View Poll Results: What standard of behavior should police officers be held to?

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  • They should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us.

    43 70.49%
  • They should be held to the same standard as the rest of us.

    13 21.31%
  • They should be held to a lower standard than the rest of us.

    0 0%
  • Other

    5 8.20%
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Thread: To what standard should police be held?

  1. #51
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Most people will abuse their power if they have enough of it and are not effectively held accountable. Judges and cops are held accountable to at least some extent. Dictators are not. Name a dictator that didn't abuse his power.
    So do you have any proof that most people will abuse power?

    Not interested in talking about dictators. One, it's very off topic, since there are no dictators that I'm aware of in the US. Two, cops aren't dictators.

    Cops are also held accountable. If they aren't in your area, you need to go to the state office and get that fixed.

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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Higher standard.

    With the caveat that they need to be trained well - I think a lack of training may be the cause of some issues, but by no means all.

    And with the additional caveat/understanding that the higher standard and job requirements will break some of them, potentially at an extremely inopportune time. Constant vigilance as to the mental health of police officers is in order.
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  3. #53
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    So do you have any proof that most people will abuse power?

    Not interested in talking about dictators. One, it's very off topic, since there are no dictators that I'm aware of in the US. Two, cops aren't dictators.

    Cops are also held accountable. If they aren't in your area, you need to go to the state office and get that fixed.
    I don't know about you, but from my experience there are cops that misuse their power. They can be belligerent and want to show they have authority unnecessarily. I have also met some cops that are just the opposite, so not all by a long shot carry this bigger than thou attitude. But it only takes a few to ruin it for others.
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    So do you have any proof that most people will abuse power?

    Not interested in talking about dictators. One, it's very off topic, since there are no dictators that I'm aware of in the US. Two, cops aren't dictators.

    Cops are also held accountable. If they aren't in your area, you need to go to the state office and get that fixed.
    I doubt that there are any statistics on the matter. The amount of a accountability for cops varies a lot between jurisdictions and even between divisions in the same force.

    Here is an example of lack of accountability for police:
    "The LAPD Rampart scandal refers to widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (or C*R*A*S*H) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division in the late 1990s. More than 70 police officers either assigned to or associated with the Rampart CRASH unit were implicated in some form of misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of false evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and the covering up of evidence of these activities......As of 2014, the full extent of Rampart corruption is not known, and several rape, murder and robbery investigations involving Rampart officers remain unsolved....

    ....There have been multiple allegations that Chief Parks and members of the LAPD were actively involved in obstructing the Rampart Investigation. Parks was in charge of Internal Affairs when Gaines and other Rampart officers were first discovered to have ties to the Bloods and Death Row Records. Parks is said to have protected these officers from investigation.[7] According to Rampart Corruption Task Force Detective Poole, Chief Parks failed to pursue the Hewitt Investigation for a full six months. When Poole presented Chief Parks with a 40-page report detailing the connection between Mack and the murder of Notorious B.I.G., the report was suppressed.....

    ..."An Independent Analysis of the Los Angeles Police Department's Board of Inquiry Report on the Rampart Scandal" was published in September 2000, by University of California, Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, at the request of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the police union. Chemerinsky outlined six specific criticisms of the Board of Inquiry report, namely that the LAPD minimized the scope and nature of the corruption, and abetted the corruption through its own internal negligence or corrupt policies....

    The Rampart scandal resulted in more than 140 civil lawsuits against the city of Los Angeles, costing the city an estimated $125 million in settlements...."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart..._Transcripts-3

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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    Why is a cop who does something "improper" any worse an offender than a teacher who abuses a kid, or a CEO who abuses his power - or a politician who abuses his office?
    As a teacher, I am held to a higher standard. If I post pictures of myself drinking on FB, what do you think happens to me? And what happens to the CEO if he does it?

    Cops are on the public payroll and are expected to protect the citizens. Of course, they should be held to a higher standard.
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by CRUE CAB View Post
    With all the cop hate in the country.
    Just because I expect my officers to act professional and criticize the ones who don't does not mean I hate cops.
    "Men did not make the earth ... it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." -- Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    A lot of the time when discussions come up of police mishandling something, you get people defending them by saying how difficult their job is. That got me curious about how people feel about the subject in general?

    To what standard of behavior do you think police officers should be held while on duty? Should they be held to the same standard as anyone else? Should they get some slack because of their difficult job? Or should they be held to a higher standard of behavior because of the enormous amount of power they wield?
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    They also are putting their life on the line and their persons at risk far more than the average citizen, even other public servants, are expected, much less required, to do. I personally think that entitles them to some extra power to manage that. I don't see why they must be held to a higher moral standard than a surgeon or pharmacist or HVAC guy or bus driver or any number of other professionals who also hold the well being and sometimes life or death of people that they serve every day that they do their jobs.
    So you don't think a cop trafficking drugs should serve a longer sentence than your typical trafficker?

    When there is corruption on the police force it diminishes society's trust in our officers. THAT is why they should be held to a higher standard.
    "Men did not make the earth ... it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." -- Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    So do you have any proof that most people will abuse power?

    Not interested in talking about dictators. One, it's very off topic, since there are no dictators that I'm aware of in the US. Two, cops aren't dictators.

