Shades of the “Blue Wall”

Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

“The Blue Wall’ goes by many names… the “Blue Code of Silence,” the “Blue Shield,” the “Blue Veil” etc… Technically speaking, it is an unwritten rule and code of behavior to feign ignorance or lie during an official inquiry in order to shelter fellow officer’s errors or misconduct. It has been described as “a brotherhood,” a “line in the sand not to be crossed,” a “go along to get along” mentality which particular officers may adhere to for motives other than upholding the law to the utmost or serving the public.

Wikipedia .org goes so far as to say the blue code of silence is “a tribal value system” in which those in the club are there to “defeat the enemy’ (i.e. do not follow Administrative policies, have disdain for municipal officials, police management and media). You’re a “rat…” you’re ostracized if you do not join…
Are you familiar with the term “testilying?” This refers to the circumstance in which a police officer provides false testimony to assist his/her colleague or falsifies reports etc. as revealed by a 1994 investigative commission on police corruption. Such testilying” was also practiced as a means of “imprisoning criminals who deserve it.” Strictly speaking, the Blue Wall is considered police corruption and misconduct.

It came to light in a big way in New York City in 1970 when police officer Frank Serpico “opened a Pandora’s box” of widespread police corruption as revealed by the Knapp Commission. As it pertains to “whistleblowing,” and breaking the code of silence, consequences can range from loss of friends, shunning and…. (Dangerously), loss of police backup on the streets. Those officers on the force whose mission is different than “the Blue Wall” see whistleblowing as a noble cause.

Some of the boys in blue are, in fact, recruited to “snitch” with a job description inclusive of the reporting of misconduct. Such officers can avoid prosecution with immunity. Types of crimes which are often “seen as acceptable” to those supporting the Blue Code of Silence include excessive force/brutality or inconsistent “bending of the rules” in favor of particular circumstances.

Ladyjustice Comment
It appears to Ladyjustice that…the Blue Wall” is portrayed in writing as… almost an impenetrable culture…almost a religion… an expectation! In practice, it is a scary outgrowth of a dangerous occupation. When the Blue Shield “goes underground and terribly wrong” such as when the police officer, for all intents and purposes is a “shining star” to his colleagues and the public, but is, in fact, a horrific abuser at home, it tells us that something is systematically wrong… and the price of silence is far too high! (One classic example former Chicago police officer Philip Murphy, father of Susan Murphy Milano)
Just One Example of Fighting against the Blue Wall
Behind the Bluewall is a source serving as a compendium of articles in order to expose officers who commit intimate partner violence or whom are suspected when family members go missing. This site has been operating since 1999. Last month alone it received over 71,500 hits!

A case recently featured again is that of Cynthia Gavitt, missing wife of New York State Police Captain William Gavitt, who disappeared on Saturday October 28, 2011. It is a series of repetitive posts saying the same information with few substantive details… written in a very generic fashion. Cynthia, 48, was “a housewife” with two children who had experienced “severe physical health problems” (unspecified in nature) starting at the beginning of 2011. Immediately after, intensive ground and water searches were conducted in the area of Saratoga, New York. Her 2004 silver Toyota was found in a parking lot near Mohawk River in “Halfmoon”. Police officials stated that “there is no indication that she was forcibly taken.” Her husband is mentioned once in the context of thanking searchers and appears not to have been identified as a person of interest.
Was this a suicide? Was it an abduction? Was it an intimate partner homicide? Why is it that more details have not been offered to the public? Research indicated that her case is registered with Is the Blue Wall erected here… strong and sturdy, brick by brick? Somebody knows something….


  1. I am a OIDV Survivor , code of silence is something i know really well. My soon to be ex is police officer who abused, tortured and rape my family. 8/12/011 he wanted to murder us and has never been convicted. he got a disorderly conduct and $500.00 fine.

  2. Thank you for this – and I’m sorry about the confusion of when I started Behind the Blue Wall blog. I backdated some posts to when they happened. I actually started the blog in 2006 after a few years doing like things with Yahoo groups. It took me over to do this after our Tacoma police chief committed murder-suicide on his fearful divorcing wife Crystal Judson (Brame) on 26 April 2003. After a rough divorce from a detective I saw Crystal as having suffered my own nightmares

    There’s a change a’comin’.

    I posted a link to your post on the Facebook page, Police Officer-Involved Domestic Violence Network:

    and commented:

    “SO GOOD to see Cynthia Gavitt’s disappearance highlighted in this piece. She and so many others will be forgotten by the public if we don’t keep saying their names.

    Speak the names and don’t stop.

    I am going to be retreating from trying to cover officer-involved domestic violence misconduct in order to focus on PACKAGING the OIDV fatalities into a form for us to use to force change – the comprehensive list and the “said-suicides” of police officer family members and intimate partners. In studying criminal federal enhancements I see that in order to make laws happen to start out we need tragedies. We have so many. We need them now in a form we can haul into Congress and put on the table, into police departments, city councils, the attorney generals offices, and wherever else the law and policy makers congregate. It’s time for change. When I started there were no voices. Now there are plenty. I can give my vocal chords a rest, defer to the new voices, and start compiling. Whatever I compile will belong to all of us to use wherever we can.”

  3. I think that maybe you should leave certain names out of your mouth . By writing things that you don’t know the truth about can cause more harm then good . You may think you are helping some but in reality you could be hurting families by throwing out crazy rumors to a family that should be healing.

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