There are few more important jobs in society than those in law enforcement. Police officers are tasked with enforcing the law and investigating crime. For the most part, they do this very well.
Nonetheless, police officers are only human which means they can make errors. Additionally, it means that a minority may engage in conduct that is inappropriate. It’s important to remember that police officers have rules and regulations that govern how they conduct themselves.
Outlined below are some of the more common forms of police misconduct:
There are different burdens of proof in criminal cases. For example, to be convicted an individual must be proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. The burden of proof for arrest is lower, but it is still significant. You should not be arrested without law enforcement first having probable cause to believe that you committed an offense. You cannot be arrested on a mere hunch or for discriminatory reasons such as your ethnicity.
Law enforcement knows that the outcome of a trial is never guaranteed. Thus, it is far easier for them to gain a confession from the accused. If a guilty party confesses willingly then this is all well and good. Problems occur when the individual feels pressured to confess to a crime that they did not commit. Such confessions are typically called coerced confessions and they can be obtained in a number of ways.
For instance, an officer may wrongly tell the accused that they will get to go home without consequence if they just admit what they did. In some cases, a more forceful approach is adopted, such as using intimidation tactics and lengthy interrogations without the accused having representation.
The majority of police officers conduct themselves in an admirable way. Unfortunately, a minority does not meet these standards. If you feel that you have been treated inappropriately by law enforcement, be sure to look into your legal options. This could form an important aspect of your defense.