NAMED AFTER A FORMER deputy mayor of New York City, Milton Mollen, the Mollen Commission was created in 1994 to assess the extent of corruption in the New York City Police Department (NYPD). The 1980s saw a return to rampant misconduct by police officers after a purported decrease following the investigation by the Knapp Commission in the 1970s. The stakes had also escalated, moving from bribes and corruption related to vice, to huge sums of money generated by the crack cocaine trade.

Just as the NYPD was recovering from its battering at the hands of the Knapp Commission, Officer Michael Dowd and 15 to 20 fellow officers were found at the center of a criminal organization in Brooklyn. Dowd lived up to his billing as the ...

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