Police Behaving Badly 5.30.18

More than 900,000 people serve as sworn local and state law enforcement officials in the United States (the highest number ever). These police officers are charged with upholding and enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general services. To carry out these duties, police officers possess certain powers, granted by the state. If the situation calls for it, police officers can frisk, detain, and arrest civilians, as well as seize property. In addition, depending upon the situation, police officers are empowered to use force to defend themselves or civilians (the amount of force extends along a spectrum from “simply” police presence through deadly force). Given the powers that police officers have, it is incumbent upon them to maintain a level of professionalism in the course of their duties and to wield their powers responsibly and ethically. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of cops engaging in a range of irresponsible, unethical, immoral, and/or illegal activities from bribery and unjustified arrests to illegal search and seizure and the use of excessive force. Here are five examples of police behaving badly:

(against a black and white backdrop of a generic police station, two white, male police officers struggle to subdue a victim. The artistic rendering presents the officers and their victim surrounded by blood, thus implying the use of excessive force on the part of the officers)

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Police Behaving Badly 5.30.18
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Attempting to flee from police, man climbs wall, is shot with taser, dies

Another day, another police killing. Sometime late Thursday evening, police officers in Dekalb County, Georgia conducted a routine traffic stop of two men as part of a robbery suppression detail they were assigned. Upon learning the driver had a weapon, the police asked him to exit the car. Shortly after doing so, his passenger attempted to flee the police by climbing an 8-foot wall. Which was apparently all the justification needed to tase him:

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Attempting to flee from police, man climbs wall, is shot with taser, dies