Four Final Essay Questions
Character and Cops Ethics in Policing
Noble Cause Corruption
Are police ever justified in committing illegal acts that violate others rights are they ever justified especially when there is no personal gain but for reasons that may seem to be about a higher purpose. This is the argument for noble cause corruption. This idea brings it to the end justifies the means thinking. If we start down this line where can it lead us? The idea that we can justify any action that would violate civil rights and other laws because we feel that our cause is noble and it is not being done for personal gain but the good of others can lead us into some dark places. The noble cause thinking is able to lead us to think any action or violation is fine because the end product will be worth it. I have to admit this thinking worries me greatly not just on a national level where I think we see quite a bit of this but may not always recognize it as such, but personally I have had this happen in my job. I was called out to meet with a young girl I believe she was 11 at the time and had reported her brother- in law for sexual abuse it had been going on for several years. The officer in charge could not get her to give him a statement beyond he did this and it was a lot of times and then she shut down on him. I explained that her sister kicked him out he left the area and he was gone from her life, she accomplished what she wanted to have happen the offender disappear. The officer asked me to secretly record her and turn the tape over to him and if I would not do it he would have someone else speak to her and the person he was asking was the mother of another one of his victims. I thought this was a good example of noble cause. I of course had to speak to his chief and let the parent of the girl know that someone else was going to talk to her and that is when I learned it was the mother of the other victim. The argument that it was not for personal gain is what I have thought about with this and I am not sure it is true, I know there is no money involved but there is a feeling I am sure of being the rescuer or savior and there is that case solved and conviction that may be just as motivating for many people. I sometimes have wondered if the feeling of power also contributes to this.
Delattre, Edwin J. Character and Cops Ethics in Policing Fourth Edition 2002
Pg. 185, 186, 201, 202, 247, 293 AEI press
The thought behind therapeutic vision is that no one is responsible for what they do that they are sick and therefore cannot be held responsible. I find this an interesting notion and of course it in my opinion not valid. Having worked in the field with victims for 12 years now I know that they are held accountable for what happens to them. I do not mean to sound glib but this theory sounds as if it was developed by a group of sex offenders trying to get us to look away from them and it has been successful. This vision has most likely helped family members explain how their own family members have robbed, beat, raped and murdered themselves and other family members. This would fit in with a coping skill not that I think it is healthy but I could see how it would work. The person is sick so it is not their fault, defense attorneys love this vision.
Since the word therapeutic is closely associated with people with disabilities and since they are at higher risk than the general population of becoming a victim I am glad to see them move towards a life of empowerment. The movement inside the community is to take control and not be dependent on the system but will this notion go away of the therapeutic vision I do not think it will it is spouted by families trying to understand as well as corrupt police and other criminals.
I have not been able to think of examples of police who have used this excuse for themselves in fact most of the officers I...
References: Delattre, Edwin J. Character and Cops Ethics in Policing Fourth Edition 2002
Pgs. 279 – 83 AEI Press
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