Research Paper: Ethical Concerns in Criminal Justice

Pages: 3 (944 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Many accusations of police brutality have ultimately been found to be false and created for the betterment of the suspect's situation and these are the majority. However, there are still cases of genuine police brutality that occur throughout the United States. According to researchers, police force is reported in 24% of encounters between officers and suspects or witnesses (Krupanski 2012). Perhaps the most famous incidence of police brutality occurred in Los Angeles, California in 1991 when officers were filmed brutally beating Rodney King (Byers 2002). Cases have been reported in every state of the union about police misconduct to varying degrees including beating suspects, torture, and even murder. Lawyers for the defense will often use any and all errors in judgment of police officers to help their clients. Indeed some cases against defendants have been dismissed because of the actions of the police officers involved in the investigation.

Besides the obvious difficulty with the current case on which the officers are working, the issue of police brutality also has more far reaching negative consequences. The concept of police brutality undermines the whole concept of criminal justice and creates a negative attitude towards police officers. The role of the police in the United States is supposed to be that of protectorate and seeker of justice. When the police officers behave violently, it alters the perception of the police officer with the community. This is worsened by the perception of people that police officers will do whatever it takes to protect one another in accordance with the fraternity of the job. Statistically, incidences of police violence have been investigated and perpetrators punished but there were many cases wherein a cover up was discovered and those involved also punished.

Police brutality is a very important issue in modern criminal justice because it alters the way in which the officers of justice are perceived by the public who they are supposed to protect. Force has been used when necessary to arrest suspects and to gain information. In the modern era, the former is still employed but is always treated critically. Force in the obtaining of information is absolutely verboten in the present historical moment. It is the responsibility of those involved in criminal justice to behave appropriately and to limit force to only the times when it is absolutely necessary and also to keep an eye on other officers. The impetus needs to be on protection of the people above all things.

Works Cited:

Byers, B. (2002). Ethics and criminal justice: some observations on police misconduct. Crime and Justice International. Sam Houston University, Texas. (18:68).

Krupanski, M. (2012). Policing the police: civilian video monitoring of police activity. Global Minds.

Locke, H. (1966). Police brutality and civilian review board: a second look. 625.

Skolnick, J. (1995). Community-oriented… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Ethical Concerns in Criminal Justice.  (2013, February 3).  Retrieved September 21, 2019, from

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"Ethical Concerns in Criminal Justice."  February 3, 2013.  Accessed September 21, 2019.