Police Misconduct

Police misconduct refers to inappropriate actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties. Police misconduct can lead to a miscarriage of justice and sometimes involves discrimination. In an effort to control police misconduct, there is an accelerating trend for civilian agencies to go beyond review to engage directly in investigations and to have much greater input into disciplinary decisions. With the proliferation of mobile devices capable of recording alleged misconduct, existing eavesdropping laws in some jurisdictions are being leveraged to prosecute civilians, while in other circumstances police will illegally seize or delete evidence.

Types of misconduct include, false confession, false arrest, falsified evidence, false imprisonment, intimidation, police brutality, police corruption, racial profiling, surveillance abuse and off-duty misconduct. Others include:

  • Noble cause corruption, where the officer believes the good outcomes justify bad behavior
  • Selective enforcement (knowledge and allowances of violations by friends, family and/or acquaintances unreported)
  • Abuses of power (using badge or other ID to gain entry into concerts, to get discounts, etc.)
  • Lying under oath (blatant lies under oath and/or to other authorities to cover wrongdoing)
  • Influence of drugs and/or alcohol while on duty
  • Violations by officers of police procedural policies

There is a view that police officers share a 'code of silence' and do not turn each other in for misconduct. While the police has called this code a myth, a 2005 survey found evidence that it exists.

Read more about Police Misconduct:  Contributors and Prediction, Video and Audio Recording

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Famous quotes containing the word police:

    Despite your best efforts, you could not invent a better police force for literature than criticism and the author’s own conscience.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904)