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balance order with liberty. AsTheodore Roosevelt once toldus, “Order without liberty andliberty without order are equally destructive.” In important ways,policing democracies imposesstate control over civic behaviorbut at the behest and withthe consent o the populace, aparadox rooted in a recognizedneed or government in civil liebut constrained and controlledgovernment interventionnonetheless. In short, the policeare to help establish and maintainorder and lawulness but they too must be orderly and lawul indoing so.Policing can also be seen aslaw in action, as opposed to black letter law as printed. It is legalrealism giving lie to laws that areat once substantive, procedural,and restorative, concerned with legality, but also with dueprocess (Tyler 2001, Tyler andHuo 2002) and doing justice.In this way, policing gives lie tohuman rights, meaning that thepolice make decisions that eitherarm or deny the human rightso individuals. The police aremandated to protect and serve;they are the centurions at thegate, deenders o law, legality,reedom, individual liberty, andhuman rights. They are theminers at the coalace, intimately aware o the complexities o law and social action, while also thedeenders o domestic reedom. At its best, policing is anoble undertaking, protecting,deending, reassuring, calming,and restoring the social orderas well as the dignity o individuals—victims, oenders,and the community at-large. At its worst, policing eschewsdemocratic principles, ratheravoring brute and indiscriminantorce, ultimately trampling humanrights. I you were to Google“police and human rights,” you would come away with a tainted view o the police—violation o human rights, use o excessiveorce, and a disconnection romthe principles o democraticgovernance. O course, you would view policing throughits ailures, not its potentialsuccesses.Central to any ormulationo democratic policing is theacknowledgment that the policedraw their legitimacy, and henceauthority, rom the populace,and in making their roundshelp secure social structuresand social values, which arerooted in human rights. Sopolicing through human rightsis an aspiration o democraticpolicing, one yet realized. Thepolice are at once charged withenorcing the law, while alsobeing constrained in how they go about such enorcement.Balancing the rights o theindividual with those o the statehas been a perennial question indemocratic societies. In the past,this series has addressed questionso democratic policing and, morerecently, the Police Foundationexamined how the policeapproach matters o immigration.In both cases, the sensitivity o such matters is revealed in gapsbetween the preachment and thepractice o modern-day policing.Closing those gaps can result inconsiderable improvements to thelegitimacy the public accords thepolice.Building on prior ideaspresented in this series and otheroundation work, this essay examines the pursuit o humanrights, not as a peripheral matterto democratic policing but ratheras a core value, and consequently as a means o organizing policingstrategically and operationally.Such a posture will requireconsiderable adjustment, not in what we wish or the police—ouraspirations—but in how thoseaspirations are indeed made real.
The Rule o Law,Human Rights,and Policing
We are in bondage to the law in order that we may be ree
Ideas associated with the ruleo law and human rights draw sustenance rom the period o the Enlightenment, the cradleo democratic governance. Theessence o this ormulationis that no one is above thelaw—not citizen, not king,not government. Whethercast ormally, substantively,or unctionally, law must beprospective, known, equally applicable, and certain in itsapplication. In democracies,adherence to the rule o law isthe cornerstone in the protection