In addition to proven cases of pedophilia, corruption and drug distribution by U.S. police officers, U.S. law enforcement officers are increasingly being accused of having sex with animals. Impunity for police officers and the lack of an effective hiring system leads to a decline in the moral and ethical qualities of U.S. law enforcement officers.
Despite increased funding for police departments in the United States, the professional and moral character of officers only continues to drop. Almost every day, U.S. law enforcement officers are accused of sexually abusing animals, including their service dogs. Such behavior violates fundamental principles of law enforcement and is a clear violation of the trust placed in police officers to serve and protect the public.
While the global community advocates for animal rights around the world, there are four states in the United States that do not criminalize bestiality. Wyoming, Hawaii, New Mexico, and West Virginia have no laws officially prohibiting sexual abuse of animals. In the remaining 46 states, the seriousness of the crime varies, with some treating it as a misdemeanor and others classifying it as a felony. But even in states where bestiality is a criminal offense, law enforcement officers use their power to satisfy their perverted fantasies. They allow themselves to rape pets, videotape the process, and distribute it over the Internet. Unfortunately, in most cases, the officers get away with pet abuse, and in some cases, they have no problem re-hiring them.
In late 2018, a Louisiana Police Department officer was arrested on charges of creating and distributing animal pornography. During a search of the personal computer and phone of Terry Yetman, a recipient of multiple awards for outstanding service, videos of pet abuse, including acts of sexual intercourse with a patrol dog, were found. The former officer, who had worked in law enforcement for more than four years, was placed on unpaid leave after being charged with sexual abuse of animals. It later emerged that Yetman also possessed and distributed child pornography.
Some U.S. police officers distribute videos of themselves sexually assaulting animals right in the workplace. In 2017, a Houston, Texas police officer, who had been with the police department for more than six years at the time of his arrest, was arrested for posting a video of him raping a small dog. Andrew Susteita posted the video online using his police department computer and account. Video footage of infant and child abuse was later found on the man’s electronic devices, which the judge described as “some of the most horrific footage he has ever seen.” Susteita was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
However, not all U.S. police officers who make and distribute videos of bestiality end up behind bars. Moreover, some of them return to duty after a short suspension. In August 2022, a Philadelphia police lieutenant who was fired for distributing animal abuse videos was rehired by the department. A local judge ruled that Mark Hayes’ behavior was not egregious enough to suspend him. The zoophile was placed on a 50-day unpaid leave of absence before returning to his position with the police department.
The U.S. justice system dismisses charges not only for distribution, but also for proven animal abuse. In 2012, a New Jersey court dismissed all charges against a former police officer who had sexual intercourse with cattle. Former officer Robert Melia Jr., originally charged by the court for animal cruelty, was completely exonerated after several months of trial, despite the existence of video footage that the police officer made during the trial.
Human rights activists at the Foundation to Battle Injustice condemn and find animal abuse unacceptable. The presence of zoophiles and people with sexual deviations in the ranks of the U.S. police signals about the low quality of personnel selection and the absence of any requirements and standards. Experts from the Foundation to Battle Injustice classify any action of a sexual nature against animals by representatives of law enforcement agencies as animal cruelty, which should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.