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Communication and Ethical Issues in Police Essay

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Updated: Apr 9th, 2020

The officers exhibited ethical failings and shortcomings

The officers exhibited ethical failings and shortcomings in every dimension. In the first case, the victim was unarmed as he approached the door holding a golf club. Perhaps, in the victims mind, he took the incidence as a theft attempt, which explains why he came out holding the only weapon he had in his house, viz. a golf club.

Unfortunately, the police failed to employ ethical judgment and it appears they only went into the house to shoot and kill. The ethics of the justice system hold that one is innocent until proven guilty and the police should have arrested the man before presenting him in a court of law for judgment.

In the second case, the police exhibited ethical shortcomings by shooting a seemingly unthreatening man. It is true that the man had a knife and he defied the orders to drop it. However, the man was not a threat to the police officer. Therefore, the police officer should have looked for a better ethical way of defusing the situation.

Even a bystander woman is heard questioning why the man had to be shot yet he did nothing wrong. Ethically, the police officer should have reasoned that perhaps due to his homelessness, the man is mentally disturbed, and thus view his defiance from a different human perspective as opposed to shooting to kill.

In the last incidence, the man did not have to die. The police failed terribly in exercising their ethical judgment, and thus they shot the man apparently without any convincing reason. The man was unarmed and the police officers only found marijuana for personal use, which does not warrant the shooting incidence.

The use of power was unjustified

The use of power in the three incidences was unjustified. In the first incidence, the man was unarmed as aforementioned. In addition, the victim did not resist arrest. The fact that the man came out holding a golf club is a clear indication that he did not have any other better weapon than that to protect himself. Even though the police officers identified themselves, anyone can claim to be a police officer, and thus the man had to take precautions.

The second incident defies the odds as to why the police officer had to shoot the hapless man. From the video, the man appears weak and distraught. In addition, the incidence happened during the day and the police officer could clearly tell that the man was holding only a knife. Even though carrying knives is outlawed in Seattle, the police officer should have looked for a better way of subduing the man.

As aforementioned, the police officer, by virtue of the fact that the man was a vagabond, should have taken the defiance as a mental condition as opposed to aggression. The man did not resist arrest. In addition, he was not even given a chance to surrender as gun shots were heard immediately after the police officer gave his orders. Therefore, the use of force in this case was unjustified.

In the last case, the man in question was also unarmed. He did not pose any challenge to the police officers, and thus the use of force was unwarranted. After all, the police officers only found marijuana for personal use in the house, and thus the man did not have any reason to cause problems to the police officers.

Culture of leadership can affect my decision-making capacity

In any organization, the prevailing leadership culture affects decision making from the top management to the bottom level workers. Therefore, it suffices to admit that the culture of leadership in my agency can affect my decision-making. Individuals working in a given environment normally feel obligated to observe the surrounding conditions and restrictions and this process is continuous.

Any form of communication in a working environment, especially where orders are given, instils in individuals what is expected of them in their line of duty. This form of communication might be either formal or informal.

In addition, the prevalent culture passes from one rank to the other and when a new worker joins an organization, he or she learns of the culture via the socialization processes whether informal or formal. Any form of interaction passes a strong message to the new individual who in most cases is seeking acceptance in that environment.

In a police set up, once a new recruit joins the force, s/he seeks to learn as much as s/he can from the experienced officers. In the process, s/he becomes part of the prevalent culture as perpetrated by his/her seniors and fellow experienced officers. This assertion holds, as the best way to adapt into an environment is to follow its rules and accept the existing rules unquestionably.

Ultimately, the new recruit ends up making decisions based on the prevalent culture in a bid to remain loyal to the seniors and the force at large. Even if this person realizes some questionable behavior, s/he does not raise objections due to fear of peer retaliation. Therefore, the culture of leadership in my agency can affect my decision-making in the same manner.

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