A shocking new report from the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women paints a disturbing picture of law enforcement and their role in sex trafficking. The report found that instead of preventing child and adult sex trafficking, many police officers are participating in it.
The report is titled "Sex Trafficking in Hawaii: The Stories of Survivors," which detailed the testimonials from multiple victims. One particularly disturbing part of the report was the fact that almost half of all the victims interviewed reported that police officers participated in their abuse and victimization.
"The corruption of members of the criminal justice system reported by the participants in the study was pervasive in their stories of being prostituted," the report noted.
The report found that the average age of those being trafficked is just 14-years-old, showing how early the abuse began.
One of the victims interviewed, who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons explained that "the same people that are charging you for prostitution are the people turning around and buying it from you."
Another participant in the study noted that police would even help to acquire the young girls drugs. The teenager was living in a drug house which had been busted by police and after the raid, the officer told the girl, “if you want pills, don’t mess with this little kid, you call me.”
Khara Jabola-Carolus, with the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, explained that the abuse was extensive and on all levels of the spectrum. "This ranged from cops asking for sexual favors to more coercive situations like I'll let you go if you do X, Y, or Z for me.' Bring customers after hours in exchange for cigarettes or gas money," she explained.
When confronted with this information about the abuse of sex trafficking victims by police officers, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard issued the following statement:
Recommended for You
"I am deeply concerned and will continue to ask the Commission to provide additional information so that HPD can investigate. We respect the participants’ privacy and understand why they do not want to be identified. However, if they can provide us with when or where the activity occurred and a description of the officer, we will investigate to the fullest extent possible. HPD does not condone the behavior described in the study under any circumstances."
While the idea that police officers are abusing victims of sex trafficking may seem outlandish to some, it should come as no surprise to those who've been paying attention, especially out of Hawaii.
As the Free Thought Project previously reported in 2014, Honolulu police officers urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations. For years, Hawaii allowed their cops to have sex with prostitutes and victims of human trafficking while at the same time arresting these women.
It's not just Hawaii either. In Michigan, police were granted immunity from prosecution if they had sex with a prostitute or a sex trafficking victim during an investigation. This was legal for law enforcement all the way up until 2018 when lawmakers had to get a bill passed to specifically outlaw the practice of having sex with victims of human trafficking.
Both the cops in Hawaii and in Michigan put up huge resistance to the outlawing of sex with human trafficking victims, claiming it was necessary to catch lawbreakers.
However, Bridgette Carr, a director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, explained how cops used these laws to further exploit their victims.
“What I do know from my own clients is that people who either say they are cops, who are cops or who are impersonating cops, know about this exemption and threaten my clients with it sometimes,” she said.
Police officers using their power to exploit human trafficking victims is a common thread among many cases. On multiple occasions, the Free Thought Project has reported interviews of former child sex trafficking victims who've all noted that they had nowhere to go as police and high-level politicians all participated in the abuse.
In case after case, the Free Thought Project reports on horrifying instances of child sex rings that were allowed to go on for decades because politicians — including heads of states — policemen, clergy, and others were all in on the sick game.