Fourth Newark police officer indicted in recent series of police corruption probes

A fourth Newark police officer was arraigned Monday on charges of shaking down drug dealers, planting evidence and falsifying records.

Thirty-four-year-old Darius Smith is the fourth officer indicted in a recent series of police corruption investigations. Authorities say Smith was due in court Friday but did not show up. His attorney claims Smith was not aware of his court date, and he was not home when authorities showed up to serve him an arrest warrant.

Some people say they are not surprised about another officer being arrested in the large-scale probe. They add they cannot respect the police department when it has officers who may be committing the same crimes they are supposed to be stopping.

Authorities say there could be six more people involved with three separate corruptions probes. The cases include stealing drugs, shaking down drug dealers for cash and planting evidence.

When the probes started, Newarks police director said the corruption represents a small number of officers in a department with approximately 2,000 members. He also claimed the arrests and his departments cooperation with the attorney generals office show they are serious about rooting out any corruption.

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