Police Patrol Scenario the Actions Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Recklessly creating a situation that increases the required amount of force is immoral. Officer Smith should have ordered the occupants out of the car from the cover of her own vehicle. Using cover effectively would have required the occupants to take far more overt action, getting out of the car and turning around, in order to be a threat to the officers. Officer Smith unnecessarily increased the danger to herself, and therefore the risk that she would have to use deadly force. Creating a dangerous situation for others is immoral, and that was the result of Officer Smith approaching the car. Some might argue that the death of an armed robber may be a net positive for society, but death is an excessive punishment for robbery, and the police do not have the moral, or legal authority to appoint themselves judge, jury and executioner upon encountering criminals on the street.

My assessment of the situation would not change if the occupants were Portuguese tourists. I can only judge Officer Smith based on what she knew. Information gained after a decision is made may serve to validate correctness of the decision, but has no bearing on its justification. Officer Smith is legally obligated to make her decision based on the information available to her. The fact that the occupants turned out to be tourists, not criminals does not affect the information that was available to Officer Smith when she made the decision to shoot. It was still immoral for Officer Smith to create an unnecessary risk that she would have to use deadly force. All possible explanations must be considered when suspects are behaving suspiciously. Officer safety is not limited to the protection of the officer. Officers should limit the danger to themselves to minimize the risk that they will have to use force.

Bartollas, Clemmens and Hahn, Larry. Policing in America. Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon, 1999.

Kappeler, V, et. al. "Perspectives on the development of police character. Forces of Deviance: Understanding the Dark Side of," 84-108 Waveland Press, Inc. 1998

Worden, Robert. "Ther "causes" of police brutality: theory and evidence on Police Use of Force. And Justice For All: Understanding and controlling police abuse of force." 31-60, Police

Executive…

Sources Used in Document:

Kappeler, V, et. al. "Perspectives on the development of police character. Forces of Deviance: Understanding the Dark Side of," 84-108 Waveland Press, Inc. 1998

Worden, Robert. "Ther "causes" of police brutality: theory and evidence on Police Use of Force. And Justice For All: Understanding and controlling police abuse of force." 31-60, Police

Executive Research Forum, 1995.

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