Police Misconduct


When a police officer is taking advantage of the power which was given to him/her. When he/her finds loopholes in their job that allows under minded things to take place that can hurt instead of help the community around them.

How police misconduct leads to false principles

Another description of police misconduct includes unethical or illegal actions or the destruction of individuals’ constitutional rights. There are so many police misconduct examples, including dishonesty, coercion, brutality, fraud, sexual assault, and torture.

Any of these illegal actions can promote the likelihood of false principles.

How to stop police misconduct

Many cities of the U.S. have lost their peace because of the nightly protests against police misconduct. It all started in May, when a Black Minneapolis man, George Floyd, was murdered by a white police officer.

There is a lot of proof regarding police officers’ dishonest behaviors. That said, a lot of protestors are raising their voices with more protestations. 

Here is what science says on how to fight killing and police bias. These are not long lists of suggested reforms. Still, these are some bright ideas that can reduce the brutality of police officers. 

  • Order non-police organizations to take emergency calls seriously

The Treatment Advocacy Center, a non-profit organization, gathered some results related to police officers’ non-ethical behavior. 

According to this center, at least one in every five people killed by police is mentally ill. Not all police officers who respond to emergency calls related to a person with mental illness are prepared to handle crisis management. Therefore, this kind of mismanagement can lead to terrible situations that end in police brutality.

Platforms like Oregon’s Cahoots, Eugene, can help alleviate those situations by professionally handling emergencies, even alongside police officers.

  • Demilitarization is overbearing

One of the common ways of combat among police offers is military-grade equipment against unarmed civilians.

Police offers are allowed to use these assets because the 1033 Pentagon program will enable them to use it. The program has resulted in law enforcement agencies giving equipment like bayonets, grenade launchers, and armored vehicles.

According to science, receiving more military equipment will increase the likelihood of using it. That said, police rely more on violence to resolve issues.

Although the former president of the U.S., Barak Obama, refrained police officers from using such equipment in local situations, President Donald Trump reversed the statement in 2017.

Settling limits on what type of equipment should be given to local law enforcement agencies could reduce police misconduct.

  • Promote Federal omission for police departments

The Vice investigation discovered that departments that adopted new policies and went through federal investigations saw police shootings reduce between 27-35%.

The Department of Justice held interventions that requested stricter policies against force, an independent process to investigate police killings, and enhanced officer training. Shootings were reduced in San Francisco, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

  • Track the officers who indulge brutal behavior

Not all complaints regarding police misconduct are trackable, as most of them are not from the public.

A 2019 research emphasizes that the police offers who work alongside other officers who garner complaints related to excessive force are more likely to receive these sorts of problems in the future.

There have been many analyses and further investigations related to police misconduct. Most of them found that the more officers with a long history of excessive force worked in a group.

Creating a means of tracking complaints against officers and giving the public access to that data can reduce police abuse.

Furthermore, legislation that forbids officers who are terminated for misconduct from being hired could also reduce these incidents.

  • Change police tradition

Training is an excellent way to reduce orthodox mindsets among police officers and promote de-escalation. Most training methods have some evidence that backs them up, such as training in procedural justice, which emphasizes fairness.

Furthermore, training is a nebulous form with little oversight, and most police departments do not necessarily follow evidence-based programs.

There are a few regulatory methods to change police culture. Moreover, every police department must follow these policies:

  • There should be guidelines describing the types of force that officers are allowed to use in the response of specific situations
  • Banning or restricting strangleholds or chokeholds
  • Giving a verbal warning before using a deadly force
  • Officers must de-escalate before using any force
  • Requiring officers to use other options before using a fatal force
  • Punishing the office who tries to use excessive force

Police departments with five or more of these policies are reported to have fewer police-involved murders per arrest than those who follow one or none.

These policies are vital in changing police behavior because they help reduce the use of force and promote accountability and create trust between police and the public.

Police Misconduct Cases

Since the ’90s, there have been a lot of police misconduct cases. However, the only difference between today’s claims and of before is that the police abuse of 2020 is more brutal.

These cases are proof:

· May 25, 2020: The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man

Officer Derek Chauvin murdered him in Minnesota. George was prostrate on the ground, face down. The video provides evidence of him pleading for his life. At the same time, the officer’s knee remains on his neck, the entire video.

Moreover, the death of George Floyd led to numerous protests all over the world.

Later on, Chauvin was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department and charged with a 2nd-degree Manslaughter and 3rd Degree Murder. The other three officers near the time of the incident were charged with abetting and aiding the killing.

· January 1: an eye injury during the 2019-2020 Chilean protests

Chilean riot police threw tear gas grenades in these protests, and two men were permanently blinded due to the tear gas.

Who Investigates Police Misconduct

Internal affairs are a division of a law enforcement agency that investigates possible law-breaking and police misconduct scenes.

It is a mechanism of limited self-governance, “a policy for police offers.” Every state has a different name for internal affairs, such as internal investigations division, inspectorate general, internal review board, professional standards, professional responsibility, or similar office.

Furthermore, the nature of this responsibility is quite sensitive. In many departments, officers in charge of internal affairs units do not have detective command but report to the agency’s chief.

Also, Internal affairs investigators have to follow stringent rules when performing investigations.

Examples of Police Misconduct

The term “police misconduct” can portray an extensive range of illegal or improper actions on law officers. These actions may include malicious prosecution, witness tampering, or police brutality.

Some of the most famous police misconduct examples on the record are:

1. Officers Richard Hall and Eddie Martins – Sexual assault and rape

They loaded a young woman into their police van because of the possession of marijuana. In the police van, they forced her to do oral sex on them and raped her.

