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. #61
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Police are charged, on behalf of the public, with a significant responsibility. That means a very high standard of conduct. If they cannot live up to that standard, then they have no business being police.
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    If you fight police physically, get shot. Thankfully that is the standard lol

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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    State laws also apply to police. Pretty much the same justifications for acts the laws otherwise forbid are available to police. In addition, some are available to police, because of their role in protecting public safety, that are available to other citizens only under more limited circumstances.

    So, for example, the use of deadly force by police to apprehend a fleeing felon is a seizure, under the Fourth Amendment. The force police use to effect a seizure must be reasonable. If they use deadly force, it will be reasonable only if the felon threatens death or great bodily harm to the police or others, and the deadly force is necessary to prevent his escape.

    Private persons have much the same right to use force to make an arrest as a police officer or someone acting at an officer's direction, but with one important condition. The private person will have a justification defense for his use of deadly force only if the person harmed was actually guilty of the felony for which the arrest was made. It won't be enough that is reasonably appeared the person was guilty.

    A private person has a privilege to use nondeadly force to make an arrest if a crime was committed and the private person had reasonable grounds to believe the person arrested has committed it.

    There is a 1985 Supreme Court case, Tennessee v. Garner, that involved a slight young black man police had just detained outside a house that had just been burglarized. The facts gave them good reason to think this man had committed the felony. Suddenly he bolted and tried to jump a fence to escape. The officers did not have time to grab him, and when he refused their orders to halt, one of them shot and killed him.

    The young man turned out not to have been armed, but the Court held the shooting did not violate his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure. The Court noted that it was unreasonable to expect officers to know detained suspects were unarmed before they had had a chance to search them. It also cited evidence that burglaries are often not the harmless property crimes they may seem to be--many burglars commit other felonies such as armed assaults, rape, and even murder once inside. It noted that for these reasons especially, the officer had a legitimate concern that the fleeing suspect was a danger to other people.

    When the cops stop you, especially at night, or when they have reason to suspect you've committed a serious crime, running is not a very bright move. Neither is acting belligerent. Not only do they have a handgun, but they also may be concerned that if they come to grips with you, you may grab it away and use it on them. That's happened enough times to put it in the back of their minds, especially when the person confronting the officer is bigger and stronger.

  4. #64
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoist View Post
    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.
    No. I think there should be prescribed penalties for drug trafficking and anybody convicted should serve that penalty. I don't think there should be worse penalties for hate crimes either and no class of people should be subject to more severe penalties than either other. A penalty for crimes should be a penalty for the crime and not based on who a person is or what he/she does for a living. The penalty for malfeasance by ANY person who violates the public trust, however, should be severe, swift, and certain.
    Last edited by AlbqOwl; 08-21-14 at 11:08 PM.
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  5. #65
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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.
    If they don't want the extra risk and responsibility they shouldn't take the job.

    Gee, where have I heard that rationale before? Oh, that's right, all the "law-and order" and "follow-the-rules" types trot that one out over virtually every other similar scenario, but strangely not this.
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  6. #66
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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.
    Yeah, not so much.

    - Police officers do not make the top ten deadliest jobs list.
    - Homicide of police officers is roughly 3.8 per 100,000 compared with the national average of 4.8 per 100,000.
    - Last year saw the fewest fatalities since 1944.

    Sorry, try again.

  7. #67
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    No. I think there should be prescribed penalties for drug trafficking and anybody convicted should serve that penalty.
    I strongly disagree. And many courts disagree with you, too. Dirty cops put the reputation of the force in jeopardy. Every time corruption is exposed the populace loses trust in law enforcement. Since the impact on society is greater, the penalty should be greater.

    A penalty for crimes should be a penalty for the crime and not based on who a person is or what he/she does for a living. The penalty for malfeasance by ANY person who violates the public trust, however, should be severe, swift, and certain.
    Exactly. A dirty cop violates the public trust therefore their punishment should be severe.
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoist View Post
    I strongly disagree. And many courts disagree with you, too. Dirty cops put the reputation of the force in jeopardy. Every time corruption is exposed the populace loses trust in law enforcement. Since the impact on society is greater, the penalty should be greater.

    Exactly. A dirty cop violates the public trust therefore their punishment should be severe.
    Strongly disagree to your heart's content, but I won't change my mind and agree with you that police officers must be more honest and above reproach than anybody else who holds the public trust or police officers who stumble must be dealt with much more harshly than the corrupt mayor or councilman or city clerk or judge or DA etc. The occasional rogue cop doesn't shake my trust in government anywhere near as much as corruption and graft in those other positions.
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  9. #69
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    I work with kids, I am held to a far higher standard than your average parent. Why? Because I get paid to do this, parents don't. Police are paid to uphold the law, when they break the law, it is a far greater transgression than when your average citizen does it. It's a betrayal of public trust, and a waste of public money.
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  10. #70
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    Re: To what standard should police be held?

    Police have been given weapons and authority. When those are abused, it is a serious matter, far more serious than many of the petty crimes that end up being execution offenses. I have seen horrible abuses of police authority... google "Fullerton police beat homeless man to death" for an example of incredible abuse of authority, of downright murder under color of authority, and complete exoneration of those crimes for no other reason than their position as police officers.

    However, there is another abuse that we also see all too often... the abuse of guilt assumption for no other reason than they are police officers, so any time they use their weapons they must automatically be gleefully abusing their authority to murder.

    I honestly have no idea what Ferguson officer Wilson knew or didn't know when he shot Mike Brown dead, what kind of struggle did or did not precede the incident, how the officer's face became bruised and swollen... and the bottom line is that nobody beyond the officer himself and those who have interviewed him personally know either. Forensics and thorough investigation will tell the tale, but for hundreds of individuals... perhaps even thousands... nothing less than conviction and life in prison will suffice, even though they cannot possibly know the details of what happened that day. He was a cop; the victim was an unarmed kid. Guilt is presumed, and unless the justice system confirms what these people have determined to be fact, there will be hell to pay.

    I have been unabashedly outspoken when convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that police have abused their authority to kill and maim; but I'm not willing to presume that every officer who uses his weapon is automatically a cold-blooded killer protected by a blue line of lies. In this case, some of the "eye witnesses" have given statements that evidence proves is untrue. He was not shot in the back, running away; all the bullet wounds were in the front. There is no physical evidence that his hands were above his head; in fact, the bullet wounds indicate that his arms may have been extended as he faced the officer, perhaps in the same way he extended his arms as he intimidated the store clerk with his 300 lb, towering frame.

    I hate stories like this, where everyone takes a "side" instantly, and any evidence that doesn't support that "side" is automatically perjured, fabricated or manufactured. Nobody is willing to wait for the full investigation, because the full investigation may not support what we believe, and therefore is automatically judged to be a whitewash and a lie. That concerns me greatly.

    As I've said, I do not know what happened. The problem is that neither does anyone else, yet that doesn't stop them from demanding that a man who has neither been indicted nor arrested be put in prison just because they want vengeance, and truth be damned. That is not supposed to be what this country is about.

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