Police Power

Decent Essays
Controversial issues associated with police power are at the very front of current public debate. In the current crime control environment, law enforcement officers enjoy a privileged status, and the legitimacy of policing has recently been questioned because of several highly-publicized incidents involving police violence. The justification of the police actions and accurate portrayal of occurrences where (sometimes lethal) bodily damage is caused is of utmost importance to the society as a whole as balance needs to be achieved between the legitimate use of power and its abuse.

It will be argued that the “objective reasonableness” standard developed by the legal practitioners is a viable means of maintaining the balance between the
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While citizens put their trust in the police, the occurrences of misuse of the authority granted to the officers deteriorates the very founding principle of this social contract if the police are seen to be abusing this power.
Such authority must be used with discretion, and a number of cases of police brutality in America give rise to the need to examine the grounds for the use of police force more closely in order to draw the necessary boundaries.
This essay will seek to redress the balance by arguing that, while clear guidelines for the use of the police deadly force must be present, the remodeling of the role of the police as a public servant first and foremost is seen to be the key to ethical law enforcement (Pollock, 2012). In addition, the critical importance of accurate media representation will be considered, as this is the factor that, in essence, shapes public opinion.

The Use of the Police Force: The Current Landscape and Main Issues

The powers of the police to use deadly force and to kill at discretion make it a government body vested with more power than any other, including the
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The widespread violent reaction of the public could have been avoided had there been a clear rationale behind the officers’ actions been not only adhered to, but also communicated by the media. Instead of trying to insulate the public from some facts they may have difficulty in digesting, it is vital to take the time and effort to disclose all the facts backed with an adequate commentary of the events.
While acknowledging that there are justly documented instances of police brutality, such as the killing of Michael Brown (Onyemaobim, 2016), which also must be portrayed fairly in order to avoid the police misusing the power granted to them, the main conclusion is that ensuring ethical use of the police force and presenting the facts to the public correctly is the matter of prime importance on a national level and the matter of journalist ethics as
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