Police officers have a duty to keep communities safe. Unfortunately, some law enforcement officers pose a danger to communities. This is evident in the recent release of records that show 85,000 officers partake in some type of misconduct.
Law enforcement misconduct is a widespread problem that society must address. Here are some of the most common types of unlawful and unethical behavior that some officers commit.
Use of excessive force is also known as police brutality. This is a loose term that refers to any physical force that is more extreme than the situation requires. Some actions that may count as excessive include unwarranted use of batons, tasers or firearms. It may also involve an officer beating or “roughing up” an individual during an arrest. These brutal actions can lead to severe injuries or death. Recent documents show that there are 22,924 investigations of excessive force in the last decade.
Unlawful search and seizure
Everyone has certain privacy protections under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment prohibits law enforcement officials from conducting searches or seizures without probable cause or a search warrant. An officer who ignores these rules is violating the law.
Many false imprisonments cases stem from wrongful search and seizures. A police officer cannot detain an individual without probable cause or an arrest warrant. A false arrest is a violation of civil rights.
Violence is not the only way some officers can be abusive. An astonishing 3,145 cases involve allegations of nonconsensual sexual acts.
Failure to be truthful is a serious issue for many officers. There are 2,227 instances of lying, including tampering with evidence, falsifying reports or committing perjury. This includes planting evidence at the scene of a crime or making up fake witness statements.
Even though less than 10% of officers undergo investigations for wrongdoing, there are enough cases that prove it is still a troubling issue.