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Crim Notes.doc

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University of Ottawa

thWednesday February 16 2011 ISSUES IN POLICINGPOLICE MISCONDUCT 1 Occupational deviancyCriminal and noncriminal behaviour committed during the course of normal work activities or committed under the guise of the police officers authorityMotivated by desire for personal benefit ex parking illegally bribes flashing badges turning siren on during red light etc 2 Selective enforcement of lawsex police doesnt place charges because he knows the person sex worker reports rape racial profilingstopping people based on race or ethnicity 3 Abuse of authorityInvolves the application of various types of coercion when the police are interacting with citizens4 types of coercionVerbal officer abuses by using threat unauthorised languagePhysical officer uses physical strength against the individualNonlethal pepper spray etcLethal use of deadly weaponofficer uses gun ex verbal threats taking it too farRodney King Riots led to this in Los Angeles 53 death700 firesDamages to 3000 businessesEtc POLICE USE OF DEADLY FORCE Force that is used with the intent to cause bodily injury or death Use of firearms with citizensUntil 1995 CC permitted the shooting of a fleeing felon wo consideration of danger of suspect Parliament introduced new defenceCC s 25 4 As much force as necessary Acts on reasonable groundsNecessary for protectionProvince with greatest number of deadly force incidents QuebecThomas A Swift Electric RiflesTaser M26 most common taser Ottawa first to adopt use of taser taser minimized injuries and fatalities however many concerns 20 deaths resulting in Canada POLICE DISCRETION TO ARREST OR NOT TO ARREST3 elementsDeciding whether to get involved Determining how to behaveSelecting one of many alternatives2 categoriesINVOCATION DISCRETIONDecides to arrestNONINVOCATION DISCRETIONDecides not to arrestLow visibility of actions Result of many factors FACTORS AFFECTING DECISION TO ARRESTSITUATIONAL VARIABLES Public vs private settings much more likely to be arrested in a public settingPresence of other officers vs being alone more likely to arrest in the presence of others if they are severe on things However studies indicate that you are more likely to want to control the situation if you are aloneLEGAL VARIABLES Seriousness of the crimeStrength of the evidence witness EXTRALEGAL VARIABLES Preference of the victimRelationship bw victim and suspectDemeanour of the suspectRace class gender sexual orientation Characteristics of the neighbourhoodCOMMUNITY VARIABLESEthnic and workingclass communities Perceived violence and resistance Higher rates of reported crimearrestsAttitudes of citizens Reactive role of police Local legal cultureinformal relationship bw local officials and police department THE POLICE CULTUREAccepted practices rules and principles of conductShared values rationales and beliefs that rise out from the hazards of their job What are the values of the police culturePolice are the only real crime fighters Only police officers understand their workLoyalty to colleagues police look out for each otherWar against crime bending rules often police may have to conduct an illegal search to find what they wantPublic is critical and demanding public supports the police when they need something from themPatrol work is a means to an end
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