Philadelphia Daily News reporters Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for the 10-month series “Tainted Justice,” an expose of alleged corruption among members of an elite narcotics squad on the Philadelphia police force.
During their reporting, Laker and Ruderman uncovered allegations against officers that included committing sexual assaults, disabling surveillance cameras during drug raids to hide their misdeeds, and filing fraudulent warrants. During several raids, the police allegedly stole thousands of dollars in merchandise and money from small retailers.
As a result of Laker and Ruderman’s investigation, hundreds of drug cases in Philadelphia have been re-examined, and in some cases thrown out. In addition, the Philadelphia police launched a task force, which includes members of the FBI, the force’s Internal Affairs division and the city Inspector General’s Office, to investigate the allegations.
Five of the officers involved remain on desk duty; more than 15 civil suits have been filed in federal court against members of the force.