The main task of the police officers is to enforce the law in all aspects of our dynamic, everyday life together with peoples’ rights and properties. They perform their duties according to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics which states that “A police officer acts as an official representative of the government, he is requested and trusted to work within the law” (Law Enforcement Code of Ethics). The majority of the police officers estimably fulfill their arduous duties, securing the tranquility of peoples’ lives and inviolability of their property. Unfortunately sometimes we witness cases of police misconduct where police officers exceed their powers and become criminally liable. It happens when police officers commit acts as assault and battery, steel evidence from arrests and searches, drug dealing, sexual assault, homicide, misusing public funds or accepting bribes. Very often they use excessive, not necessary force during arrests or charge the defendants for not committed crimes. There are cases when officers have been charged with murder shooting an unarmed defendant who represented no threat.
We can find circumstantial information about such cases in the newspapers and journals besides the information given by the official records. The article Former ethics officer for Harvey police accused for brutality by Joe Mahr, April 26, 2014 distrains the case of ethics officer Markus Patterson who arresting the suspect Sandreano Green beat him until he urinated on himself, break his leg and charge him with unlawful use of weapon, while green has no weapon at all. In this case we can observe one of the worst examples of police misconduct when an ethics police officer breaks the Ethics code instead of controlling the rest police officers to strictly observe it.
Another striking case is that of the police officer Julian Steele from Ohio (State v. Steele) who investigated six robberies in Cincinnati and a witness described a vehicle which he noticed around the place and gave the number of the registration plate. The vehicle connected the robbery with A. M. When Steele found out that she had children he went to the school of the children and arrested R. M., one of them, told the school employees not to inform his mother about the arrest and took him to the police station.
There he threatened him that his mother would be arrested for robbery if he does not confess that he had committed it. Threatened that if his mother would be arrested there would be no one to take care of his brothers and sisters, he gave false confession. Using his confession Steele brought formal charges and detained him in juvenile detention. While R. M. was in detention Steele arranged an appointment with his mother A. M. in his apartment pretending that he wanted to discuss the situation with her son and he engaged her with sexual activity. R. M. was in detention for nine days while the prosecutor who supervised his case noticed that he was detained instead of being immediately released after interrogation. Steele was charged with abduction, extortion, rape, sexual battery and intimidation and he was convicted for all of them.
Nevertheless the police officers were convicted and they served their punishments the moral damages they caused to the society were irreversible.
Mahr, Joe, Former ethics officer for Harvey police accused of brutality, The Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2014, Web, www.articles.chicagotribune.com/keyword/police-misconduct
Law Enforcement Code of Ethics