How Many More Cops Must Go Unpunished Before We Act?
by PeterB on September 12, 2016 - 6:14pm
The article entitled "Copping a Budget Plea" written by Jarrett Murphy, published in 2006, depicts the police misconducts, brutality, and misbehaviours in the New York City Police Department, and although it is not the only police force that has cases of bad police behaviour, it is certainly the most largest police department with the biggest reputation, so it is easier to retrieve more information out of it.
In short, the newspaper article explains the misconducts of police officers in the New York City area, and illustrates a few real life examples that have happened over the years, and the time it took for the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) to close the cases of misconduct. It also generates the eventual problem that will happen if the New York Mayor cuts the number of investigators in the CCRB due to lack of budget, which seems to be a big concern to many people. Meaning that, as it is cases of police misconduct take very long to be closed, therefore if the number of investigators is diminished they will take even longer to solved. The author also explains that if after 18 months the case is not resolved, than the case expires and is not dealt with anymore, unless the behaviour is considered criminal. In the text with the examples he gives us, it is clear that already, cases expire more often than they should, and in addition most cases solved push the 18 month limit, they are closed after 16 or 17 months. So if the number of CCRB investigators were to be cut, even more cases would expire, meaning more police officers involved in misconduct would go unpunished.
In this newspaper article, the main morals and values that are being opposed are first of all on one side the values of individual freedom, loyalty and fidelity towards some of their own, security, and order for the NYPD and the police officers side. While the civilians side and the authors side involve many more morals including fairness, justice, non-conformity, accountability for their actions, honesty, tolerance, serving others, rationality, responsibility (collective or not), and peace. In this case the ethical issue would be if the law enforcers are involved in corruption or are they actually well behaving and doing what is right. Since it clearly does not show a good example for the rest of the population if their actions are deemed as corruption and scandalous. But more importantly the fact that some of these peace keepers, so we call them, get away with their behaviour that we consider as misconduct and corruption, and go unpunished, as if nothing ever happened. While many of the police officers claim to be doing their job, and nothing but their duty, they believe that whatever actions they take is for the best interest of the population. The enforcers of the law do not think that they are involved in misconduct or corruption, to them it is just part of the job sometimes. While others, such as many civilians, including the author, do not agree that all their actions and the way that they act/behave is always necessary.
In my opinion the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) are not harsh enough and are not as involved as they should be when it comes to our foresay "Peace Keepers", that control law and order, who are involved in scandalous and violent situations. They are supposed to watch out for us, protect us, and act as our role models, but when they verbally and physically harm others when they clearly had no reason or right to do so, they are hard to be seen as good role models when they are demonstrating bad behaviour.
Murphy, J. (June 2006). Copping a Budget Plea. The Village Voice. New York. p. 14-16.