’s didn’t sell the gun to consumers in the first place, the term “buy back” is a non-sequitur):

    Do the LEO’s have FFL’s? Are they filing the proper ATF paperwork for destruction of a firearm? Are they keeping a A&D book when they take the firearms in? They can’t be keeping a proper A&D book, because they’re not taking down people’s name and address when they take the gun in, if they’re taking them in “no questions asked.”

    I’ll bet that they’re keeping none of the required paperwork – because “we’re cops, and we don’t need to comply with the law.”

    • I’d love to see the ATF climb up their ass and arrests made for violations. I know, I know.. but a boy can dream.

  21. 1.) “Full Independent Civilian review boards of all rank and file Police officers! Including all administration. For public accountability.

    2.) A complete ban on all police Unions, guides, brotherhoods , etc….

    3.) Not less than 250k dollars in compensation for EACH constitutional infringement by the law enforcement community, state, or federal government. Not Including fines, imprisonment, and defunding of said government operations.

  22. Wow, dirty cops in Illinois. Who saw THAT one coming?

    Queue the Soviet style apologists who will now put in an appearance to wail piteously about how TELLING THE TRUTH about what some cops do will get cops killed.

    Here’s an idea so crazy it might just work! If cops don’t want people talking about the crimes they commit… STOP COMMITTING CRIMES!!!

    It can’t be said too many times: there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Black Lies Matter and any police union. BOTH of them exist SOLELY to lobby for the creation of an unaccountable class of violent felons, untouchable by the laws under which the rest of us live. Only their constituencies differ.

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