Lecture 21-Police Corruption

Lecture 21-Police Corruption - Lecture 21: Police...

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Lecture 21: Police Corruption -Police abuses of power in the form of police brutality, violating rules in stops, searches and seizures, racial profiling etc. aren’t the only misuses of police discretion which can erode police- community relationships. -Police corruption is another huge factor that affects the public’s opinion of the police and police legitimacy in an area A. What is police corruption? - Police Corruption- acts involving the misuse of authority by a police officer in a manner designed to produce personal gain for himself or for others -As the book notes there are two key elements in this definition of police corruption 1. Misuse of authority - corruption involves police misusing their power in some way 2. Personal gain - for any misuse of power to be an example of police corruption, there must be some personal gain involved -Thus many abuses of power like police brutality, racial profiling etc. are not necessarily corruption as the officer in question may not gain anything personally from their abuse of power -As such, the key take away is that not all cases of police misconduct/abuse of power are corruption -The book notes that Barker and Carter have two other categories of police deviance besides corruption. 1. Occupational deviance – improper behavior that is not illegal - sleeping on the job -not radioing in to close out a call to take a break -Giving someone they know a warning in a case where they’d usually write a ticket -etc. 2 . Abuse of authority- illegal acts not committed for personal gain -excessive force, illegal arrests etc. B. Costs of Police Corruption 1
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-What are some costs/consequences of police corruption? 1. A corrupt act by a police officer is a criminal act -Criminal activity by a police officer undermines the basic integrity of law enforcement 2. Corruption often protects other criminal activity -Thus some crime is allowed to go unchecked -Community is thus less safe etc. 3. Police corruption undermines the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. -i.e. cases of police planting evidence, framing people etc. can make it harder to get convictions in the future 4. Corruption undermines the professionalism of a police department -If supervisors are corrupt etc. it becomes impossible to exercise discipline in the department -Encourages lying in the department etc. 5.
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Lecture 21-Police Corruption - Lecture 21: Police...

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