We will write a custom Report on American Police Corruption and Its Classification specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Police corruption is one of the most prevalent issues in the United States. The invention of camera phones gave everybody the ability to document the wrongful actions of police and have undermined the trust people had in the police authority. The presented video shows one possible case of police misconduct. This paper will analyze the ethics of this action.
The video shows a large, male police officer pinning a small woman to the side of his patrol car. The woman must have been standing on the pavement before she was pinned because her feet are dangling off the ground. It is unknown what the police officer asks or tells the woman because only a few of the words are audible. The woman is distressed because her body language is very protective. She is also not struggling so there is no justification for this kind of force being applied to her. By the end, the woman was not charged with anything, so it is unclear why this incident occurred (Francis, 2016). I believe this incident can be classified as minor misconduct.
Justification for Classification
To justify this classification, I would like to overview the conditions for the use of force. While they are not strictly defined by any agency, their nature depends on the context of the situation and the need for self-defense of the officer, or others (“Police Use of Force,” 2017).
The officer in the video used physical and verbal restraint when the civilian was not visibly struggling to getaway. The complete context for this is unknown, but some information about the woman suggests she was aggressively yelling at a man who “propositioned” her before the officers arrived. However, this man is not seen in the video. The pinned woman was not armed and was physically weaker due to how easily he was able to hold her in midair. However, the woman did not receive lasting physical harm, lowering the level of misconduct (Francis, 2016).
This incident suggests that the officer is willing to overstep the boundaries of his authority without a just reason. His actions were not justified by the context and his partner did not do anything to stop him suggesting that both of them require disciplinary action. Both officers should be retrained to fully understand the situations where such force is permitted. The officer who perpetrated the misconduct should have a three-year discipline letter added to his file and should be suspended from specialty assignments for the next three months. These actions should serve as a just punishment because the actions of the officer do not reflect the position of the police department so he should not represent it in a specialty, and especially public setting.
Evaluation of the Type of Corruption
The type of corruption is hard to evaluate due to the lack of information on the incident, but it is a likely case of “rotten apples.” The severity of the force compared to the strength of opposition is such that it is hard to believe that this action was accidental or justifiable. However, the data shows that police misconduct in the DC area has already cost the state 31 million dollars which suggests that it is the case of “rotten barrels” rather than just the “apples” (“Police misconduct complaints,” 2016). Greater supervision of both the officer and the police of the state should be conducted to find the true cause of these actions, as well as the support of “whistleblowers” that might help uncover internal corruption.
Francis, E. (2016). DC Police Officer Appears to Hold Woman Off the Ground, Pinned to Patrol Car. ABC News. Web.
Police misconduct complaints have cost DC $31M since 2005. (2016). The Washington Times. Web.
Police Use of Force. (2017). National Institute of Justice. Web.