Lecture 22-Police Accountability

Lecture 22-Police Accountability - Lecture 22 Police...

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Lecture 22- Police Accountability -We’ve spent the past several classes talking about various types of police misconduct -Police brutality and use of excessive force -Racial Profiling -Illegal searches and seizures -Illegal interrogations -Police Corruption -And we discussed how these things have negative consequences for the police and the community -In short, these discussions illustrate that it is CRUCIAL to have effective systems to hold police accountable for their actions -Today we’ll talk about various ways the police can be held accountable for their actions A. What is accountability? Accountability - having to answer for your conduct -In the US—and other democratic societies—the police are held accountable to the public -Elected officials are expected to represent the public interest and hold the law enforcement agencies in their jurisdiction accountable What are the police held accountable for? - The textbook defines police accountability in two broad areas: 1. Accountability for What Police do – are they doing a good job in carrying out their mission? -Crime control—Is crime going down or at least not increasing? -Order Maintenance Are they maintaining order in communities and keeping up quality of life for residents? -Misc. Services—Are they providing all the non-crime related services the community expects from them? 2. Accountability for How Police Do Their Job – in carrying out their mission are they doing things within the law and without violating the rights of the public? 1
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-For individual officers this means things like: -Treating people with respect -Treating people equally -Being fair in enforcing the laws -Proper use of force -Doing things by the book -For the department as a whole, the key is having high standards for professional conduct for their employees -Have clear standards, comprehensive training etc. -Have a system to monitor and detect misconduct -Treat incidents of misconduct seriously -These two dimensions of police accountability again show the complexity of the police role in a democratic society -The public expects the police to fight crime and maintain order and holds them accountable for achieving these goals -But at the same time, the public is only willing to give up the least possible amount of their rights/freedoms in exchange for this protection -So they also hold them accountable for not violating rights in achieving their crime fighting goals -Thus it’s a fine line the police must try to identify and not cross in terms of how to be aggressive in fighting crime and disorder, without violating rights and eroding relationships with the community. B.
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Lecture 22-Police Accountability - Lecture 22 Police...

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