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Minneapolis, MN — In May of last year, the rest of the world got an inside look into the rampant corruption and criminal behavior inside the Minneapolis police department after the death of George Floyd. While deadly force was certainly a problem within their ranks, a conviction this week shows the corruption spanned far wider than just excessive force.

Ty Raymond Jindra, 28, was indicted last November on accusations that he ran a drug extortion racket for over two years. Jindra faced 11 counts for abusing his position as a street cop to steal meth, heroin, oxycodone and other drugs for personal use during the course of his duties.

This week, Jindra was found guilty and convicted by a federal jury on three counts of acquiring a controlled substance by deception, and two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.

“Ty Jindra failed to uphold his oath as a peace officer, he failed the community he was sworn to serve, and he failed his fellow officers” said Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Folk. “This office and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate corruption and blatant abuse of authority. I am grateful to the Minneapolis Police Department for rooting out Jindra’s wrongdoing and notifying the FBI.”

According to the grand jury indictment, Jindra was using his badge to steal meth, heroin, and oxycodone by means of "deception, extortion, and conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures."

According to the indictment, Jindra would confiscate drugs during busts and never report them. He also would pocket drugs turned in by concerned citizens and skimmed small amounts from all drugs he put into evidence. In one instance, according to the indictment, Jindra showed up to a call for an overdose and stole all the heroin and meth from the scene.

Jindra also illegally detained individuals and violated their 4th Amendment rights by searching them without cause and then stealing their drugs, according to the indictment.

Ironically enough, the investigation into Jindra began, not over stealing meth and heroin, but from excessive force. In his 7 years with the department, Jindra has been the subject of 15 complaints, eight of which are still open.

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According to the Star Tribune, 

Jindra came to the attention of department officials after being named in three excessive force complaints in a short span of time, sources familiar with the investigation said.

In the process, the department also reviewed footage that appeared to show Jindra pulling a small quantity of what appeared to be drugs from his backpack, a source said.

The charges say Jindra found ways to hide his behavior from his partner and other police officers, such as placing the contraband into his gloved hand, folding the latex glove over the drugs and then stashing them in his personal duty bag or some other location inside the squad car. Jindra turned off his body-worn camera at opportune moments during searches and failed to disclose key details in police reports, such as the seizure of pills he stashed away for personal use, according to the charges. He told his partner he planned to dispose of meth that he kept for his own use.

Jindra is also the son of Jeffrey Jindra, who is a cop on the Board of Directors of the Police Officers Federation of Minnesota. Like his son, Jeffrey has a massively tainted past.

As reports, 

Jindra is a guy who’s been accused of improperly cuffing a 14 year old, and the day after he was acquitted on that charge, was accused of forcing a suspect facedown and handcuffed on the floor. While there, “Jindra kicked him in the head until his jaw was broken. Other officers present also purportedly assaulted him in the face and the abdomen.” He’s also been accused of raping suspects with a toilet plunger. (CP, MPD BLUES: JEFF JINDRA IS ACCUSED OF MISCONDUCT–AGAINMan who accused Minneapolis police speaks out, and Feds won’t prosecute Minneapolis officers in plunger case )

According to prosecutors, Jindra now faces up to a four year prison sentence for each of three controlled substance counts, and a possible one year on each of two civil rights counts of which he was convicted. The date for his sentencing trial has not yet been set.

Cops betraying their communities by extorting drug dealers, and stealing their products is most certainly immoral and deserves punishment. Jindra deserves to be held accountable for his actions. However, merely possessing and selling drugs to willing customers—should never end with anyone in a cage.

Criminalizing addiction and substance abuse has done nothing to curb use. People are literally dying in the streets at an increasing rate and no amount of police state can stop it. In fact, since the inception of the drug war, drug addiction and overdoses have gotten worse.

Fortunately, this paradigm seems to be breaking apart and cases like this exposing the façade has begun a crack in the wall that is the drug war — and that wall has started to crumble.