Police Misconduct

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Violation of Americas Fourth Amendment
Jimmy Ortega
Academic Strategies

The responsibility of police officers is to protect and serve the community lawfully. There have been many instances in which the power of an officer has been exercised ethically or unethically. Unfortunately, police misconduct still takes place in today’s police agencies nationwide. Activities such as, illegally searching ones property or a protocol miscue are classified as police misconduct no matter the magnitude of the offense. The right to search and seizure has been protected by the Bill Of Rights since foundation of our country due to our founding fathers. However, the fourth amendment is at risk to be changed due to such cases like Jardines v. Florida and other cases that have tested the boundaries of this amendment. This article will cross examine this case and others such as, Illinois v. Caballes and Kyllo v. United States, to examine if police misconduct could have played a part in these cases.

Police misconduct is an act that is not classified as just by one action of delinquency but several actions such as police brutality, racial profiling and use of deadly force are just to name a few wrongdoings that take part in everyday police duties. However, it doesn’t necessary mean that the officer has to abuse its authority in anyway but a missed protocol falls under police misconduct classification. Officers who forget to follow procedure can lead to criminals getting away with the crimes he or she has committed during or before trial. Prosecutorial misconduct remains a largely undeveloped research issue in large part because of the challenge of defining what constitutes misconduct, but also some misconduct never comes to light (Dr. West, August 2012). For example, James Broderick was concealing information in the case of People of the State of Colorado v. Tim Masters that mislead the prosecution. If it wasn’t for this undisclosed information during the first trial Mr. Masters would have not lost years of his life in prison for a crime in which ten years later was proven innocent because of touch DNA and police misconduct. This paper will cross examine procedural protocols that can be tied to police misconduct. I will focus case such as, Jardine v. Florida, Illinois v. Caballas, and Kyllo v. United States to name some. These cases will help me determine if proper procedure was followed during the use of drug sniffing dogs during the investigation.

Law enforcement officers use dogs to find people, clear buildings, sniff out evidence and to locate evidence or contraband (Walker, 2001).Law enforcement agencies have a list of behaviors in which they require their employees to follow and enforce even while using specially trained dogs. These canines have been trained to help our police force and have helped solved cases and saved lives since joining the force. The officers who are in charged of these dogs are held under a stricter police protocol. The Fourth Amendment preserves the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures” (Walker, 2001). Since police dogs have been on the force, the laws have changed and the areas in which they are allowed to search have as well. Police Canines have the right to sniff luggage, packages, warehouses or garages, cars, buses, and trains (Walker, 2001). All these locations are in public areas and can be a security issues therefore these areas don’t violate the Fourth Amendment. Places such as post offices, cargo planes and ships, U.S. borders and airports are other areas that the use of canines help search for contraband and other items that are prohibited from entering the U.S. In the 2005 case of Illinois v. Caballes a dog sniff was conducted during a concededly lawful traffic stop that reveals no information other than the location of a substance that no individual has any right to possess does not violate...
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