Do you believe that the officers’ means of lying about the basis for their arrests and searches justified the end result of making arrests?

Is there any way(s) in which this situation can be made worse? How?
Case Study #2 Redneck Causes Escalation to Black and Blue
Officer Burns is known to have extreme difficulty in relating to persons of color and others who are socially different from himself. Burns admits to his sergeant that he grew up in a prejudiced home environment and that he has little sympathy or understanding for people “who cause all the damn trouble.” The officer never received any sensitivity or diversity training at the academy or within the department. The supervisor fails to understand the weight of the problem and has very little patience with Burns. So, believing it will correct the matter, the supervisor decides to assign Burns to a minority section of town so he will improve his ability to relate to diverse groups. Within a week, Burns responds to a disturbance at a housing project where residents are partying noisily and a fight is in progress. Burns immediately becomes upset, yelling at the residents to quiet down; they fail to respond, so Burns draws his baton and begins poking residents and ordering them to comply with his directions. The crowd immediately turns against Burns, who then has to call for backup assistance. After the other officers arrive, a fight ensues between residents and officers, and several officers and residents are injured and numerous arrests are made. The following day the neighborhood council meets with the mayor, demanding that Burns be fired and threatening a lawsuit.
Questions for Discussion
1.
Is there any liability or negligence present in this situation? If so, what kind?
2.
Could the supervisor have dealt with Burns’s lack of sensitivity in a better manner? If so, how?
Case Study #3 Getting the Job Done
Gothamville is a Midwestern city with a high crime rate and poor relations between the police and the public. The new reform mayor and police chief campaigned on a platform of cleaning up crime in the streets and ineffectiveness of government. They launched a commission to investigate what was termed a “litany of problems” within the police department. The investigation found that officers routinely lied about the probable cause for their arrests and searches, falsified search warrant applications, and basically violated rules of collecting and preserving evidence. They were also known to protect each other under a “shroud of secrecy” and to commit perjury in front of grand juries and at trials. These problems were found to be systemic throughout the agency; however, greed and corruption were not the motivating factors behind officers’ giving perjured testimony. Officers believed that their false testimony and other such activities were the only means by which they could put persons they believed guilty behind bars. Worse yet, the study also found that prosecutors routinely tolerated or at least tacitly approved of such conduct. The study also found that many police officers did not consider giving false testimony to be a form of corruption, which they believed implies personal profit. Instead, they viewed testifying as just another way to “get the job done.”
Questions for Discussion
1.
Do you believe that the officers’ means of lying about the basis for their arrests and searches justified the end result of making arrests?
2.
What about the prosecutors’ tolerance of the officers’ unethical behavior? To what ethical standards should the prosecutor’s office be held?
3.
As a supervisor, when these kinds of behaviors come to light, what punishment, if any, do you think is warranted for the persons involved?
4.
What actions, if any, could a supervisor take to oversee officers’ activities to prevent and detect such behaviors?
(Peak 238-240)
The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.
Chapter 10
CASE STUDIES
Following are two case studies, challenging the reader to look at disciplinary issues and determine what, if any, supervisory style changes or punitive measures are appropriate for the circumstances.
Case Study #1 Making Enemies Fast: The “Misunderstood” Disciplinarian
Sgt. Jerold Jones does not understand why his officers appeal all of his disciplinary recommendations. He takes matters of discipline seriously; it commonly takes him three to four weeks to investigate minor matters—three to four times longer than other supervisors. Jones believes that by doing so, he shows great concern for his officers and, in fact, does not even question the officers about their behavior until the investigation is nearly complete and he has interviewed everyone involved in the matter. Jones decides to speak to his officers about the matter. He is surprised when they tell him that they do not trust him. Indeed, they fail to understand why so much time is needed for him to investigate the minor incidents. They believe that he is being secretive and is always looking for ways to find fault with their performance. Jones argues that his recommendations are consistent with those of other sergeants and provides some examples of similar cases that were handled by various supervisors. Apparently unconvinced by Jones’s argument, the next day an officer appeals one of Jones’s disciplinary recommendations concerning a minor traffic accident.
Questions for Discussion
1.
Are the officers’ allegations of Sgt. Jones’s unfairness valid?
2.
What requisites of sound disciplinary policy may Jones not understand that may be leading to the officers’ appeals?
3.
Under the circumstances, should Jones simply ignore the officers’ complaints? Are their perceptions that important?
Case Study #2 Downtown Sonny Brown
Officer Sonny Brown works the transport wagon downtown and has worked this assignment on day shift for several years. Because of his length of service in this assignment, he has earned the nickname “Downtown” Brown. He loves “hooking and booking” drunks and takes great pride in keeping the streets safe and clean. Local business owners appreciate his efforts, even once honoring him as the Chamber of Commerce “Officer of the Year.” Sgt. Carol Jackson is recently promoted and receives her first patrol assignment to the downtown district. As it has been a while since she worked patrol, she decides to ride with Brown for a couple of days to learn about the district and its problems. She is pleased at the warm reception Brown receives from business merchants but quickly becomes concerned about some of his heavy-handed methods of dealing with drunks. When questioned about his tactics, Brown replies, “This ain’t administration, Sarge, it’s the streets, and our job is to sweep ‘em clean.” Jackson speaks with Brown’s former supervisor, who said he had received several verbal complaints against Brown from citizens, but none could be substantiated. Apparently no one was interested in the word of a drunk against a popular officer. Two days later, Sgt. Jackson is called to the county jail to meet with a booking officer, Hamstead, who wants to talk with her about a drunk who was booked a few hours earlier by Brown. Another prisoner has confided to Hamstead that the drunk was complaining that Brown had injured him by kicking him off a park bench and pushing him down a hill to the transport wagon. The drunk, complaining of pain in his side, was then taken to the hospital and treated for three broken ribs. When asked later about the incident, the drunk refused to cooperate and simply told Hamstead, “I fell down.”
Questions for Discussion
1.
How should Sgt. Jackson handle this matter?
2.
What are her options? Her responsibilities?
3.
What types of disciplinary policy changes should the department consider to prevent these situations from occurring?
(Peak 266-267)

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