The police institution has often been accused of abuse of police authority on the citizens. In the ideal, the police institution is expected to develop a good rapport with citizens based on trust, humane actions, and respect of human rights. However, Carter identifies several instances where the abuse of police authority has been reported. Thus, this reflective treatise attempts to explicitly review Carter’s typology of abuse of police authority. Among the identified typology of abuse of authority includes excessive force, psychological/verbal abuse, and violation of the rights of citizens.
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Carter’s typology of abuse of authority
Carter is critical and objective in analyzing type of abuse of authority that some police officers are guilty of. The first typology identified is the use of excessive force or physical abuse of the citizen when making an arrest. Although the policing policy allows for use of minimal force when arresting a resisting citizen, some police officers take advantage of this to torture citizens and cause major bodily harm or even death. Several instances have been reported when police officers deliberately kill unarmed citizen and justify the same on protection of their life (Peak, 2009). Though the U.S Supreme Court has reaffirmed the fact that using bullets on nonviolent and unarmed suspect is against the Fourth Amendment, Carter states that some rogue officers continue with this practice. The perpetrating officers of illegal shooting hide in the police authority (Beggs & Davies, 2009).
Carter discusses the psychological and verbal abuse that some officers inflict on the public in their line of duty. These officers deliberately antagonize the public while hiding in their oversight authority. For instance, use of profane language on the citizen is classified by Carter as psychological game aimed at insulting, degrading and imposing unjust authority of their ‘subjects’. The use of profanity has several effects on the victim. To begin with, it may lead to polarization of a very minor issue and result in lost confidence in police as an independent third party in a conflict (Peak, 2009). Besides, the profane language is likely to cause psychological harm to the victim or their family. In addition, profane language among some police officers has led to irrational actions taken by the public as a coping mechanism to protect the self esteem (Beggs & Davies, 2009). However, Carter identifies response strategies for minimizing profanity among the police force through scrutiny of profanity complains and police leadership banning its use in the public.
The third typology of police authority abuse identified by Carter is a violation of the rights of the citizens and legal process abuse. This typology occurs when some police officers interferes with the justice system through falsified arrests, harassment and false imprisonment. For instance, a deliberate and illegal private property search, evidence implantation, and falsified testimony may distort the course of justice for an innocent victim (Peak, 2009). Besides, hustling the public or business executives for information and monetary gains is another typology of policy authority abuse. Carter is categorical in identifying the role of supervisors in minimizing such incidences. The police supervisors should be objective and rational in micro managing junior police officers to ensure that all arrests fall within the probable course standards of the police institution (Beggs & Davies, 2009). Also, there should be standardized criteria for making arrests.
Conclusively, Carter identifies several instances of abuse of police authority and classifies these instances into psychological, physical, and legal abuse. Reflectively, Carter recommends standardized criteria of service delivery to minimize such incidences among the rogue officers.
Beggs, J. & Davies, H. (2009). Police Misconduct, Complaints, and Public Regulation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Peak, K. (2009). Justice Administration: Police, Courts, and Corrections Management. Alabama: Prentice Hall.