Anderson County, SC — There is no question that many police officers use performance enhancing drugs. In fact, the problem of police steroid use became so bad, in 2004, the DEA intervened to warn of the “possible psychological disturbances” of steroid raging cops.
The DEA said symptoms included:
- Mood swings (including manic-like symptoms leading to violence)
- Impaired judgment (stemming from feelings of invincibility)
- Extreme irritability
- Hostility and aggression
Eventually, a few years later, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, made up of 16,000 members worldwide set a standard that “calls upon state and local law enforcement entities to establish a model policy prohibiting the use of illegally obtained steroids” by officers.
However, this policy never happened.
Not only do cops vehemently resist being drug tested by their departments, claiming it is a violation of their civil rights, they are also frequently caught selling steroids.
“This is one of the dirty little secrets of American law enforcement,” says Gregory Gilbertson, a former Atlanta cop who teaches criminal justice in the Seattle area and works as a legal expert on police standards and practices, according to Alternet. “Steroid testing is declining, and I think there’s an attitude in all these agencies of ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ because they don’t want to know about it. Because if they know about it, then they have to address it.”
Ignoring the problem of roid rage does not make it go away. As the following case out of Anderson County, SC illustrates, cops allegedly using steroids is not only harmful to the unarmed and often innocent civilians on the receiving end of said rage, but also their own K9 officers. An investigation into Anderson Sheriff Deputy Jacob Saxon revealed that he “slammed K9 Magnum to the ground multiple times" and there is a possibility that "illegal use of steroids played a part."
However, thanks to a corrupt system that protects violent cops — even when they hurt their own — Saxon was allowed to quietly resign and the "investigation" was closed.
Saxon's abuse doled out on his K9 partner 'Magnum' was so violent that is shattered the dog's leg. When it originally happened, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office claimed Magnum bit the deputy and the deputy used a "corrective measure not in line with department policy."
However, adding suspicion to Saxon's claims of the dog biting him was the fact that he resigned two days after he broke his dog's leg. If he had nothing to hide, certainly there is no reason to quit your job. But he did.
What's more, during their investigation, the department found “a concern that the illegal use of steroids played a part in the conduct of Deputy Jacob Saxon and the injury of K9 Magnum," according to documents obtained under a FOIA request by WYFF.
Recommended for You
However, despite being under investigation for multiple felonies, Saxon refused to take a drug test for steroids and the department was “unable to obtain concrete evidence to confirm or not confirm the allegation.”
Despite the severe injuries he caused his dog, the allegations of steroid use and refusal to submit to a test to prove them wrong, the department closed the investigation and Saxon will not have to worry about the charges.
It is now highly likely that Saxon will become a gypsy cop and get hired on with another department — if he hasn't already.
Magnum is now retired and has been adopted by the owner of Anderson County P.A.W.S., officials said.
As TFTP previously reported, the cases of cops using and selling steroids are anything but isolated.
These are some of the cases from a 2016 report from Alternet that made the news that year, though there likely are others that have not been revealed publicly:
- In June, a Jeffersonville, Ind., cop, Anthony Mills, resigned after pleading guilty to possession of steroids. His attorney told the media that Mills did not consider steroids to be illegal drugs.
- This spring, authorities in Edmonton, Alberta, revealed that a handful of police officers had been involved in the use or distribution of Stanozolol, the steroid commonly sold as Winstrol. More than 30 officers in Edmonton have been implicated in steroid use in the past few years, according to press reports there.
- In January, a Portland, Ore. cop who faced firing for a positive steroid test was allowed to resign.
- Last fall, a scandal rocked police in the Augusta, Ga., area when a man arrested for steroids possession gave authorities a list of steroid users among local law enforcement officers. At least one deputy resigned; authorities denied that the list included as many 30 others.
- Also last fall, the Miami New Times revealed that Miami-Dade police officers had been customers of Biogenesis, a South Florida steroid clinic at the heart of professional baseball’s ongoing doping scandal.
The dangers of cops taking steroids are obvious, as the rage associated with their use can become uncontrollable. All too often, we see police officers immediately escalate situations to violence when de-escalation would have been far easier and safer. Steroids could be the reason.
“I keep seeing all of these cases where the level of anger and violence shown by officers makes no sense," Gilbertson says. "And when things don’t make sense, they don’t make sense for a reason…Maybe steroid rage is a reason so many police officers seem so angry and aggressive.”
Cops on the juice feel indestructible, as if they have superhuman strength.
Or as the DEA puts it, “The idea of enhanced physical strength and endurance provides one with ‘the invincible mentality’ when performing law enforcement duties.”
Starting to make sense now?
“Reasonable suspicion should be raised if they shoot somebody or beat the living daylights out of somebody,” Dan Handelman, a founding member of Portland Copwatch told Alternet. “In some of these recent cases, the officers seemed to be pumped up and were not necessarily working in a calm and level-headed manner. We wonder how much of this was coming from natural adrenalin and how much coming from other substances.”