Business and Society
Citation: New York Times, February 4, 2012, Website.
Facts: The cause of the conflict between the Occupy Oakland protesters and the police is due to police misconduct, the use of excessive force and concealment of name badges. This group of protesters has originated in Oakland California. The main cause of the protest had originated from the acts of the Oakland police which are in violation of their sworn duties and policies enforced by the police agencies (Walter & Glantz,“Occupy Protesters Stretch the Police, Leaving Parts of Oakland Underserved”). The first occupation was brought about by the death of Oscar Grant, a young man from Oakland who was killed by a police officer in 2009, which became the vehicle of the succeeding protests for the years 2010 to 2011. The cause of the conflict is people-focused because it involves clashes of personality. This kind of conflict involves emotional disputes which are more complicated to resolve because they are considered threats to relationships.
Law: The legal issue in this case is the use of force of the police officers in crowd dispersal which has resulted to violence. The main reason why the Oakland residents protested is to express their abhorrence against any forms of colonialism and inequality. They also allege abuse of power by the police by giving dispersal without proof that the protesters acted in hostility or violence. While on the part of the police authorities, they allege that they are just maintaining the peace and order situation of the community.
The law enforcement officers have been empowered and authorized by the state to use force in specified circumstances. These police officers have undergone proper training in the use of force and commonly confronted with several incidents while on service. Some of the typical scenarios that will require the use of force is during the time of making arrests, restraining unruly combatants, or controlling a disruptive demonstration.
The use of force appears to be irrelevant to the personal characteristics of the police officers including the age, gender, and ethnicity. However, the use of force is has more probability to take place when police officer has to deal with individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with mentally ill persons. There are several complaints against the police department involving reports where the conflict between the police officers and mentally ill people had resulted to fatal shooting incidents. The suicidal cases were the result of individuals who have caused provocation ignited the police officer to use his firearm and take a shot. However, on the part of the mishandled cases, it can be concluded that it is the fault of the police due to make wrong judgments and the failure to undergo adequate training to manage the situation, especially in cases where mentally ill persons are involved.
Comment: The use of force has been the source of complaints among police officer which have caused the filing of civil, criminal and administrative cases against the police. In this particular case, the violent clashes between the protesters and the police force can be avoided by meeting halfway and settle disputes amicably. On the part of managers and supervisors comprising the administration of the police department, they should make sure that their police officers follow the policies and no outright violation is committed. They should oversee that they do not tolerate abuse of power and authority over the protesters.
In order to deal with high profile complaints against the police department, there is a need to change the culture of the officers for undergoing the training of values formation to inculcate proper police culture and to assess the police officers’ world view. Thus, it is imperative that police officers receive proper academy training which in order to acquaint them with the mission and objectives of the organization, and its policies and regulations. It is vital to give the police officers an initiation of actual situations in order to experience the first taste of policing and to allow the new officers to absorb the norms of informal culture and to learn the realities of police work. Finally, the law enforcement agency should carry out strict psychological testing to demonstrate a predictive validity to determine the mental aptness of potential police officers to ensure holistic preparedness not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally and psychologically to handle the difficult tasks assigned to them.
Citation: The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2013. Website
Facts: State senator for New York in the person of Malcolm Smith has attempted to enter the mayoral ballot in New York City by giving bribes to federal prosecutors and some of the Republican leaders. These bribery charges were substantiated after a corruption probe was conducted which exposed the council member and four government officials (Saul, Hardiner & Grossman, Six Arrested in Bribery Probe”). Smith together with his other cohorts including Joseph Savin, Bronx Republican Party chairman; Vincent Tabone, the vice chairman of the Republican Party from Queens County; Dan Halloran, who was a city council member in New York and at the same time a Queens Republican; Noramie Jasmin, the mayor of Spring Valley; and Joseph Desmaret, deputy mayor who originated from the similar village (Saul, “Six Arrested in Bribery Probe”). The defendants appeared during the initial hearing, where the judged ordered a $250,000 bails for the each defendant. The FBI was able to seize firearms against Hollaran, who was one of the defendants, which were ordered to be surrendered by the court. Smith’s political ambition is the run for mayor in 2013 under the Republican Party. To be able to qualify for this mayoral nomination even without having to become a member of the party, he must be able to obtain a special waiver from the 5-county level organizations from the Republican party (Saul, Six Arrested in Bribery Probe”).
