Essay on Police Corruption

Topics: Police brutality, Police, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Pages: 5 (1752 words) Published: July 28, 2013
Police Corruption
Casey Jo Bowersox
DeVry University

Police Corruption

The term police corruption is defined as the abuse of police authority for personal gain or to gain advantage for the police organization. Police corruption can take the form of a variety of criminal activities ranging from actual commission of serious criminal (i.e. drug trafficking and money laundering) to the instances where police will “look the other way” when a person commits a minor everyday violation of the law. Some police corruption may involve overlooking crimes committed by family or friends. Police corruption may also involve depriving people of their legal rights. Throughout time, corruption has been present. While most people would rather look the other way on issues such as this, we all need to find out why it happens, what we can do to further prevent it from happening and how to protect ourselves once it does happen.

The history of corruption begins as early as time has first been recorded. Even before Columbus explored America the judicial system in England was subject to corruption. The corruption stemmed from tax collectors scamming people for more money, to officials of the court taking bribes for acts against other citizens.

Most corruption came to light when reporters started printing unfiltered news to the general public. An outcry of justice was heard at this point. From this people were unafraid to go after public officials and officers to gain back the injustice served to them. The forms of corruption stem from bribery, pay offs, to unnecessary force put on those who are detained, to the loss of evidence from crimes so that certain people do not get arrested.

Federal laws have been enacted to protect people from the corruption of authoritative officials. “Federal law is applicable to all state, county, and local officers, including those who work in correctional facilities. The key federal criminal statute makes it unlawful for anyone acting with police authority to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States (Section 18 U.S.C. § 241 [2000]). Another statute, commonly referred to as the police misconduct provision, makes it unlawful for state or local police to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of their rights (42 U.S.C.A. 14141 [2000]).

Additionally, federal law prohibits discrimination in police work. Any police department receiving federal funding is covered by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000d) and the Office of Justice Programs statute (42 U.S.C. § 3789d[c]), which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. These laws prohibit conduct ranging from racial slurs and unjustified arrests to the refusal of departments to respond to discrimination complaints.” (Free dictionary By Farflex, 2003) Modern day scandal’s include but are not limited to 1964 when the passage of the Civil Rights Act was enacted. In 1964 Congress passed a Public Law 88-352 (78 Stat. 241). The provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing. The word "sex" was added at the last moment. According to the West Encyclopedia of American Law, Representative Howard W. Smith (D-VA) added the word. His critics argued that Smith, a conservative Southern opponent of federal civil rights, did so to kill the entire bill. Smith, however, argued that he had amended the bill in keeping with his support of Alice Paul and the National Women's Party with whom he had been working. Martha W. Griffiths (D-MI) led the effort to keep the word "sex" in the bill. In the final legislation, Section 703 (a) made it unlawful for an employer to "fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or...

Cited: CNN Wire Staff. (June 17, 2012). A Timeline of Events in Rodney King 's Life. CNN-http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/17/us/rodney-king-timeline.
Free dictionary By Farflex. (2003). Police Corruption and Misconduct. <a href="http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Police+Corruption+and+Misconduct">Police Corruption and Misconduct</a>.
http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/02/08/local-police-officer-facing-federal-charges/ . (2013). Local Officer Charged with Brutality. CBS News.
Peak, Ken W.. Policing America: Challenges and Best Practices, 6th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions. <vbk:9781256083320#outline(14.3.3.1.4)>.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Web site (www.eeoc.gov). . (n.d.). Teaching With Documents:. The National Archives.
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