When Politics Trumps Policy

Topics: Police, Criminal justice, Crime / Pages: 4 (889 words) / Published: Jan 19th, 2012
While the public demand for the criminal justice system to help ensure a safe and secure environment, there are also occasions whereby the public may feel that the criminal justice agencies are actually the one posing unnecessary threats to the society. Issues like the abuse of authority, deadly vehicle pursuits and unauthorized use of weapons are all examples of cases in which the criminal justice system is actually threatening the safety of the public. This paper will discuss the case of Racin’ Ray’s Wild Day to examine the issues involved in the decisions made by Ripley as a law enforcing authority.
Central Issues The central issue in the case study would be the authority of the police officers to use excessive force as well as to engage in violent pursuits. Due to a previous incident of a violent pursuit ending with the death of a 14 year old teenager, the Pineville County Sheriff’s Department is currently facing a lawsuit. As such, the Department has implemented stricter rules and regulations to prevent such accidents from happening again. However, another key issue which has cropped up would be that of the behavior of Deputy Raymond Ray Ripley who has been observed to be overstepping regulations as well as engaging in activities that are not part of his responsibilities such as to go for extra patrol as well as to engage in the violent pursuit of a vehicle that was not warranted since rules have been implemented to prohibit any pursuit which does not involve any violent felony crime or pose significant threat to the community. In addition, he is also using weapons which he does not have the authority to use (Peak, 2010).
Use-of-force policy Ripley’s actions is not compliant with the use of force policy which states that “a supervisor [should] cancel any pursuit that does not involve a violent felony crime or other circumstances that would justify the danger and potential liability” . In addition, “A separate policy prohibits the firing of warning

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