Ethics, Discretion and Professionalism in Policing

Topics: Police, Police brutality, Constable Pages: 116 (4036 words) Published: October 20, 2014
Police Ethics

Police Discretion

Abstract: This paper is going to cover the unlawful behavior that led to harmful discretionary acts that had taken place in several different police departments; from the big cities of Los Angeles and Chicago to the small department of East Moline. This will cover, in detail, how these officers went down the wrong path to self-destruct their own departments. “Police discretion refers to the authority granted to a police officer that allows him to decide how best to deal with a certain situation. This is aimed at increasing the flexibility of the justice system as punishment may not always be the appropriate mode of dealing with crimes. Discretion may empower a police officer to overlook a minor offense giving the offender a warning” (Alec Korsmo). Police discretion has been observed to be common in domestic violence, drugs and traffic offences. In matters to do with domestic violence, the police have been on the. They have treated domestic violence as a private matter better left for counseling, cooling off periods. Discretion is used especially when both parties are seen as equally involved in the violence and are either arrested or asked to separate for a few days or sometimes longer to dissipate the anger. Now In traffic, cops can allow a driver who has failed to stop at a red light to walk away as it is normal to sometimes make mistakes. The cops can also use discretion for the drivers caught driving drunk or high on drugs. The police officer will call a cab for the driver or take the civilian home and have the car towed away. All of these things are in the police officers discretion whether to arrest the suspect of try and show them that they got away with it this time and next time the officer will not be as nice. Drugs have been involved in police discretion for a long time. One of the main reasons behind why officers go corrupt is because the amount of money and opportunities that they see in the drug market. It is the officers’ discretion at this point whether to use his badge for corrupt reasons. One famous example of police discretion and drugs would be one in the mid nineteen eighty’s. The officers’ name is Joseph Miedezowski, also known also known as the most corrupt Chicago police officer of all time. This man was on the payroll of the Latin kings while serving as a trusted officer and protector of the people of Chicago. Miedezowski sold the names and addresses of every gang tact officer to the kings in the midst of his unlawful discretion. He would also use his knowledge of the streets to shake down drug dealers and then turn around and sell the drugs to make own personal gains. His fellow officers later would turn and in two thousand one, he was convicted of ten counts of drug conspiracy and racketeering that landed him a sentence of life in prison.

Most of the larger cities have a bad reputation for bad police discretion with Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans being among the worst of them by far. This bad discretion and set of morals have left some departments with bad names that they will quiet never get off their backs. An example of this is Louis Eppilito and Steven Caracappa we on the New York police department organized crime investigating unit. The shocking part was that the people they were being paid to investigate was the very ones they had decided to turn their back and work for. Now these two officers had become moles in the department so they could get access to stuff nobody else could outside of the department. The officers soon were into deep and would have to kill whoever the mafia told them too just so they wouldn’t be killed. In two thousand six, both men were tried and convicted of racketeering, obstruction of justice, extortion, eight counts of murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. These charges stemmed from the nineteen eighties to the rarely nineteen ninety’s and the two...
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