Frank Serpico was an honest police officer working for the NYPD. In the movie, Serpico is constantly dealing with police corruption and eventually exploits many police problems in the departments he worked in. Some of the police corruption included extortion, police brutality and accepting bribes.
Early in the movie, Serpico encounters his first of many corruptions with police after arresting a black man for being an accomplice for molesting a girl. An investigator beats the black man in order to get information from him of his friend’s whereabouts. Serpico takes a different approach of just talking to the man in an effort of trying to help him out and in return receiving information from him. This scene is prime example of police brutality, which was very common during those times especially towards minorities.
Throughout the movie Serpico is constantly being offered bribes whether its cash or free goods. Serpico cannot stand all the corruption each department he is transferred to is involved in and remains an honest cop. Officers become afraid that Serpico might turn on them when he refuses to take bribes from division wide extortion within his department. In an effort to escape all of the corruption, Serpico is transferred to a narcotics division in Brooklyn where he is quickly threatened by other policeman to accept large amounts of cash bribes from drug money or he will be killed. During a drug bust, two other officers leave Serpico’s back allowing him to be shot in the face so Serpico would not be able to expose them.
The Knapp Commission was founded in 1970 by mayor John Lindsay in an effort to investigate the NYPD’s corruption and cleanse the departments of their corrupted officers. The creation of the commission is largely accredited to the findings and testimonies of Frank Serpico and Sargent David Durk. The Knapp Commission report on police porruption identified two particular classes of...
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