The allegations of the prosecutors revealed that Halloran acted as an intermediary after receiving bribes, along with other 2 officials Savino and Tabone, who also received money to back-up the waiver. In the event that the plan of Smith to win the mayoral seat, he promised Halloran that he will be appointed as a deputy mayor or as deputy police commissioner in the alternative. The FBI evidence included a taped conversation wherein Smith can be heard saying that the price of the special waiver to gain access to the Republican ballot was worth every dollar spent for price of the bribes. Thus, the incident is a manifestation how money and bribery remain to be perennial problems in the local government units in New York.
Law: The senator, together with his five accomplices shall be criminally liable for bribery. The offense of bribery usually involves two parties: the giver and the receiver of the bribe. The law punishes the two parties on the basis that there is sufficient ground that can be established there is a crime to give and there is a person who receives, building a reciprocal relationship between the two.
Here, the senator, being the government official is occupying a position of public trust and has committed the crime of bribery. The important element of bribery is present when it was clearly shown that there was intention to bribe and it can be proven. The crime of bribery punishes the person who offers the bribe. The public official who accepts the bribe shall be liable for a separate crime. Therefore, the five other public officials shall also be liable for bribery in their personal capacity for being public officials just like the senator who was the mastermind in the plan to run as mayor by buying the waiver.
Comment: The money culture has been prevalent in every level of the government in majority of the states, and New York City is no exemption. ). It is shocking how one political ambition can destroy the integrity of other government officials who were willing to take part in the unlawful activity in exchange of money and prime positions in the government. In this scenario, it was shown that the taxpayers of New York City have been robbed for having corrupt leaders who dip their hands in the discretionary funds of the state. The FBI should be commended for the job well done after they were able to arrest the six officials who conspired in the criminal activity to ensure the mayoral support of Smith. Smith should be convicted for the crimes he committed and his failed attempt to maneuver the state’s funds amounting to $500,000 for the alleged financial assistance to build a road that for the benefit of a project where he has personal interest.
Citation: Business Insider, March 29, 2013. Website.
Facts: Prosecutor Juan Martinez is being charged for prosecutorial misconduct by defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi for his performance of by signing fan autographs and posing for pictures with them outside court before and after trial. Nurmi claims that such act of Proesecutor Martinez can taint the pool of jury. In this case, the defendant, Jodi Arias was charged for first-degree murder after there were allegations that she killed Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home in June of 2008. If convicted, she will face the possibility of death sentence. The police report has shown that Arias planned the attack on her lover due to her jealous rage. The defendant Arias denies any participation in the crime and pointed the blame to two masked intruders and alleged self-defense two years after her arrest. On the part of Prosecutor Martinez, he claims that his actions cannot be tantamount to prosecutorial misconduct. Martinez was seen in one instance where he exited the courtroom building through the front door even though he was surrounded by trial watchers who wanted to commend him for a job well done. However, Martinez did not oblige for any interview to discuss the case after trial and outside of the courtroom.
