Former American police officer flees US and finds asylum in Russia

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Up till 2011 John Mark Dougan had been an exemplary American citizen. In 2012 he joined the police force as a former Marine, thinking that working as a police officer would be “more adventurous than office work”. Yet, he soon started to notice that something was wrong as he was ordered to watch over drug dealers rather than arrest them. “It was impossible not to notice my colleagues using excessive force on suspects and brutally beating minorities,” Dougan recalls. 


When he first filed a report on one of his colleagues, who had been posting pictures of people he had beaten on Facebook, internal affairs launched an investigation trying to find out who had reported on a policeman instead of looking into allegations. Having seen all that injustice, Dougan resigned in 2008 and created an online forum called PBSOtalk where anyone could expose wrongful acts done by police officers.

 John Mark Dougan
John Mark Dougan

In 2016 someone posted the confidential information about thousands of federal agents, prosecutors, judges and cops, that had been allegedly obtained by a Russian hacker. Soon after, Dougan’s house was raided by FBI, which made him feel compelled to flee the US, because “what would you do, if you know you are facing imminent death”. So he drove to Canadian border, reached Toronto, made his way to Istanbul, and now he is in Russia, where he was granted political asylum. 


John came to Moscow with one thousand dollars in his pocket and had to start his life over. Two of his children live in America with his ex-wife, who lets them communicate through Skype, yet didn’t let the kids visit their dad in Russia last year, even though the trip was fully arranged. Now John Dougan wants to be granted Russian passport. “I am willing to pay taxes,” he says.


Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website

Natalia Veselnitskaya