Crime and Ethical Standards
Since you have demonstrated your knowledge about criminal justice so well, the chief of police has another assignment for you. Chief Draper wants you to review a specific case and assess the arresting officer’s conduct. To prepare your report, you consider certain factors, such as the societal factors that may have influenced the suspect’s behavior, the role of the government in terms of protecting both society and an individual’s rights, and the ethical standards that govern law enforcement.
Here’s What Happened . . .
Centervale police officer Lance Marconi responded to a call for service from a high-end retailer, who reported that an unkempt woman wearing disheveled, dirty, and torn clothing left the store without paying for items she selected while shopping in the Misses Clothing Department. The store manager reported that the woman failed to respond to any verbal prompts made to her by store associates.
As Officer Marconi drove toward the store, he noticed a woman matching her description walking along the side of the road, carrying what appeared to be clothing. Once the officer reached the location of the woman, he recognized her—Mary Jones—as being an individual he had arrested several times before for public drunkenness, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, felony larceny, and prostitution. Officer Marconi anticipated that this could be a very challenging situation because Jones did not like law enforcement, tended to be aggressive, and had, in the past, run as soon as she saw a police cruiser. Marconi called for backup and asked Jones to stop as he stepped out of his vehicle. She started to run, but he caught up with her very quickly.
Jones struggled with Officer Marconi on the ground, although he managed to humanely subdue her and place her in handcuffs. Officer Marconi called the incident into Communications and placed the suspect in his cruiser. He then gathered the clothing items dropped by the suspect along the side of the road. He noticed the items had price tags displaying the name of the retailer who reported the initial incident to law enforcement. During transport, Jones yelled and became very agitated.
When she arrived at the police department, Jones was very upset. She tried to hurt herself by banging her head on the desk as the officer tried to interview her about the alleged larceny report. It was clear to Officer Marconi that Jones was under the influence of drugs, so he discontinued the interview process. Marconi requested emergency medical services, and Jones was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Here’s What You Need To Do . . .
After carefully reviewing the case details, prepare a 2- to 3-page report assessing whether the procedures (both legal and ethical) were followed appropriately. Use the Argosy University Online Library resources to find articles that support your assessment. You may also use your textbook. Your report should address the following:
Select one of the crimes Jones has been previously charged with (e.g., public drunkenness, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, felony larceny, or prostitution).
What type of crime is it (misdemeanor or felony)?
How is this crime defined in the state in which you live?
How might societal factors have influenced this suspect’s crimes?
Analyze how the purpose of government and the social contract might protect the rights (e.g., safety and security) of the suspect in this case.
Compare the various roles Officer Marconi must play in this case. Consider that Marconi must enforce the law and protect the suspect from harm at the same time.
Analyze how a law enforcement officer’s actions might be influenced if he or she is arresting an “unsympathetic suspect or victim,” specifically a suspect or victim who the officer has arrested before or who engages in a high-risk lifestyle, such as substance abuse, drug dealing, or prostitution. Justify whether Officer Marconi acted accordingly.
How might the criminal justice professional maintain ethical standards when working with diverse populations?
Once charged, what rights does the defendant, Jones, have?