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CHAPTER 7
Police Corruption and
Misconduct
Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
Abuse of Power by Police
The majority of police officers are professional and
ethical. However, a small minority abuse the...
Police Corruption:
A Worldwide
ProblemBaksheesh – another word for graft
Frank
Serpico
NYPD
(1970)
• Became police officer in 1959.
• After 12 years became a detective.
• Discovered corruption wa...
Types of Corruption
1973 Knapp Commission:
Grass eaters—accepting bribes, gratuities, and unsolicited
protection money
Mea...
Corruption
in Puerto
Rico
(2010)
• Largest investigation into police
corruption in the FBI’s history
• October 2010
• FBI ...
Police Abuse of Authority
(Barker and Carter)
• In 2010, it was alleged that the FCSO
used "tasers” against detainees in its
jails.
• It was alleged that the FCSO engag...
Corruption (Fyfe and Kane)
• Police crime —police officers violate criminal statutes.
• Police corruption —officer uses hi...
Apodaca
Prison
Mexico
(2010)
• Zetas drug cartel stabbed and
bludgeoned 44 members of the rival
Gulf cartel to death and t...
Gratuities
Items of value given because of role or
position, rather than personal relationship.
•A gift is personal and ha...
Professional Courtesy
• The practice of not ticketing an
officer who is stopped for speeding
or for other driving violatio...
Police work factors that foster drug use:
• Exposure to a criminal element
• Relative freedom from supervision
• Uncontrol...
Graft
Exploitation of one’s role by accepting bribes
or protection money.
• Also applies to kickbacks from defense attorne...
Sexual Misconduct (Kraska &
Kappeler)
• Viewing a victim's
photos, etc., for prurient
purposes
• Strip searches
• Illegal ...
Criminal Cops
• “Buddy boys” (NYC)
• Mafia Cops (Eppolito & Caracappa)
• Boston (Pulido)
• Cleveland cocaine cops
• Chicag...
Danziger
Bridge
Incident
New
Orleans,
LA
(2005)
• Occurred during aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina.
• Officers shot at unarm...
Explanations
Individual:
• “Rotten-apple” argument (Officer was deviant before hiring)
• Development of a police personali...
Explanations
Institutional/Organizational:
• Poor management and supervision
• “Noble Cause” (improper rewards)
• Corrupti...
Explanations
Systemic/Societal:
• If the public does not comply with the law, officers
may rationalize non-enforcement of ...
• Increase pay
• Eliminate unenforceable laws
• Establish civilian review boards
• Improve training
• Improve leadership
R...
• Set realistic goals and objectives
• Provide ethical leadership
• Provide a written code of ethics
• Provide a whistle-b...
Education and Training
• Higher formal education standards are not,
themselves, the key to ethical behavior.
• Academy and...
• Very controversial
• Not well-received by most officers
• Comparing integrity testing to undercover
operations reveals t...
Early Warning or Audit Systems
• Seek to identify problem officers by trends of
abuse or corruption complaints
• Identifie...
• Police investigate themselves
• Police use an internal discipline system
• Widely seen as ineffective
• May discourage c...
Civilian Review/Complaint
Model
• An independent civilian agency audits complaints
and investigations
• Police still inves...
 Mistrust of police administration is pervasive
among the rank-and file.
 Two cultures of policing: street cops and
mana...
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Pollock ethics 8e_ch07

