Police Corruption Case Study

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Policing in the United States first began in Boston in 1636, shortly after the development of a police force in England. This level of informal or communal policing was commonly known as the “watch” (Potter, 2013). New York soon followed Boston, creating a watch unit in 1658 and in Philadelphia in 1700. Much of the watchmen were volunteers trying to evade military service or were sentenced to perform night watch as a form or reprimand or punishment. It was not until 1833 that the first day watch was created. In 1838 Boston led the way, creating the first American police force. Early American police were well-known for being corrupt and brazenly brutal. Potter states it was almost impossible for any member of the police force to maintain any…show more content…
Police corruption, also known as misconduct possesses the ability to damage not only a department’s image, but the image of law enforcement officers nationwide. Additionally, the accusation or suspected police corruption can cause public mistrust, distrust among fellow officers, and violations of both human and constitutional rights. There is not one specific form of misconduct or corruption. Misconduct and corruption can be seen in the form of accepting bribes in exchange for a law enforcement officers silence or agreement to forgo reporting the local, state, or federal law violation. For example, former Atlanta police officer Elton Augustin was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiring to accept bribes and lying to FBI agents. Between June 2007 and September 2007 Augustin and two other Atlanta police officers received over $10,000 to protect an illegal business. The nightclub in question posted the officers outside in the parking lot to intercept any incoming officers responding to calls at that location. In September 2007, the nightclub was shut down and the owner was apprehended for permit violations and running a business that promoted prostitution, drug sales, and gambling. Another form of misconduct is flouting. This means a law enforcement officer disregards the oath they took when pinning the badge ton heir chest.…show more content…
Law enforcement is a dangerous career field. You wake up, put on your second chance vest, snugly tie your boots, affix a gun belt to your hip, and kiss your family goodbye on your way out the door. As the door closes behind the officer, he/she does not know if they will be opening it again. According to the PEW Research Center, 84% of law enforcement officers say they worry about their own personal safety at least some of the time (2017). Physical confrontations are not an uncommon occurrence for those sworn to uphold the law. In the same study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 67% of law enforcement officers physically struggled / fought with a suspect who was resisting arrest. The community looks to their local law enforcement agency to not only enforce the law and protect their rights, but to protect them and their families at all cost; up to and including their life. Because of the inherent dangers law enforcement officers face, bonds among department members and fellow officers are built. These brothers and sisters in blue rely on each other for advice and support. This camaraderie has the ability to portray an us (law enforcement officers) vs. them (the public) image. This display of officer unity becomes an easy target when criticism steps in and the public feels a problem or situation was not handled in a favorable manner. For example, an individual

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