Strugglefor Police Accountability: LegalAnalysis
Strugglefor Police Accountability: LegalAnalysis
Innearly every state across the United States, the citizens lostresources to settle charges filed against them by the police. Theofficers themselves were unaccountable for their actions due toprotection by the law. Taxpayers paid out enormous sums of money tocover damages that resulted from officers being incompetent (Walker,2012).The American citizens were even more provoked because they could notstand their tax funds being used to pay the unlawful cops. Thepublic, led by the city officials, did not have the authority to holdthe police responsible for their conducts (Mackey,2013).Therefore, it was necessary for the advocates of policeaccountability to use the concept of legal framing to ensure that theclaims were approved as worthy of court presiding. The paper focuseson the legal issues of police accountability, particularly theclaiming aspect of disputing.
Howthe Conflict Was Legally Framed
Tobegin, the conflict of police accountability was legitimately framedthrough amendments and revisions to the city charters. In this case,the first law that was contested was self-indemnify for policeprivileges. This was an important face because the police were theonly individuals who seemed to enjoy special treatment while othercitizens solely depended on the League of Cities for protection.During the early phases of the conflict, most states were unable toparticipate in proper strategies to manage risks. They feared that itcould lead them to political problems due to the strengthened policelobby groups and unions. This was another reason that contributed thepolice being hardly held responsible for their deeds. The second lawthat the conflict campaigners contested was an individual’s rightto fair remuneration. The ruling would ultimately lead to theestablishment of professional responsibility insurance cover in thepolice force (Mackey,2013).Even though the call for the police to have professionalaccountability insurance was an exceptional strategy for riskmanagement in the drive for their responsibility, the cityadministrations could be seen as violating their individualconstitutional privileges.
Therefore,the framing shifted the social issues being contested by making thegovernment to admit that the conflict could actually lead to therestoration of general trust between the police and the people. Inother words, the claim was of significant value in rebuilding thepublic’s confidence in police conducted investigations. Commissions including the Knapp were relevant in reinforcing theframing and facilitating amendments in law enforcement groups. Inaddition, oversight organizations and civilian review boards werevital as avenues for enabling police accountability (Walker,2012).The civilian review boards played a vital role in focusing onspecific complaints as well as broader community problems thatresulted from officer misconduct.
TheSupreme Court found out that the police were actually violating theFourth Amendment rule against arbitrary seizures and searches. Atfirst, it was a demanding task for the courts to provide a way due tothe widespread prosecutorial biases in probing police-linked deaths.However, after the involvement of the state legislatures, there wasemergence of hope. To check further loss of public faith, stateassemblies were left with the role of investigating and prosecutingpolice-related deaths. In turn, this duty was given to independentagencies and it saw various states building other structures thatwould as well probe police-initiated deaths (Walker,2012).
Furthermore,several states formed independent bodies to help in investigatingpotential criminal behaviors by police officers. For example, therewas the formation of Special Investigations Unit in Ontario. It was acitizen law implementation organ with the authority to examinecriminal claims against police and events leading to serious bodilyinjury or deaths. The independent bodies of investigation had toexhibit common features to be operational and believable. Thisincluded the ability to inspect possible criminal offense by policeand to come up with ways of tribunals that were approved by specialprosecuting attorneys. Also, the self-regulated investigativeagencies had to be honest and independent from other policyenforcement agencies. In this view, they had to be provided withadequate budgets and the power to influence orders and warrant forsearch. The characteristics of the independent bodies had to portraythe standard requirements for investigative and trial agencies(Walker,2012).In case of any difficulties, the legislature was in place to assist.Such professed challenges included dealing with disrespectful lawenforcement officers who would otherwise be transferred of laid-off.
Therewas the decision that the police officers had to face insurancerelated punishments just the same way it happens to incompetentmedical practitioners and lawyers. This was the drive forprofessional accountability insurance. It was seen as the bestapproach to reducing risks associated with police misconduct (Walker,2012).The civil society believed that if city officials were not in aposition to hold the law enforcement officers answerable for theiraccountable for their deeds, the indemnity companies would do so byintroducing large charges against police misconduct.
TheBasis Law to the Conflict
Theframing centered on constitutional and civil rights laws. These werethe directives of the U.S. Supreme Courts. The laws required that thepolice had to respect the civil rights of the individual suspects andallow them to communicate with their attorneys regarding every eventprior to questioning. However, the legal question regarding theconflict was if there was a more effective approach to examine theconducts of officers while still defending the rights of their dueprocess.
Asa result, it was important to review the Section 7.3(a) of the policeservice. After the assessment it was decided that each individualemployed in the force must be qualified as the law required. Suchofficers must then be allowed to exercise only lawful powers sincethey are peace keepers. In addition, every police official must ownprofessional accountability coverage and service the insurance allthrough the course of service (Mackey,2013). Thecover must be the primary protection for officers for their actions.One major finding in this regard was that it may become impossiblefor the city to insure police officials against expensive chargesunless their insurance is depleted.
Unfortunately,the battle for police accountability only led to a temporary declinein unaccountability by the police. The law enforcement officers havelately resumed their unlawfulness and this is commonly expressed bybrutality and shootings. The present-day style of interrogations isalso a prove that the police have not been disciplined from theiracts against the public (Walker,2012).
Conclusively,the journey for police accountability has a long history and it isone that led to the formation of independent bodies to help in tamingthe lawless officers. Among some of the major court rulings regardingthis conflict included the need for introducing police accountabilityinsurance covers as a way of checking their conducts. However, thebattle has not been a complete success considering the currentprevalence of police involved shootings.
Mackey,C. (2013). Hudson v. Michigan and the Ongoing Struggle forAccountability in Law Enforcement Institutions. Alb.Gov`t L. Rev., 6,606.
Walker,S. (2012). Institutionalizing police accountability reforms: Theproblem of making police reforms endure. .Louis U. Pub. L. Rev., 32,57.