Project #80869 - Criminal justice response

Answers this in atleast 100 words and then respond to the student.

 

You are a rookie police officer on traffic patrol. You watch as a young black man drives past you in a brand new silver Porsche. You estimate the car's value at around $50,000, yet the neighborhood you are patrolling is characterized by low-income housing, cheap apartments, tiny houses on the lowest end of the housing spectrum, and vacant buildings.

You follow the individual, and observe that he fails to signal when he changes lanes. You realize you are afforded a great deal of discretion when performing your duties. Ordinarily, you wouldn't waste your time on something so minor.

What would you do, and why?

Provide feedback regarding at least one of your classmates' posts.

Student 1 repsonse: 

This situation would put an officer in a situation that could have him judged for discriminating an individual based on their skin color and for having a nice car. When the scenario is put in front of us though, it does seem out of the ordinary for an individual to be driving such an expensive car in what appears to be a poor community where not many people live. This would make not only a police officer, but many citizens questions what this person is doing here if it is their car, and if it isn't, did they steal it? Of course questions come to mind. If this were my normal patrol area that I ride around in daily, I would be questiobable to who this guy is, especially if I had never seen him before. 

Based on the situation, I would follow the individual who is driving the nice vehicle as it is very suspicious, especially if I had never seen the car or man in the neighborhood before. By the individual lacking to put on their blinker, this gives me (the officer) a right to pull him over. Would one normally pull someone over for something so minor, no, but out of suspicion and questions it could be wise to watch them and no I do not say this just becausehe young man is black.  I would run the plates of the car to see if they match up or if indeed the car did not belong to the man who was driving it. This is something I would do before even getting out of my car. If I found out the car was stolen,  I would be prepared to leave my vehicle ready to handle a criminal who may run from the scene or try to harm me to protect himself. 

 

Question 2 answer this in atleast 100 words and respond to student. 

As previously mentioned, police officers and law enforcement professionals are afforded the ability to exercise significant discretion when performing their day to day duties.  Unfortunately, misuse of discretion can lead to abuses.  One type of discretionary abuse involves excessive use of force.  For additional information regarding this matter, see: http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=96509.

Discuss the extent to which police officers and other criminal justice professionals should and should not be allowed to utilize force when performing their duties.  Discuss some of the reasons law enforcement officers resort to utilizing excessive force.  What steps can law enforcement organizations take to reduce the incidence of excessive force?

Provide feedback regarding at least one of your classmates' responses.

Student 2: 

1. Discuss the extent to which police officers and other criminal justice professionals should and should not be allowed to utilize force when performing their duties. 

Law Enforcement Official’s (LEO) should be able to use reasonable force in perceived violent circumstances in order to maintain a civil functioning society. “Policing is simultaneously both the most immediate and ultimate reservoir of governance” (Seri, 2004). LEO’s exist for our security and their service it to the current laws in effect, however they do not exist to threaten and hurt society into being obedient. They are required to provide equal protection for all. 

There exist specific circumstances, such as in self-defense or in defense of others that would require the LEO to decide the appropriate time to use force. “Police practices necessarily involve the use of discretionary power” (Seri, 2004).,  the use of force comes in varying levels because they must decided what will be required in order control a situation. The LEO would have to use their discretionary authority and figure out if the situation necessitated the need to give verbal cues, physical contact and/or if deadly force is required for the given scenario. 

2. Discuss some of the reasons law enforcement officers resort to utilizing excessive force. 

Criminal justice professionals are continuously dealing with challenging situations that are specifically unique to their profession. A LEO could have resorted the use of excessive force because the LEO was:

  • Resisting arrest
  • Officer feels threatened by subject / scenario.

A example could be when an individual is being arrested and refuses to go along with the LEO’s commands. Furthermore, the individual struggled, got violent (biting, hitting etc,). This could cause the arresting officer to react excessively. 

3. What steps can law enforcement organizations take to reduce the incidence of excessive force?

Law enforcement organizations must create an environment that fosters a zero-tolerance for illegal use of force. To do this the organizations must create, document and investigate all Excessive Use of Force allegations. Within this process they should also monitor all cases by performing a trend analysis. This can help the organization identify patterns either behavioral or environmental or both. “Police departments benefit from a comprehensively review and analysis of each use of force by their officers” (June, 2002).  

 Reference:

 (June, 2002). Police use of excessive force: A conciliation handbook for the police and the community in PSYC 100. Document posted in University of Maryland University College PSYC 100 E123 online classroom, archived at: http://campus.umuc.edu

Seri, G. S. (2004). Police Narratives on Uses of Discretionary Power: A Comparative Inquiry on a Challenging Aspect of Democratization. Conference Papers -- Southern Political Science Association, 1-27. doi:spsa_proceeding_16547.pdf

 

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/05/2015 12:00 am
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