Police misconduct  

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Police misconduct refers to ill-appropriated conduct and or illegal actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties. Police misconduct can lead to a miscarriage of justice and sometimes involves discrimination and or illegal motives of segregation combined as obstruction of justice. In an effort to control police misconduct, there is an accelerating trend for civilian agencies to go beyond review to engage directly in investigations and to have much greater input into disciplinary decisions. In addition, individuals and groups are now filming police in an effort to force police to become accountable for their actions and for their inactions. With the proliferation of mobile devices capable of recording alleged misconduct, police misconduct and abuse is now receiving publicity on social media and on websites including YouTube. In response, police often try to intimidate citizens to prevent them from using cameras. In other circumstances, police will illegally seize or delete evidence recorded by citizens, notwithstanding laws that make it a crime to destroy evidence of a crime being committed, irrespective of whether the crime is committed by civilians or by the police.

Types of misconduct include coerced false confession, intimidation, false arrest, false imprisonment, falsification of evidence, spoliation of evidence, police perjury, witness tampering, police brutality, police corruption, racial profiling, unwarranted surveillance, unwarranted searches, and unwarranted seizure of property. Others include:

  • Bribing or lobbying legislators to pass or maintain laws that give police excessive power or status
  • Similarly, bribing or lobbying city council members to pass or maintain municipal laws that make victim-less acts tickettable (e.g. bicycling on the sidewalk), so as to get more money
  • Selective enforcement ("throwing the book at" people who one dislikes; this is often related to racial discrimination)
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Off-duty misconduct
  • Noble cause corruption, where the officer believes the good outcomes justify bad behavior
  • Using badge or other ID to gain entry into concerts, to get discounts, etc.
  • Influence of drugs or alcohol while on duty
  • Violations by officers of police procedural policies

Police officers often share a 'code of silence', which means that they do not turn each other in for misconduct. While some officers have called this code a myth, a 2005 survey found evidence that it exists.

See also


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Police misconduct" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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