Police Misconducts

A camera footage had revealed five Alabama police officers beating an unconscious suspect after a high-speed chase. The black suspect who is accused of murder influenced by drugs had been chased by the five policemen. As the car had flipped over and rolled into the ditch, the suspect was ejected out of the car and beat ruthlessly by the five policemen, one black and four white. The camera showed 11 seconds of beating with fists and batons. The video was brought to the police chief by the district attorney. (CNN, 2009)

In India, a video footage also exposed Indian police officers while grabbing the hair of a 6 year old suspect. The girl was accused of stealing 280 rupees or about 6 dollars. Upon the report, the charges on the girl was dropped and the police officers are now under investigated. In relation to this, it is also important to note that according to Human Rights Watch in India, police brutality is a common practice in India. According to them, rather than being a policing and enforcement agency, police in India act as if they are vigilante force that kills the criminals rather than filing a case on them. This implies that there is a big difference between what is learned in the police academies and what is happening in the real world. (CNN, 2009)

Robert Needham, chairman of Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) reported their long running operation name Caprihas in Queensland found 23 policemen that are involved in police misconducts, particularly prisoner informants. It has been reported that the reported officers were accused of offerings rewards for confessions, acceptance of gifts from informants and improper accessed of confidential police information. Because of this, the said officers are now facing court procedures and disciplinary procedures. (ABC, 2009)

If there is one reason that the police force always use in justifying the cases of police deviance and misconduct above, it is the rotten apple approach. According to OConnor (2005) in his article Police Deviance  Ethics the rotten apple approach speak of the individuals who are weak and slipped through the screening process or succumbed to the temptations inherent in police work or deviant individuals who continue their deviance in an environment that gives them ample opportunity. He also said that police departments tend to use the rotten apple theory or some variation of the rogue cop story to minimize the public backlash against policing after every exposed act of corruption.

However, as the cases of police misconducts and crimes piled up, it is now becoming more and more difficult to believe to this approach. An alternative approach is what we referred as occupational socialization which state that the very structure of policing provides plenty opportunities to learn the entrenched patterns of deviant police conduct that have been passed down through generations (OConnor 2005).

From here, we can argue that to be able to minimize or neutralize the police misconducts that are rampant today in many police agencies in the globe, there should be a major shift to the way how polices are educated in the academy. In this new education, there should be a greater emphasis to what someone should expect in the outside and mimic it as much as possible in the academy to be able to train the aspiring policemen rightfully. By doing this, we can prepare the future officers in the dynamics of the real world. We can also determine the bad and rotten apples once we tested them in the reality that is modeled to the outside world.


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