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Pollock ethics 8e_ch07

  1. 1. CHAPTER 7 Police Corruption and Misconduct Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
  2. 2. Abuse of Power by Police The majority of police officers are professional and ethical. However, a small minority abuse their power. This leads to close scrutiny by the public of all police. Police officers have tremendous power in our society: • The power to arrest • The power to mediate or to charge • The power to use force • The power of life and death
  3. 3. Police Corruption: A Worldwide ProblemBaksheesh – another word for graft
  4. 4. Frank Serpico NYPD (1970) • Became police officer in 1959. • After 12 years became a detective. • Discovered corruption was rampant in the NYPD. • He & a fellow officer went to the media & participated in an exposé of the corruption. • Experienced retaliation & and was shot in the face before he could testify. • Left department for 10 years & later came back to speak out against police corruption.
  5. 5. Types of Corruption 1973 Knapp Commission: Grass eaters—accepting bribes, gratuities, and unsolicited protection money Meat eaters—shakedowns, “shopped” at burglary scenes, and engaged in more active deviant practices 1993 Mollen Commission: Criminal cops—burglary rings, selling drugs, robbing drug dealers
  6. 6. Corruption in Puerto Rico (2010) • Largest investigation into police corruption in the FBI’s history • October 2010 • FBI sent approximately 1K agents to Puerto Rico • 130 people and 80 officers arrested on drug trafficking charges • Officers accused of selling protection to drug dealers
  7. 7. Police Abuse of Authority (Barker and Carter)
  8. 8. • In 2010, it was alleged that the FCSO used "tasers” against detainees in its jails. • It was alleged that the FCSO engaged in an unconstitutional pattern & practice of using tasers in an abusive manner, failing to adequately investigate their use, & failing to adequately train corrections deputies in the use of tasers. • In February 2011, claims were settled by entering a court-enforceable settlement agreement. • The Settlement Agreement requires the FCSO to reform policies, procedures, & training on use of tasers and its investigations in their use. • The DOJ monitors compliance with the Settlement Agreement. Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Consent Decree Columbus, OH 2010
  9. 9. Corruption (Fyfe and Kane) • Police crime —police officers violate criminal statutes. • Police corruption —officer uses his or her position, by act or omission, to obtain improper financial benefit, bribes, extra-job policy abuse, gratuities (may be criminal or not). • Abuse of power —officers physically injure or offend a citizen’s sense of dignity (“brutality” or unnecessary force, deception in interrogation, intimidation on the street, perjury, planting evidence, and hiding exculpatory evidence, off-duty misconduct).
  10. 10. Apodaca Prison Mexico (2010) • Zetas drug cartel stabbed and bludgeoned 44 members of the rival Gulf cartel to death and then staged a mass escape. • Prisoners were given guns and cars and ordered to go and kill rival drug cartel members. • They killed 17 people and are suspected of 3 more mass killings. • Top prison officials were implicated. • Illustration of how much control drug cartels have over criminal justice in Mexico.
  11. 11. Gratuities Items of value given because of role or position, rather than personal relationship. •A gift is personal and has no strings attached. •Common police gratuities include: oFree coffee oFree movie/sports tickets oDiscounted or free meals oDiscounted or free merchandise
  12. 12. Professional Courtesy • The practice of not ticketing an officer who is stopped for speeding or for other driving violations.
  13. 13. Police work factors that foster drug use: • Exposure to a criminal element • Relative freedom from supervision • Uncontrolled availability of contraband Drinking on duty: • Creates less vulnerability to corruption than drug use • Creates an ethical dilemma for other officers • May lead other officers to isolate themselves from or avoid working with those who drink Using Drugs/Alcohol on Duty
  14. 14. Graft Exploitation of one’s role by accepting bribes or protection money. • Also applies to kickbacks from defense attorneys, bail bond companies, etc. • Bribes rated in one study as second most serious ethical transgression (after theft from burglary scene).
  15. 15. Sexual Misconduct (Kraska & Kappeler) • Viewing a victim's photos, etc., for prurient purposes • Strip searches • Illegal detentions • Deception to gain sex • Trading favors for sex • Sexual harassment • Sexual contact • Sexual assault • Rape
  16. 16. Criminal Cops • “Buddy boys” (NYC) • Mafia Cops (Eppolito & Caracappa) • Boston (Pulido) • Cleveland cocaine cops • Chicago (robbery, extortion, theft) • Miami River Rats • Drug crimes (in all cities: protection, theft, robbery)
  17. 17. Danziger Bridge Incident New Orleans, LA (2005) • Occurred during aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. • Officers shot at unarmed brothers—killing one. • Same officers were also involved in shooting at an unarmed family—killing a 17-year old. • The officers invented a fictitious witness and planted a gun supposedly used by the victim. • A supervisor helped the officers set up their stories. • 11 officers were implicated, 5 pled guilty to lesser charges of covering up the incident, and 6 officers were indicted on charges from murder to obstruction.
  18. 18. Explanations Individual: • “Rotten-apple” argument (Officer was deviant before hiring) • Development of a police personality (Officer became deviant after hiring) • Possible predictors: gender, age, education, race, military experience, academy performance, prior history of wrongdoing Target: screening/recruiting process; training
  19. 19. Explanations Institutional/Organizational: • Poor management and supervision • “Noble Cause” (improper rewards) • Corruption continuum (Trautman) o Administrative indifference toward integrity o Ignoring ethical problems o Hypocrisy and fear o “Survival of the fittest” • Continuum of compromise (Gilmartin & Harris) o Sense of victimization o Cynicism and entitlement o Wrongdoing
  20. 20. Explanations Systemic/Societal: • If the public does not comply with the law, officers may rationalize non-enforcement of the law. • If the public engages in illegal activities, officers may feel justified in doing the same. • If the public believes crime control is more important than due process, police will act on that message.
  21. 21. • Increase pay • Eliminate unenforceable laws • Establish civilian review boards • Improve training • Improve leadership Reducing Corruption (Malloy)
  22. 22. • Set realistic goals and objectives • Provide ethical leadership • Provide a written code of ethics • Provide a whistle-blowing procedure that ensures fair treatment for all parties • Provide training in law enforcement ethics Reducing Corruption (Metz)
  23. 23. Education and Training • Higher formal education standards are not, themselves, the key to ethical behavior. • Academy and in-service ethics training are common and recommended for all departments. • Many courses use a moral reasoning approach. • Some advocate an emphasis on character. • Others recommend case studies.
  24. 24. • Very controversial • Not well-received by most officers • Comparing integrity testing to undercover operations reveals that: o Most officers oppose integrity testing o Most officers support undercover operations Integrity Testing
  25. 25. Early Warning or Audit Systems • Seek to identify problem officers by trends of abuse or corruption complaints • Identified officers may be subject to: o Reassignment, retraining, or transfer o Referral to an employee assistance program o A fitness-for-duty evaluation o Dismissal
  26. 26. • Police investigate themselves • Police use an internal discipline system • Widely seen as ineffective • May discourage civilian complaints • Does not evoke public confidence Internal Affairs Model
  27. 27. Civilian Review/Complaint Model • An independent civilian agency audits complaints and investigations • Police still investigate and conduct discipline proceeding • Using departments receive more civilian complaints • Internal and external substantiation rates about the same—approximately ten percent
  28. 28.  Mistrust of police administration is pervasive among the rank-and file.  Two cultures of policing: street cops and management.  Most agree that supervisor behavior has greater influence on employee behavior than directives or ethics.  Leaders lead most effectively by example. Ethical Leadership

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