Law: There are seven perennial ethical problems faced by the prosecutors as they perform their duties in the name of justice. The seven issues are considered as ethical failures on the part of prosecutors as well as other public servants (Braswell & McCarthy 151). Most of the ethical violations involve personal gain towards the outcome of the case being handled by prosecutors. These prohibitions as not just violations of ethical principles, but are considered transgression of the laws involving the criminal justice profession. This means that as prosecutors, they take advantage of their public position or office for personal enrichment, profit, pleasure or benefits not specifically authorized by law or the rules (Braswell and McCarthy 151). These seven ethical problems in criminal justice shall include wrongful pursuit of personal gain, favoritism and bias, abuse of power, flawed personal life, denial of due process, deceitfulness and neglect of duties. The personal gain of prosecutors can be illustrated by taking bribes, extortion and payoffs. Some prosecutors also accept gratuities and unauthorized benefits, receiving excessive compensation, using his position or office to promote personal objectives, and to harbor and advance excessive ambition (Braswell and McCarthy151).
It will be unethical for prosecutor to have favoritism and biases. He cannot use his office to assist people that he prefers and will not aid those who he does not approve. These biases result from divided and mixed loyalties, to pursue the interest of his family, friends, associates, peers, political party, church and spiritual faith (Braswell, 2010). Nepotism, overt and covert discrimination motivated racial, ethnic, gender and political affiliation become part of biases and favoritism. The abuse of power of prosecutors happen when they place their values, desires, needs and preferences above the interest of the general public. These actions do not involve personal material gain but shall include activities including coercion, authoritarianism, coercion, harassment, condoning warrantless arrests, denial of due process or denying the opportunity to post bail, and the denial of liberty by prolonged detention before the trial (Braswell 152).
Comment: Prosecutor Martinez cannot be held liable for prosecutorial misconduct. In the case of Martinez, the act of signing fan autographs and taking pictures with them after trial outside of the courtroom cannot be considered as prosecutorial misconduct. Here, it was not shown that there was favoritism and biases committed by Prosecutor Martinez. The claim of defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi that these acts of Martinez can taint the jury has not bearing. There was no showing the Martinez abused his power as a prosecutors happen to place his values, desires, needs and preferences above the interest of the general public. Such actions did not involve personal material gain nor did they manifest coercion, authoritarianism, coercion, harassment, condoning warrantless arrests, denial of due process or denying the opportunity to post bail, and the denial of liberty by prolonged detention before the trial (Braswell, 2010). Prosecutor Martinez did not to ignore civil rights and constitutional guarantees, failure to observe the standard operating procedure and constitutional guarantees of the people by violating procedural correctness in carrying out the duties and responsibilities. Hence, there was not showing that the prosecutor neglected his duties and responsibilities by reason of his position, duties and functions in the administration of the criminal justice system.
The prosecutors can only be held guilty of misconduct for actively searching for loopholes in the victim’s testimony to destroy the credibility of the victim. In fact, there are some prosecutors who will create doubt in the minds of the judge or the jury by making the victim’s testimony unbelievable. This is a clear showing that the prosecutor’s assessment of case has the probability that they may abuse their power and position to manipulate the decision of a case. In this particular instance, Prosecutor Martinez did not even attempt to avoid a particular level of uncertainty by filing charges in cases where conviction is highly probable, or to cause the rejection of charges against Arias. He never took advantage of his public position or office for personal enrichment, profit, pleasure or benefits not specifically authorized by law or the rules. He was being commended by the people for being a brilliant and esteemed prosecutor of the state. Therefore, as the state prosecutor, Martinez did not manipulate the case by circumventing the testimony of witnesses to control the outcome of the case
Braswell, Michael C. and Belinda McCarthy. Justice, Crime and Ethics, 6th ed. New Jersey:
Elsevier, 2010. Print.
Saul, Michael Howard, Gardiner, Sean and Grossman, Andrew. “Six Arrested in Bribery Probe”.
The Wall Street Journal. April 7, 2013. Web. Retrieved on April 4, 2013, from
Skoloff, Brian. “The Mormon Murder Trial of Jodi Arias Is Becoming Even More Ridiculous”.
March 29, 2013. Web. Retrieved on April 7, 2012, from
Walter, Shoshana and Aaron Glantz. “Occupy Protesters Stretch the Police, Leaving Parts of
Oakland Underserved”. The New York Times. February 4, 2012. Web. Accessed on April
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