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Video projects/Use of force/NYPD Eric Garner/Eric Garner.mp4 /Use of force/Ferguson/Officer Wilson Brown shooting.mp4 /Use of Force/Ferguson/Michael Brown.mp4.

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Presentation on theme: "Video projects/Use of force/NYPD Eric Garner/Eric Garner.mp4 /Use of force/Ferguson/Officer Wilson Brown shooting.mp4 /Use of Force/Ferguson/Michael Brown.mp4."— Presentation transcript:

1 Video projects/Use of force/NYPD Eric Garner/Eric Garner.mp4 /Use of force/Ferguson/Officer Wilson Brown shooting.mp4 /Use of Force/Ferguson/Michael Brown.mp4 /Wrongful arrest, conviction/Amy Yates.wmv /Use of force/BART shooting.wmv /Use of Force/SBSO shooting/Airman shooting.wmv & SBSO shooting ptII.wmv /Use of force/SBSO shooting/SBSO Shooting fragment xxx up.wav /Use of force/SBSO shooting/SBSO Shooting fragment first xxx up.wav /Use of force/SBSO shooting/SBSO Shooting fragment first xxx up SLOW.wav /Use of force/BART news clip.wmv

2  New York City, July 17, 2014: NYPD plainclothes officers confronted Eric Garner, 43, peddling untaxed cigarettes. Garner, a petty, chronic violator, told the cops to go away, then resisted arrest. An officer applied a chokehold to help take Garner to the ground. Garner complained that he couldn’t breathe. He then died. A State grand jury refused to indict the officer.  Ferguson, Missouri, August 9, 2014: Michael Brown, 18, stole a box of cigars from a store and strong-armed the clerk. A police officer soon encountered Brown walking down the middle of a road. Brown apparently reached into the police car and a struggle ensued, with the police officer firing at least once while in the car. The officer then stepped out of the car and fired several more times when Brown, who was unarmed, allegedly charged him. Brown’s death led to several days of looting and arson.

3  Discretion, while important, can allow prejudice to infect officer decisions  Discrimination may keep citizens from receiving adequate services, or may result in unfair targeting  Civil rights complaints against police are most frequent in minority areas  Black citizens report less confidence in the police and more unfair and abusive treatment than Hispanics.  Some states have used immigration laws in unexpected ways. In 2010 Arizona enacted a State law (since overturned in Federal court) requiring that police detain and check the status of suspected illegal immigrants.  Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has defended profiling (paying special attention to) Hispanics as a way of combatting crime caused by persons illegally in the U.S. Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio  Law generally allows using race as one (but not the only) component in making decisions to stop and detain

4  Lying is an essential tool in policing, and particularly in undercover work  Barker and Carter’s typology of lying  Accepted lies, such as used in undercover work. Must further an accepted purpose, must help accomplish the purpose, and must better serve the public interest than telling the truth.  Tolerated lies, such as lying to suspects or threatening to arrest troublemakers  Deviant lies, such as lying on reports or in court, or to cover up wrongdoing.

5 Opportunity Structure AuthenticUnauthentic Targeting Focused Diffused  Targeting: Are targets preselected?  Focused: Informer-initiated undercover buys  Diffused: Street crime decoys  Opportunity Structure: Frame or “context” of undercover setting  Physical setting  Props  Offers of gain  Undercover officer appearance and behavior  “From morals to practice: dilemmas of control in undercover policing” “From morals to practice: dilemmas of control in undercover policing”

6  Informants are persons who actively help police investigate crimes  Provide crucial “insider” information  Introduce undercover agents  Participate in undercover contacts  Some issues: ▪ Coercing persons to become informants ▪ Getting personally or criminally involved with informants ▪ Engaging in unethical or illegal behaviors on an informant’s behalf ▪ Overestimating the truth or accuracy of what informants say ▪ Overlooking informant’s behavior or criminal history ▪ Allowing or encouraging informants to entrap suspects

7  An innocent person is “entrapped” when they are encouraged or enticed to commit a crime by police  Two legal “tests” for entrapment:  Subjective test (in current use): Evaluates suspect’s background and predisposition to commit a crime. Dates back to U.S. v. Russell (1975).U.S. v. Russell ▪ Currently, persons who are “predisposed” cannot claim entrapment  Objective test (not currently used): Determines whether police officers provided an essential element of the crime (e.g., furnished an ingredient to make illegal drugs.)  Utilitarian ethics are normally used to evaluate undercover operations. Some issues include:  Seriousness of offense  Alternatives to using deception  Is a target on notice that their behavior would be illegal?  Would the crime have otherwise occurred?

