Texas Police Corruption: Texas Rangers Arrest Chief of Police, Rest of Police Department Out the Door But Covington Still Very Afraid
A stone’s throw as the crow flies from Fort Worth is the tiny Texas town of Covington, and if you follow along Interstate 35 from downtown CowTown you’ll be in the heart of Covington in around 45 minutes. So, this story isn’t coming out of some backwoods, rural spot that’s living without the knowledge or influence of modern culture and its conveniences … and its laws.
Covington Police Chief Arrested by Texas Rangers Last Friday
On March 9, 2012, (just last Friday) the Texas Rangers swooped into Covington and arrested its Chief of Police, Wade Laurence, on a felony charge under the Texas Controlled Substances Act Section 481.129, for using a fraudulent prescription to obtain controlled substances. He was handcuffed, taken to jail, had his mugshot taken, and then placed under a $20,000 bond.
The same day, the Covington City Council held a meeting and fired Wade Laurence as their Chief of Police.
Wickedness in High Places: Rogue Police in Covington, Texas
Covington is a small town, officially only around 250 people live there. So most everyone knows what’s up … but the official allegations have sprouted not from back-fence gossip but from accusations coming from Laurence’s fellow police officers. Like former Police Chief Dowell Missildine and former Police Officer Kayla Richardson, who is being heralded as a whistle-blower for bringing some bad things to the attention of authorities, as well as telling Missildine things were becoming so serious that she was afraid for her life in some kind of retaliation.
Kayla Richardson is the brave soul who took this situation to the Texas Rangers, after she learned that the police evidence locker had drugs missing from its inventory and the only Covington Police Department member who wouldn’t take a lie detector test was its Chief of Police, Wade Laurence. Richardson saw that nothing was going to happen even after it was known that drugs had disappeared from the police department’s drug locker, and this riled her up enough that she went to the Texas Rangers for help.
Covington Is Afraid Now That Bad Cop is Free on Bond
Meanwhile, with a low bond, it didn’t take long for Wade Laurence to get released. So, this week, he’s free as a bird while he awaits trial on the felony charge (and maybe other investigations, too).
Covington City Council member Marty Smith has told the media that the community is terrified of these rogue police — which include not only ex-Chief Laurence but a hand full of men who worked as cops alongside him. People in the town are scared of what felonies are yet to be committed in their community by these evildoers.
According to reports of the Texas Rangers as well as media coverage, Laurence has had such an iron hand on this small Texas town that people were afraid of their own police force. Individuals are coming forward telling of things like being threatened with arrest on trumped-up charges as well as having their property destroyed (windshields busted, etc.) in a textbook tale of bullying techniques by out of control Powers that Be.
Texas Police Out of Control: Is Covington All That Unique? Nope.
The ability of a small Texas community’s police force to become corrupt and exceed the police powers entrusted to it seems to be not only readily available to towns and hamlets across the state … all too often, it’s become obvious that ne’er do wells are taking advantage of this chance to rule and reign as they wish, despite the laws they are sworn to uphold.
Behind the badges of places like Covington are other locales we’ve monitored here – like police departments in Aransas Pass, Rosebud, and Cleveland, among others – it’s not just a Bad Apple but an entire system that has broken down as officers entrusted with the public good fall prey to the profits to be made from guns and drugs.
In covering the Covington story, Republic magazine is also reporting on abuses in the Texas town of Tenaha and Shelby County, as well. Seems bad things are happening there almost simultaneously with the bad stuff up near Fort Worth.
The reality of criminal justice in the State of Texas today is that a police uniform does not necessarily carry with it the guarantee of integrity and honesty that many members of the public assume it does. Corruption exists, and it is wise to be wary.
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