This paper will describe police power and police authority. I will also talk about police discretion as for as whom gets locked up and who is allowed to go free. This paper will discuss the different use of police force. In this paper I will also talk about police attitude, police misconduct, and physical abuse among police officers.
Officers have specific training regarding use of force, for this purpose officer’s continuums were developed in the year 1960s. These continuums are based upon the resistance faced by the police officer and the amount of force that can be justified at that particular time. It can be said that he use of force should behave in a linear manner that means the rise should occur from the negligible resistance to increased aggression (Hess, 2009). Law enforcement agencies almost, at all places give policies according to which a police officer can utilize force by
While racing down the freeway on March 3, 1991, driver Rodney King and friends were leading the Los Angeles Police Department on a high speed chase making it up to 115 miles per hour. When King was eventually caught, officers pulled him from his car and began to beat King with their batons hitting and kicking him more than 50 times and shocking him with stun guns in a period of two minutes as he struggled helplessly on the ground outside of his car. King suffered 11 skull fractures, kidney damage, and brain damage. This was one of America’s first viral video of what excessive force is, and it changed the way police interacted with communities forever. The use of police force is an obligation, but unfortunately some officers may misuse, or abuse
Every culture is composed of four elements: “values, norms, beliefs, and expressive symbols” (Peterson, 1979, p. 137). Each police officer is influenced by the police organizational culture during training. After graduation fro the police academy, the officer is influenced by the more experienced officers of the department. Research conducted by several authors has found that peer influence never ceases even after years of experience in the field.
In certain situations, the police may have to act quickly on their instincts. Sometimes, a situation is unpredictable and a decision needs to be made in a split second. The quick decision may to be to take a person down physically with the officer’s own hands, or to use deadly force, unfortunately. Anything can happen and the officer needs to be ready for every scenario. The different levels of force can be anywhere from just a police officer being present, to having to kill someone to prevent him or her from hurting anyone else. It’s a harsh reality, but sometimes the officer needs to make the decision to die or to protect him and do what he needs to do.
Discretion is defined as the authority to make a decision between two or more choices (Pollock, 2010). More specifically, it is defined as “the capacity to identify and to document criminal and noncriminal events” (Boivin & Cordeau, 2011). Every police officer has a great deal of discretion concerning when to use their authority, power, persuasion, or force. Depending on how an officer sees their duty to society will determine an officer’s discretion. Discretion leads to selective enforcement practices and may result in discrimination against certain groups of people or select individuals (Young, 2011). Most police officer discretion is exercised in situations with individuals (Sherman, 1984).
A considerable number of research has been conducted over the past 40 years to understand police culture. A variety of terms have been used in reference to it including: ‘cop culture’ (Reiner, 2010:118), the ‘working personality’ of the police (Skolnick, 1966, 2010:15), the ‘police mind’ (Fielding & Fielding, 1991) and, ‘police sub-culture’ (Waddington, 1999). Research has shown that police culture influences officer’s attitudes, behaviors’ and work ethics (Scaramella et al., 2011); and the way officers perceive society and their role within it (Reiner, 2000). Schein (2004: 17) defines police culture as ‘A pattern of shared basic assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and,
Police Officers use of force has been an big issue for many decades, But has now made its way to mainstream. From news to social media there 's always a recent relevant story/ case on police officers use of force. In 2016 Baton Rouge man, Alton Sterling was killed do to Police officers use of excessive force. This sparked an outrage in the nation after Mr. Sterlings murder went viral through social media. The shooting led to protests in Baton Rouge and a request for a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Police officers are given a lot of power because it is needed to help protect citizens and the community. However, police often abuse their power by the over use of force, corruption, sexual misconduct, bias based policing, and failure to maintain police ethics. (Peak, 2011)
Police work is dangerous. Sometimes police put in situations that excessive force is needed, but, because some officers use these extreme measures in situations when it is not required to use excessive force. The use of excessive force it should be looked into by the system in the misuse of power among officers. Most police officers throughout the ranks of the U.S. police departments are just seeking more authority/recognition among the population or the district his/he is working. The U.S. law enforcement that misuse their authority would get away with it in the past it would only be he or she said. Since the invention of cameras more of the excessive force used by police officers use gets caught in a circle around due to the social network. Law enforcement agents need to wear cameras with their uniforms and a penalty for any tampering with cameras view or shutting down the cameras with a 20 year sentence.
In most cases the police is permitted to use any form of necessary force to suppress a suspected criminal with minimal consequences if they use excessive force (“Police Use Of Force”). According to the current law all law enforcement officers should use only the amount of force necessary to weaken an incident, make an arrest, and protect themselves and others from harm (“Police Use of Force”). Officers receive guidance from their individual agencies, but no universal set of rules that governs when officers should use force and how much (“Police Use Of Force”). Police use of excessive force against the unarmed public should be illegal because it lowers the amount of unnecessary deaths, reduces riots, and would decrease racism.
Kappeler, Sluder, & Alpert (1998) explain that through the police subculture deviance enters into law enforcement. The police character that is developed can be attributed to several paradigms such as psychological, sociological, and anthropological. The individual personalities of an officer and the authoritarian personality, characterized by cynicism, aggression, and conservatism, is that the psychological paradigm analyzes (p. 85). The socialization process which officers experience when they go through the academy, training, and field experience, contrast that dispositional model of the police personality, and this is the focus of the sociological paradigm. When officers internalize these norms and values that are learned, this professionalization occurs. The occupational culture of policing and the -beliefs, attitudes, and values that make up the subculture is seen as the anthropological paradigm or the culturalization perspective (Kappeler, Sluder, & Alpert, 1998, p. 87-88).
The impression of public in the U.S of the police using excessive forces, such as brutality, in today's modern policing continues to be a sensitive issue across the country. Many police agencies around the nation are under the pressure for alleged abuse of force from the view of the media perspective. Justified or not, the image of the police use of force continues to strike a nerve with the American public. However, an attempt to use force is often misunderstood by the community because of the media frenzy using false declarations and propaganda techniques. These techniques weaken the power of the police and reduce the trust that the community has in the police force.
Skolnick begins by concentrating and analyzing certain elements pertaining to the law enforcement profession. The elements Skolnick identifies are danger, authority, and efficiency in the eyes of the public, which all produces unique cognitive and behavioral responses as officers. To Skolnick this is the working personality aforementioned. Understanding this, Skolnick begins the discussion of how police culture plays into a policeman’s working personality. First it is important to realize that police officers are required to respond to assaults against citizens of the community, as well as the properties and possessions of those people. This has several implications. First, “The policeman, because his work requires him to be occupied continually with potential violence, developed perpetual shorthand’s identify certain kinds of people and symbolic assailants, that is, as persons who use gesture, language, and attire that the policeman has come to recognize as a prelude to violence,” (Skolnick, 143). This concept can be trouble to some, as it seems to have a discriminatory feeling
Officers are trained to use certain measures to prevent an incident from escalating to brutal or deadly force and due to the environment of most minority communities, officers frequently have to resort to use-of-force. In a study by the Center for Policing Equity, which took three years to conduct, reviewed 19,000 cases of use-of-force by officers representing 11 cities between 2010 and 2015. They found that officers only employ use-of-force in 2 percent of all the police-citizen interactions, however African Americans were subjected to use-of-force 3 times the number of Caucasians, showing a disproportionality high difference (Williams, 2016). When interviewing police officer James, I asked, “When you have to pull your gun on a subject, what race is the individual, most