8  Techniques of persuasion  Downplaying the seriousness of a crime  Minimizing evidence in hand  Creating a relaxed setting (e.g., implying that Miranda is a formality)  Making excessive promises of leniency  Fabricating evidence (e.g., fictional fingerprints)  “Father confessor” - lending a sympathetic ear  “Good cop-bad cop”  False confessions  Legal tests ▪ Voluntariness - was police conduct likely to get a false confession? ▪ “Shock the conscience” - outrageous police conduct that requires suppressing evidence  Youths and mentally handicapped particularly susceptible to pressure  Innocents may falsely confess to avoid harsh sentences

9  Use of force ranges from grabbing and handcuffing, to pointing a gun, to actually using a weapon such as a club or gun.  A Bureau of Justice Statistics study revealed that 776,000 persons reported at least one police use of force in 2008. This was 1.9 percent of the 40 million persons with whom police had face-to-face contact in that year (16.9% of the population.)Bureau of Justice Statistics study  A majority of uses of force involved “grabbing and holding.”  Police displayed firearms in about one out of every four uses of force.  Males, blacks and younger persons were more likely to have a contact with police that resulted in the use of force.  Pursuits and other chases frequently lead to use of force.  “Reasonableness”: Claims of excessive force are evaluated using the “reasonableness” standard of the Fourth Amendment. According to the Supreme Court, the proper perspective is that of a “reasonable” officer at the scene (Graham v. Connor, 1989).Graham v. Connor, 1989  A small number of officers are reportedly responsible for a disproportionate number of uses of force. Their characteristics may include cynicism, lack of empathy, strong identification with the police subculture, and a tendency to deflect responsibility.


11  On January 1, 2009 BART officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, shot and killed a 22-year old man who was being held down by several officers following a brawl on a BART train. The man was refusing to place his arms behind his back so that he could be handcuffed.  The shooting, which was captured by a bystander’s cellphone camera, seemed otherwise unprovoked. For reasons that remain in dispute, Mehserle stood, drew his gun and fired once into the victim’s back.  The shooting stirred strong emotions in Oakland and led to demonstrations and several nights of disturbances.  Mehserle resigned from the force. On January 14, 2009 he was arrested in Nevada on a murder warrant. He waived extradition and was returned to California. According to the Alameda County D.A., murder charges were filed because the killing was unlawful and done purposefully.  At his trial Mehserle testified that he accidentally drew his pistol instead of his Taser (it had been recently issued.) He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served one year.

12  On January 29, 2005 a 21-year old passenger was shot by a SBSO deputy after the vehicle he was in, which was being chased for speeding, crashed during a pursuit.  Witnesses say that a deputy ordered Elio Carrion, 21, an Air Force security officer, to the ground and that Carrion complied. There is confusion about what happened later, but a grainy videotape made by an onlooker suggests that Carrion was told to get up. When he did so, the deputy fired, striking Carrion three times.  Carrion recovered from his wounds. The videotape recorded Carrion’s pre-shooting comments that he was “on the deputy’s side,” expletives shouted by the deputy at the driver, and Carrion’s protests after being shot that he had complied with the deputy.  The Corvette’s operator had an extensive driving record. Neither he nor Carrion were armed or wanted.  The officer, Deputy Ivory Webb, was tried for attempted voluntary manslaughter. He was acquitted. During trial an expert defense witness gave examples of officers behaving oddly during a crisis: “Their analytical process began to collapse. They had so much to do that, literally, they were overloaded.” expert defense witness Your task: using materials from the book and class discussion, explain why an innocent man was shot

13  Separately for each example, explain why the officer used deadly force. What may have been going through the officer’s mind?  Explain why one officer was convicted, and the other was acquitted.

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