An integral component to the infrastructure of government is law enforcement. In recent years, police abuse has come to the attention of the general public. While citizens worry about protecting themselves from criminals, it has now been shown that they must also keep a watchful eye on those who have been given the responsibility to protect and serve. This paper will discuss the types of police abuse prevalent today, including the use of firearms and recovery of private information. I will also discuss what and how citizens’ rights are violated by the police. We will also explore the measures necessary to protect ourselves from police taking advantage of their positions as law enforcement officers with greater permissive rights than private citizens. All citizens must take affirmative actions from physical brutality, rights violations, and information abuse.
Members of the police force are government officials who enforce the law and maintain order. They are engaged in dangerous and stressful occupation that can involve violent situations that must be controlled. In many of these confrontations with the public it may become necessary for the police to administer force in order to take control of the situation. As unfortunate as it may seem however, police officers are injuring and even killing people through the use of excessive force and brutal treatment.
In regard to police abuse, there will be many officers who feel that their job of fighting escalating street crime, gangs, narcotics violations, and other violent crimes is difficult already, to such an extent that worrying about excessive policy for abuse behavior will only further decrease their ability to fight crime effectively, efficiently, and safely. This abuse must be monitored so that police do not forget who they are serving; not themselves, but the public. This means that even the criminals, who are a part of the public, have certain rights, accurately identified as civil rights.
One of the main police abuse problems is physical brutality. I think that there should be some kind of written policy that would restrict physical force to the narrowest possible range of specific situations. For example, there should be limitations on the use of hand to hand combat, batons, mace, stun guns and firearms. However, limiting policies actions will bring much debate, especially from police officers and administrators themselves. Many feel that their firepower is already too weak to battle the weapons that criminals have out on the streets, thus limiting their legality of gun use will not only endanger them, but the innocent bystanders who must endure the hierarchy gun power creates in the benefit of criminals.
In simple terms, corruption in policing is usually viewed as the misuse of authority by a police officer acting to fulfill personal needs or wants. For a corrupt act to occur, three distinct elements of police corruption must be present simultaneously:
Misuse of authority.