2. Officer Kevin Mcdonald – Consumption of alcohol on duty

Officer McDonald was not arrested for his misconduct. However, the police chief did terminate his position.

3. Officer Anthony Maldonado – Tampering the witness

When Officer Anthony pulled over a driver in Maui, HI, he witnessed a massive amount of cash in their car and had a plan to steal it.

When the driver reported the scene to the police department, Anthony tried to bribe him to drop charges.

4. The Eric Garner Case – Police misconduct

When attempting to arrest Eric Garner for selling illegal cigarettes, the NYPD officers tackled him to the ground. After that, Officer Daniel Pantaleo placed a chokehold on Garner.

He did not release Garner, and he died.

For this brutal attempt, Officer Pantaleo was fired from the department.

Police Misconduct Statistics

In 44 states of the United States, more than 30,000 law enforcement officers lost their certification due to misconduct and abusive behavior towards citizens.

Check out this breakdown of reasons:

As you can see, police misconduct occurs in several ways.

What are the different types of Police Misconduct?

As mentioned above, police misconduct occurs when a police officer performs his official duties, violates an individual’s rights, or commits an illegal action.

Following are the types of police misconduct:

· False arrest

An arrest is made without demanding proof or giving a warrant. This form of misconduct violates an individual’s Fourth Amendment constitutional right against unauthentic research and seizure.

· Sexual misconduct

However, most police officers do not misuse their professional authority, police-initiated sexual assaults, or harassment.

· Unwarranted surveillance

It involves using surveillance technology or methods to monitor the activity or a group or an individual without legal permission.

· Unwarranted seizure and search

It occurs when a law enforcement officer conducts an attack and search without probable cause or a warrant.

· Coerced false confession

False confessions can lead to a misleading step in a procedure involving intimidation, psychological coercion, or persuasion.

· False imprisonment

It occurs when a police officer intentionally restricts another within a community without any legal justification or authority.

· Police perjury

Police perjury occurs when an office passes false testimonies against a defendant to prove an individual guilty.

· Police brutality

It is an extreme form of police abuse that includes force, verbal assault, harassment, mental injury, and even death.

· Racial abuse

Racial abuse occurs when police target a person belonging to a specific race based on the behavior or traits of an ethnic group.

How to Report Police Misconduct

Suppose the police have violated your rights or witnessed some police misconduct against someone else. In that case, there is no need to panic. It is okay to feel intimidated, but knowing how to respond to police abuse is an essential step of defense for you and your community.

There are various steps to the process of reporting police misconduct. An individual must approach them calmly and efficiently.

Step 1: Make a list of everything you saw

It is easy to forget tiny details over time, so you must write what you saw immediately.

Write everything that happened in your words, from the beginning to the end. When quoting the officer or yourself, try using the exact words. Be precise about the location, day, time, etc. It is best to replay the events gradually in your head to remember as much as you can.

Also, try including the witness’s name and personal details (if you know). Additionally, write the physical appearance of the officer, badge numbers, and vehicle number.

If necessary, return to the incident scene to interview a few possible witnesses. It will help jog your memory about other essential details.

Moreover, only include details you are sure about. Do not use inaccuracies, as they can instantly damage your credibility and ruin your work.

Step 2: Discuss it with an attorney

This step counts if you were arrested following the misconduct.

Victims of police abuse are often prosecuted for gaining power in case the victim files a lawsuit. If you get caught in a situation like this, you must instantly hire a professional police misconduct attorney. Do not hire attorneys who work in several areas of the law.

No doubt, police misconduct cases are severe, and lawyers meet a lot of rigid people. Therefore, distinguish yourself by being well-organized and calm. All the materials you have in step 1 will guide you in the presentation that you are a keen perpetrator whose case is worth taking.

However, do not feel upset if you cannot find a reliable attorney to take your case. Go to step 3 instead.

Step 3: File a police abuse

One cannot take this action until all civilian actions and criminal charges are out of the way. Filing police misconduct hastily will damage your chances in court when you have to reveal your personal information to the police.

Again, the material you wrote in the first step will help you to file a complaint. You can file the report in an office within the police department or a citizen review board that accepts them.

If you google “police complaint” with your town’s name, the results will direct you to the office in your area.

Our law starts with the police and ends with our judicial system. 

Law enforcement in the United States has drastically changed since its discovery. During the initial times, law enforcement’s role in local communities was carried out by part-time officers and volunteer groups who were funded by local community associates.

It is incompetent to say that the police have a huge hand in the happenings of today. Due to the current incidents and viral videos of police misconduct, cops have become citizens’ enemies. 

Even after all the police’s betrayal and abusive behavior, most of them are loyal subjects of the police department who guard their communities with all their heart. They are unrecognized heroes and risk their lives daily for us. 

However, the Americans are still at war with the police. The murders of the past few years and the wholesome Black Lives Matter movement, which was a response to the killings, have arisen a sense of acknowledgment in all Americans in the police’s planned mistreatment. 

Videos of cops shotting older people for no reason, running over women with police horses, raining blows on reporters and young people, and riots among peaceful demonstrators are going viral.

Police abuse is the cause of a light fire turning into a wild one. We must increase the training that we give our officers and do a better filtering process for hiring. We need the police they are an important part of our communities. CWP

Police good conduct videos

Good Police Officers (Community Watch Paper blog)

Police, Law enforcement and Trust in our communities (CWP blog)

References

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