    Cops are also held accountable. If they aren't in your area, you need to go to the state office and get that fixed.
    I just remembered a couple of studies that support my contention:

    The Stanford prison experiment (SPE) was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard.....Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond Zimbardo's expectations, as the guards enforced authoritarian measures and ultimately subjected some of the prisoners to psychological torture. Many of the prisoners passively accepted psychological abuse and, at the request of the guards, readily harassed other prisoners who attempted to prevent it. The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself, who, in his role as the superintendent, permitted the abuse to continue. Two of the prisoners quit the experiment early and the entire experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days.....The results of the experiment have been argued to demonstrate the impressionability and obedience of people when provided with a legitimizing ideology and social and institutional support. The experiment has also been used to illustrate cognitive dissonance theory and the power of authority.

    The results of the experiment favor situational attribution of behavior rather than dispositional attribution (a result caused by internal characteristics). In other words, it seemed that the situation, rather than their individual personalities, caused the participants' behavior.....
    Stanford prison experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Less directly related, but relevant, is the Milgram experiment which demonstrates how one person in authority can easily get others to act immorally :

    "The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience.

    'I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' [participants'] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' [participants'] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.

    Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.
    Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.'

    ..Later, Milgram and other psychologists performed variations of the experiment throughout the world, with similar results..."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    The film Compliance is based on a real event in which restaurant employees were convinced to harm a co-worker after being told to do so by an authority figure.

    "The strip search phone call scam is a series of incidents that extended over a period of about ten years before an arrest was made in 2004. The incidents involved a man calling a restaurant or grocery store, claiming to be a police officer and then convincing managers to conduct strip searches of female employees and to perform other bizarre acts on behalf of "the police"...

    ...Some notable incidents were:


    • On November 30, 2000, a female McDonald's manager in Leitchfield, Kentucky, undressed herself in the presence of a customer. The caller had convinced her that the customer was a "suspected sex offender" and that the manager, serving as bait, would enable undercover police officers to arrest him.[1]
    • On January 26, 2003, an Applebee's assistant manager subjected a waitress to a 90-minute strip search after receiving a collect call from someone who purported to be a regional manager for Applebee's.[1]
    • In February 2003, a call was made to a McDonald's in Hinesville, Georgia. The female manager (who believed she was speaking to a police officer who was with the director of operations for the restaurant's upper management) took a 19‑year-old female employee into the women's bathroom and strip-searched her. She also brought in a 55‑year-old male employee, who conducted a body cavity search of the woman to "uncover hidden drugs." McDonald's and the GWD Management Corporation were taken to court over the incident. In 2005, U.S. District Judge John F. Nangle granted a summary judgment to McDonald's and denied, in part, a summary judgment to GWD Management.[3] In 2006, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgments.[4]
    • On June 3, 2003, a Taco Bell manager in Juneau, Alaska, undressed a 14‑year-old female customer and forced her to perform lewd acts at the request of a caller who had claimed he was working with Taco Bell management to investigate drug abuse[1]
    • In July 2003, a 36‑year-old Winn-Dixie grocery store manager in Panama City, Florida, received a call instructing him to bring a 19‑year-old female cashier (who matched a description provided by the caller) into an office where she was to be strip-searched. The cashier was forced to undress and pose in various positions as part of the search. The incident ended when another manager entered the office to retrieve a set of keys.[5]
    • In March 2004, a 17‑year-old female customer at a Taco Bell in Fountain Hills, Arizona, was strip-searched by a manager who had received a call from a man claiming to be a police officer.....[6]


    "
    Strip search phone call scam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by Hard Truth; 08-21-14 at 10:14 PM.

  10. #60
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post
    I checked "Higher standard than the rest of us" and then I wished I could have taken it back. They should be held to the same standard as the rest of us when it comes to malfeasance on the job. You do something improper as a cop, you should have to pay the price. No more, no less.

    Why is a cop who does something "improper" any worse an offender than a teacher who abuses a kid, or a CEO who abuses his power - or a politician who abuses his office?
    Have you been a law enforcement officer before, particularly in a supervisory role? In the Navy, I was what would be the equivalent to the chief of police (and later, the assistant legal officer) for a 660-man ship, and then I was a security supervisor on an aircraft carrier on deployment in the Middle East.

    And yes, those in law enforcement absolutely MUST be held to a higher standard.

    For instance, if you're a business owner and one of your workers says stuff that is not illegal and only says such things when they concern his hours off work...and what he says does not seem to detract from his work - he shows up on time, looks good, puts out quality work. What do you do? Do you as the business owner fire this good worker because he says stuff that you really don't think is true about his life outside of work? In the civilian world, the answer would be an obvious "no". Fire that guy and you're setting yourself up for a lawsuit.

    But in the world of law enforcement, someone who makes up crap about his personal life is not someone you want to be in a position of trust as all law enforcement officers are. Not only is he more likely to make up stuff about people to get them arrested, but when - when, mind you - the defense lawyers find out this guy's habit of making stuff up, that calls into question any and all testimony (and all evidence to which this guy had access) that this guy has given in the course of his duties.

    Which is why we essentially fired him from his law enforcement duties and sent him back to work in his original job as a mechanic. Such people are always problems waiting to happen...and I shudder to think what he might have done if he'd gotten away with his habit and was one day in a true supervisory position in law enforcement.

    Law enforcement officers - like all persons in positions of real trust like doctors and judges - must be held to a higher standard.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

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