Police Corruption Essay, Research Paper
?? THERE ARE SOUND REASONS for such
special concern with police corruption.
The police have a unique place
in our society. The policeman is expected
to ?uphold the law? and ?keep the peace.?
He is charged with everything from traffic
control to riot control. As a result, society
gives him power and obligation to bear arms,
along with the authority to take
away our liberty by arresting us.? (Murphy)
What is Police Corruption? This question holds a different meaning for every individual. It is an accepted fact that many forms of crime will continue if some obstacle is placed in a path of the police in enforcing the law (Kelly). Police Corruption in the police force results in the destruction of the communities trust, all the past cases comes into question and the community, itself, is in disorder. Therefore, it needs to be dealt with in order to have an effective police force.
Corruption of a police officer erodes the trust of the citizens. Police officers are the portrait of protectors and if they turn out to be the bad guys, then who would the public trust, who would they turn towards when they need help? Canada is a multicultural society where people of various religion, race etc live together in a community The Ontario Police mission statement states: ” To provide a sensitive community oriented service that promotes an environment in Ontario in which all people will be secure in their pursuit and enjoyment of all lawful activities” (The internet site of Ontario police dept.). Just recently, two police officers in Saskatoon were accused of dumping a man outside Saskatoon last January. The officers were charged of unlawful confinement and assault whereas they should be charged with attempted murder according to Perry Bellegarde, chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. The argument was that the accused should be faced with tougher charges. ?You need to be understand that to be arrested and confined by those that are there to protect and serve ? and you find out that they are up to something far more insidious, it can only be a very terrorizing thought? (Branch). This case clearly deals with racism in police force. For a police officer to take hateful steps against a certain race is not only going against the mission statement of the Ontario Provincial Police, but also the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under section 12 and 15 (1). Firstly, The mission statement clearly states that the duty of the law enforcement officer is to make sure that ?people will be secure in their pursuit? (that Internet site again). And by the actions taken by the two police officers, broke their mission when they left the aboriginal man ?to a remote area and told him to find his own way back? (Branch). It is still, somewhat, understandable when a citizen takes a certain action against another citizen of different race but it astonishes the public to see that a police officer who is ?expected to uphold the law and keep the peace? (Kelly) does something immature to their profession, it takes the trust of the citizens off the police officers. Not only the citizens of that certain race but also any other different race, for example Pakistani?s or Indians. How would they know that another police officer, that they happen to come across, does not hold a racist thought in them and is going to take a discriminative step that might end up bodily hurting the citizen. The role of a police officer is to make peace and make sure that all the citizens live together in a peaceful environment, but how can they enforce their mission when they themselves are going against it? Secondly, the police officers also violated the Charter, section 12 which states ?Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment? (Talos, Liepner and Dickinson). The dropping off of the aboriginal person out in the cold was a pure act of unusual treatment which shows plainly that the two police Constables, Dan Hatchen and Ken Munson, of city police has taken an illegal action that goes against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Lastly, the two police officers also violated the Charter, section 15 (1) which states ?Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particularly, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability? (Talos, Liepner and Dickinson). Mr. Night, the aboriginal man, accused the accused of ?shouting racist remarks and throwing him out of their cruiser? (Branch) and can plainly be seen of how the officers can be charged guilty of defying the Charter under Section 15 (1). Another question arises to the human mind, how can the citizens live together in peace and harmony when the law enforcers, themselves, do not follow the rules and laws set by the government? Citizens need a sense of protection, they need to know that they are safe and if they think their rights have been violated then they can ask for help without any fear of being mistreated. The fear that runs against the police officers is the destroyed trust and trust is something that is very hard to built and very easy to break.
Secondly, another case that had tainted the newspaper did nothing but destroy the trust that the public put in the police force. Five police officers were arrested and charged in serious cases involving drug suspects (Rankin). And they were caught due to the internal audit (Rankin). ?Policemen are in a position of constant temptation to use their real or assumed authority to their own advantage? (Kelly). Every little corruption starts with little gratitude and once the policeman gets used to them, then it is the gratitude that they live by and gratitude is another word for bribery. Many policemen who would not accept a bribe think nothing of accepting gratuities. But their acceptance obligates them in some way, particularly when the givers commit offences and expect the policemen to help them out (Kelly). Bribery is a serious criminal offence under section 109 of the Criminal Code, which reads:
?109 Every one who
a) being a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer, or
officer of a juvenile court, or being employed in the administration of
criminal law, corruptly
(i) accepts or obrains,
(ii) agrees to accept, or
(iii) attempts to obtain,
for himself or any other person any money, valuable considertaion, office, place or employment with intent
(iv) to interfere with the administration of justice,
(v) to procure or facilitate the commission of an offence??
The offence, bribery, was clearly presented in this case and this realization that police offenders can come down to the same level as a criminals, scares the society. It makes n individual think of a police officer is no better then a criminal. And this feeling leaves the individual feeling unprotected and vulnerable. All the trust
Although, compared with the amount of corruption found in American forces, Canadian police corruption is rare (Kelly). But its still exists and it needs to be dealt with in order to have an effective police force.
Branch, Julian. ?Chief wants tougher charges for two officers.? The Toronto Star April