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LAWS 2301 (138)
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Department
Law
Course
LAWS 2301
Professor
Diana Young
Semester
Fall

Description
The police - Other elements to what they do. Shapes to some extent to the choices they make and policy matter - Police officers often take the blame for what goes wrong in the CJS but they’re not entirely at fault - Crowns come in for the first time at the bail hearing - Are involved in the early stage of investigation, there is little involvement by other players in the system. Lawyers rely on them for information - Involved with the investigating of crimes, and laying of charges (whether to lay charge or not). - Police officers conducting themselves in a professional way - Brannagan article- layers of accountability for police officers. - Policing and Risks in Society deals with the relationship b/w policing and risk theory. - Risk theory • How policing is taking on the role of risk management. Modern world is characterized by the probabilities of potential risks to certain activities. - Very influential work in Canada. - Modern policing is about information gathering. - Police are concerned with crime prevention and resource concerns and management. - Make decisions on where to deploy your resources and risks associated w/that area - Deploy their resources to parts of the city that are defined as high risk w/high-risk youth Police officers and youth - Modern policing is about information gathering. - Police are concerned with crime prevention and resource concerns and management. - Make decisions on where to deploy your resources and risks associated w/that area • Deploy their resources to parts of the city that are defined as high risk w/high-risk youth • Dangers of doing this are that if the cops are always scrutinizing people in certain areas then they are sure to find something to charge people with. Can help give a worse reputation then they deserve. • This can also lead to wrongful convictions because they believe they are guilty from the start • ID youth at risk for engaging in criminal activities, trying to intervene early- being very progressive- wrongful convictions. Get them on the right track. - High risk IDing can get you in a certain mindset and a self-fulfilling prophecy. • Scrutinize them carefully anything they do wrong will be detected. • When you are not flagged, more things go under the radar - Can also lead to racial profiling. Probable perpetrator so the rest of the case on proving the individual guilty- tainted evidence, minor things blown out of proportion. There are aspects of these decisions that cannot be avoided since its part of the job but it can lead to practices that are hazardous. - In formal racial profiling black young men, Middle Eastern,Asian,Aboriginal. Who are deciding is a likely subject. Very difficult to do but a matter of considerable concern. - The community puts pressure on the police to police the area in a certain manner. - Investigations are begun based on witness or victim complaints. The police may also start them when they notice an ongoing public concern, or police instigate their own investigation by information received from patrol - Example: the ride programs around Xmas…public concern for drinking and driving. Police - The police are seen as gatekeepers, b/c they come in at the early stage of the process. - Big part of being a police officer is using discretion. Must know when it is reasonable to lay charges and when you can let them go. Can also divert them to a more informal style of punishment (ex: mental health institute). Can detain, but only w/reasonable evidence - Their decisions are shaped by policies and their own discretion - Funnel analogy of the CJS. - Official crime statistics, but its arrest and conviction statistics. People in the system don’t always reflect the crime that’s out there. The kind of pressure put on police officers and the policies made by police chiefs. White-collar crime - White collar crimes are not investigated and detected as often • Also, people are more afraid of street crime than white collar crime!! • Therefore, there is more political pressure to focus on street crimes • But white collar crime has devastating effects on the economy (much more harmful b/c it affects many people) and is much less visible. • Street crimes are visible, so people concentrate more on those • Public= don’t know they are being victimized. - Corporations don’t report these kinds of crime b/c it makes them look unprofessional, and makes for bad publicity, so they just cover it up Police and stopping someone - Some neighborhoods are targeted with patrol cars because they are seen as higher risk. Therefore they are more likely to be picked up for minor offences that most people normally get away with because there is more scrutiny on these individuals. - Much more street time, that crime in the suites. Residence of those areas picked up for minor offences that other neighborhoods get away with, subject to more scrutiny. - Individual discretion as to who to stop and how to proceed once they are stopped. Who to question, look on, considerations of your professional standing. - Walking court card- rounder, living a life of paid crime, narcotics etc. - The way their performance in evaluated by their number of arrests, searches etc. • They often focus on people that they already know have criminal charges and convictions as they are likely to reoffend. It’s an easy case for the cops, as they probably won’t fight the charges. • Some may take a guilty plea b/c they don’t have the resources for a lawyer- so they’re a good victim. Drawn into the system, visibility affects public’s concern and the police’s attention. - People who are more visible will be drawn into the system and arrested more often. • They catch the attention of the police. Ex: escorts vs. prostitutes prostitutes are more visible, and escorts are not • Businesses make complaints about street prostitutes; figure out who the prostitutes are. - What we think of criminality is very influenced by what we see in court. However this is very misleading as that is only a small portion of crimes; there are a lot that we don’t see. - Bar fight vs. domestic assault. Domestic= more reluctant to make a charge while the fight is in public. One slice of the crime going on and can be misleading as an entire picture. Police culture - Various mechanisms of accountability for police officers. Way cops are disciplined and ways in which people get compensation - There are internal disciplinary proceedings in the police force- chief does it himself. - There is also the police code of conduct used to ensure professionalism and ethics by its members. The police chief may initiate a complaint based on this code. - Ontario Civilian Police Commission is there to oversee the policing activities in certain communities. - There is also the special investigations unit that looks into incident where people are harmed or killed by the police. The Police ServiceAct is supposed to ensure that the police cooperate in these investigations. • Office of the Independent Police Review Registry oversees public complaints and has powers of investigation, search and seizure. • Ex: investigating an issue with a civilian being killed or injured during police investigation. - However these units often complain that police don’t comply or cooperate with these investigations although they are supposed to. • There is a police culture that we will support our buddies on the force- we have their back. • Very difficult to get police complaint dealt with, since police witnesses won’t come forward. • Those seen to lack credibility may be already facing criminal charges. • Use it to escape criminal liability.Alot of internal mechanisms to make police accountable, but they can’t overcome police culture, so the investigations are generally stonewalled Racial profiling- Nassiah case - Obtain compensation or discipline an officer who misuses their discretionary power. - Nassiah was a victim of racial profiling. Said the cops called her a fucking foreigner. When they finally watched the video all the way through they saw she was innocent. - Said that because she was white she was detained and not fairly treated. - Used studies to show that minorities are often detained more than white people. • Empirical studies of racial profilingstatistically members of certain racial groups are targeted and imprisoned. Waste of resources. Could have got a real criminal. - Dangerous, systemic racism. Persuasive that this racial profiling is an issue. Don’t tell you if racial profiling is in the case. Very difficult to address an individual situation of racial profiling difficult to prove b/c most of the time the officer won’t admit it outright. - There was the initial, that the police officer wasn’t very critical of the security guards account. • This says something about our idea of allies working in the same business. Both engaged in law enforcement working together. • He should have looked at the tape before, looked at the receipt, question the security
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