Effects Of Police Discretion

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This study examined the effects of abuse of discretion by law enforcement officers. I examined five articles from scholarly sources and also interviewed one law enforcement officer and an individual who had recently been party to an incident involving police discretion. Based on my research and the interviews I conducted, I determined that cultural conditioning, race and class play a significant role in how a police officer uses his or her discretion. The basic question at hand is not whether an officer believes he should uphold the law. It is a simple question of whether or not the officer sees value in the life of the individual with whom he’s interacting. This I believe is due to a break down in community police relations and lack of diversity…show more content…
Police relations among black and poor communities are an extremely hot topic in America today. According to the ADL black men between the ages of 17 and 25 are killed at a rate 65 percent higher than any other group in this country; and while some lawmakers, politicians and media pundits agree that racial bias is prevalent in the criminal justice system very few will admit that the discrimination or bias is explicit or intentional. The conversation is uncomfortable for some, stirs up emotions from the past for others and for some it 's as plain and simple as the “police put their lives on the line so we should never question or criticize their motives”. But when a white teen can commit and identical crime or worse than a minority teen and be privileged enough to have his parents called and the minority child ends up dead Americans have to take the blinders off and have this debate. What’s even more troubling is that even when the police have clearly violated their own agency’s policies, the constitution or other laws they are not held accountable for their actions; thus giving them a license to kill a certain group of people. This statement might sound a bit radical but the reality is that the constitution and other federal state and local laws supposedly limit how far…show more content…
There is a distinct pattern of police officers knowingly violating the civil rights of citizens in this country because they have been allotted the discretion to do so. That idea that police officers, are culturally conditioned to see minorities in a negative light and more often than not use their discretion to arrest, stop, question an unreasonable and disproportionate number of minorities and 99% of time they are never found liable or held accountable for their actions is a serious issue. People love to argue in favor of the "good cop" the defenders of freedom. The truth is the vast majority of the law enforcement officers in this country perform their very difficult jobs with respect for their communities and in compliance with the law. But this is not always the case. All law enforcement officers have an obligation to protect citizens from constitutional violations even when it 's at the hands of their fellow officers. So, for every bad officer there are at least two or three so called "good officers" who failed to intervene when they so an officer get

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