This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Issues of Police Conduct Brandi Norfleet American InterContinental University July 5, 2011
use of force. and corruption. There must be strong internal controls in the department as well as effective external oversight to address misconduct issues of discretion. .Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 2 Abstract Police misconduct is not just behavior which is unethical but often times against the law as well.
006 telephone interviews with randomly selected U. These events include crucial Supreme Court decisions. Patrol officers routinely use their discretion in deciding whom to stop and question.Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 3 Introduction Policing in America has undergone a significant change over the past half century. David Harris states ³The practice of police . and which calls to respond to first. Issues involving police misconduct are often intertwined with these major events most pointedly in the areas of discretion. Because of the type of work police officers do while dealing with the public. use of force. as a basis to identify and investigate whether an individual is engaged in criminal activity. in making decisions (Bohm & Haley. Properly used. When used improperly. it results in actions that are discriminatory. found that 77 percent of blacks and 56 percent of whites believe racial profiling is a widespread practice by law enforcement (Cleary. Racial profiling is a practice initiated by law enforcement which uses ethnicity or race. which traffic violators to pull over. The issue of police discretion is very contentious. who to give citations to. and corruption. involving 2. Discretionary enforcement allows officers to make decisions as to what course of action will produce the most desirable outcome in a given situation. especially since some law enforcement officers abuse their discretion. In one of the earliest scholarly articles on this issue. unethical or illegal. use of force. 2002). Discretion is very subjective. citizens. A 1999 Gallup poll. 2000). rather than behavior.S. discretion can be a positive aspect of the criminal justice system. and challenges and amendments to the Constitution just to name a few. Police misconduct which involves issues of discretion. and corruption are best addressed through reforms in the policies of the organizational culture. they must exercise their own discretion. and it is apparent in many of the procedures and policies of law enforcement. Discretion Discretion is defined as the exercise of personal judgment. the Civil Rights movement. The changes in policing have paralleled changes in society. There have been several major events which have taken place that have had a direct or indirect affect on how police carry out their duties. meaning decisions can be affected by an officer¶s own prejudices and bias. instead of official rules. One of the predominant issues of discretion when it comes to law enforcement misconduct is racial profiling.
Gardner. it is also necessary to continually retrain officers in the field. Several government studies have recommended that departments develop their own guidelines on the use of discretion. While the training should begin with recruits in the academy. Methods aimed at stopping racial profiling include ethnic and cultural diversity training. and attorney deemed 30% of these police searches unconstitutional (Ridgeway. They can more readily identify discriminatory practices and correct officer¶s behavior or dismiss them from the department when necessary. to the requirements established by the U. and leads to death whether by police brutality. Guidelines provide a standard to be used in evaluating officers for awards and promotions. prosecutor. Excessive force is when an officer uses beyond the necessary amount needed in order to restrain the person(s) in custody.S. Departments must also train officers and provide supervisory mechanisms to ensure that the policies are properly communicated and implemented. or some other factor. Use of Force Law enforcement officers use force in order to control suspects. The law regarding the use of deadly force in making an arrest varies somewhat from state to state. Profiling is not isolated incidents by a few errant officers. Deadly force is when the amount of force used proves to be fatal in controlling the suspect. 2006). it has its own name. and it described the act of constantly being stopped by police and harassed. Supreme Court greatly . videotaping all traffic stops. lethal ammunition. but is in fact a routine occurrence that will require systemic reform´ (1997). State laws and police regulations must conform.S. and the two types of force used include excessive and deadly. In a case study. department guidelines reduce the appearance of arbitrary and discriminatory law enforcement in the eyes of the public. John Gould and Stephen Mastrofski report on field observations of 115 police searches. Police department regulations also vary in the language used to regulate and instruct officers as to the use of deadly force. however. The U.Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 4 officers stopping black drivers just to see what they can find has become so prevalent. In addition. and also strong discipline for delinquent officers. They avoid the appearance of arbitrary discipline that occurs when improper conduct must be addressed even though there is no clearly articulated policy. African Americans sometimes say they have been stopped for the offense of µdriving while black¶. A team comprised of a judge. Supreme Court in the 1985 case of Tennessee v.
) Significant risk the person being arrested will cause enormous bodily harm or death if their capture is delayed According to the annual report by the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (2011).) The crime for the arrest being made involved the use or threatened use of deadly force 2. The Fourth Amendment provides ³an explicit textural source of constitutional protection against this sort of physically intrusive governmental conduct. 23. and rapidly evolving-about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments in circumstances that are tense.Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 5 restricted conditions in which a law enforcement officer is permitted to use deadly force which include 1.512.861 tracked reports of police misconduct in 2010. It is criminally illegal and morally unethical behavior which can cost law enforcement agencies millions of dollars in legal damages. the U. 490 U.S. Grass eaters refer to officers who occasionally engage in illegal and unethical acts during the course of their duties.S. This amount does not include sealed settlements. that Amendment must be the guide for analyzing these claims´ (Graham v. Department of Justice new authority to commence civil actions against law enforcement agencies that demonstrate a pattern of using excessive force.S. which in 1972 the Knapp Commission divided into the categories of ³grass eaters´ and ³meat eaters´ (Braziller. The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene. Congress enacted legislation that gave the U. Police misconduct involving use of force can lead to not only criminal cases against officers and but also civil cases. Out of those tracked reports. The estimated amount spent on police misconduct related civil settlements and judgments is approximately $346. uncertain.8% were associated with police brutality and 247 resulted in fatalities. In 1994. Corruption The third issue is corruption by police officers. there were 4. . court costs.800. Connor. and those who actively seek ways to make money illegally are called meat eaters. 1972). 386). All claims that law enforcement officers have used excessive force should be analyzed under the Fourth Amendment and its ³reasonableness´ standard. and attorney fees (2011).
