Unethical Police Operations Essay
Police officer asking for sexual favors while on duty is a misuse of power and displays corruption and a bad representation of ethics for the police department. English heritage played in an integral part in modern American policing. Corruption has been a problem in most police departments everywhere. The problem has been corrected within most departments but is still a major problem. Brutality and misconduct have also been a obstruction to police as well. There is hope as police departments have come up with ways of preventing the problem Police corruption has been around since there has been police.
Two of the key elements of police corruption is misuse of authority and personal gain (Walker & Katz, 2011, p. 425). There are many types of corruption in a police department. First, gratuities in which are the most common form, whether you are taking free food from the gas station or a discount or your dry cleaning this can be considered as a form corruption.
Some police departments prohibit gratuity and some do not. You have isolated acts that happen while a police officer is performing their duties, such as when a police officer takes money to protect a drug headquarters, which is called a bribe.
There are lower forms of bribes where police take money from people to not write traffic summons and then there higher forms of bribes where police sell material from criminal cases. Third, you have theft and burglary which is a very serious form of corruption. Stealing money and property from drunken people is theft. There are also police officers that steal property from the police department’s property room. Internal corruption is when a police officer must bargain the best assignments or promotion with bribes.
Lastly, you have corruption and brutality which is a new form of corruption. “The Mollen Commission argues that a new form of corruption emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, characterized by a convergence of corruption and brutality. Officers brutally beat drug dealers, stole their drugs and money, and then sold the drugs to other dealers or other officers. Not all corruption involved brutality, and not all brutality in the department was associated with corruption. Nonetheless, the two were closely related.
Particularly disturbing was the extent to which officers testified that brutality was their “rite of initiation” into other forms of misconduct: “Once the line was crossed without consequences, it was easier to abuse their authority in other ways, including corruption. ” On New Year’s 2009, one case of BART officer Johannes Mehserle fired his weapon, a handgun at subdued and handcuffed Oscar J. Grant III. There was a fight on the train that broke out and Grant was pulled off of the train. One Unknown officer knelt on Grant while Mehserle pulled out his handgun and shot him in the back.
This act was all captured on video and there was a huge public scandal and caused violent protest. Mehserle resigned a week later. “Alameda County Deputy Dist. Atty. David R. Stein rejected the idea that the shooting was a mistake, telling jurors that Mehserle’s holster was specially designed to prevent easy release of his firearm. The prosecutor contrasted the light, bright yellow Taser gun with the heavier black Sig Sauer handgun that Mehserle fired. “He let his aggression dictate his conduct,” Stein told jurors” (Leonard, 2010, para. 8).
The jury ruled in not in favor of Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The jury made the right decision in reference to this case for the simple fact that this was an execution of a helpless person. In 2008, police officers in Camden, New Jersey were planting evidence and fabricating evidence on 88 different people. One of the cases included a Joel Barnes whose house got raided for drugs. When Barnes could not provide where the drugs were, police planted drugs on him. The American Civil Liberties Union filed lawsuits on behalf of Barnes and the other 88 convicts.
The convictions were overturned and the city of Camden, New Jersey will have to pay $3. 5 million settlement to the people wrongly accused. Fiedler (n. d. ), New Jersey ACLU policy counsel Alexander Shalom said, “”The lesson of course is that if you don’t pay at the outset to develop systems for supervision and accountability within the police department, you’re going to wind up paying on the back end, and that’s exactly what happened here” (para. 6). The city did the right thing for the wrongly accused in this particular case because no one should go to jail for a crime they did not commit.