internal controls are thought to be the most effective. and corruption by police are examples of police misconduct which are constantly exposed in the media and often result in public unrest. When it comes to the issues of inappropriate and illegal conduct by law . Policies and procedures of the police departments should reflect a strict and effective approach to dealing with deviant or criminal behavior by its officers and officials. Complaints against officers should be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and justly when proven credible. 2011). and there should certainly be a more proactive Internal Affairs Unit. ³Policing is an occupation that is rife with opportunities for misconduct´ (Schmalleger. and other types of unethical activities. Properly structured. the legislature. external control mechanisms are imposed on the department by other agencies or individuals who may or may not have an understanding of the police role and functions. As noted criminologist Carl Klockers states. or the courts. External controls may be imposed by citizen review boards. Illegal and unethical actions by those who are ³sworn to protect and serve´ leave the community with a distasteful view of police. legislative oversight or through the court system. External controls are needed to maintain a sense of commitment and accountability in order to minimize corruption in police departments. Conclusion Issues of police misconduct can be controlled internally by the department through development of policies. Unlike internal control mechanisms that reflect an attempt by the police to address inappropriate behavior. and supervision. training. and strain the relationship between citizens and police. it can greatly affect the community they are sworn to protect and serve. along with special prosecutors assigned to the cases of corrupt officers (Simmons. Of these methods. procedures. There needs to be reviews of the departments by outside sources. 1976). department guidelines should achieve a balance between the operational needs of law enforcement and the constitutional protections that must be afforded all citizens (Zurcher & Cohen. use of excessive and deadly force. extortion. Corrupt activities range from bribery.Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 6 Nothing is more repugnant to the public than a police officer or a whole department which has become corrupt. The abuse of discretion. When police officers and law enforcement officials willfully engage in corrupt activities and deceitful behavior. theft and perjury to falsifying evidence. 2005). This control can be achieved through civilian review boards.
Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 7 enforcement. swift and effective measures must be taken to reform the deviant behavior of the participants. .
. K. This article describes the practice of racial profiling in relation to minority communities.S. Propensity score techniques are used to analyze the affects of race on post-stop outcomes of 7607 recorded vehicle stops that the OPD made between June 15. Injustice Everywhere. Retrieved June 23. Assessing the Effect of Race Bias in Post-traffic Stop Outcomes Using Propensity Scores. (2006). Connor. 1694. 269). K. M. ³ µDriving while Black¶ and all other Traffic Offenses: The Supreme Court and Pretextual Traffic Stops.). 2011. In Criminal justice today: an introductory text for the twenty-first century (11th ed. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. from http://www. Braziller. (1972). (2011). p. 2d 1 (1985) .injusticeeverywhere.law. 2011. Upper Saddle River. David. 105 S.edu This article identifies the most prevalent issues in local police departments. vol. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. Ct. 386 (1989) Harris. 1997. 2003 and December 30. The University of Alabama School of Law. has been difficult thus far. Policing America: issues and ethics. Simmons. 2003.com/?p=4053 Bohm. 471 U. G. This Article proposes a model that encourages federal±state cooperation to address the long standing questions of how best to promote police accountability within local law enforcement agencies and which entities should be responsible for implementing reform. The Knapp Commission report on police corruption. April 5).´ The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Ed.ua. Ridgeway. California. Garner. Schmalleger. N.S. (2002). Retrieved June 26. R. The efforts made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to implement a unified set of reforms in local police departments. & Haley. October 3). (2005. Graham v. Tennessee v.Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 8 References 2010 NPMSRP police misconduct statistical report draft. The article includes a 1999 Gallup poll of residents in Oakland. Policing: issues and challenges. Cooperative federalism and police reform: using Congressional spending power to promote police accountability. 87 (2). New York. In Introduction to criminal justice (3rd ed. 22(1). from www. F. which include corruption and police misconduct. G. 1. 490 U. (2011. 85 L. 1-29..
leg.B.us/hrd/hrd. from www. Retrieved June 23.mn. House. Author) [H. . June). and S. 2011. J. Cohen (1976).C.]. Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department.state. 63(6):38-40. (2000. ³Officer discretion: limits and guidelines´ Police Chief. Cleary.htm Zurcher.Running head: ISSUES OF POLICE CONDUCT 9 U.S. Doc.house. Racial Profiling Studies in Law Enforcement: Issues and Methodology (J.R.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.