Persuasive Essay On Police Discretion

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On a large scale, police officers have been accorded the legitimacy to exercise their own free will while making decisions about their line of work. Police discretion can be described as responsibility bestowed to a police officer mandating them to make an individual choice regarding the best course of action that can be taken when exercising their duties. To some extent, this has been viewed as being favourable when police officers are on duty, but in the event that this happens, then it is arguable whether this discretion can result in misdemeanours. This paper attempts to elaborate on the debate whether police discretion is good or bad and the image that it portrays on police officers in case this position is violated. In light of this,…show more content…
One particular occasion that comes to mind is the beating of a citizen in 1991 named Rodney King. This situation received many views and outcry from the public. A video was taken showing Rodney King being brutally beaten by three police officers. Before this, Rodney King had been seen speeding, and despite being told on numerous occasions to pull over, the suspect had decided to lead the police on a chase of which he eventually lost. Upon apprehending him, he was pulled out of the car and hit 51 times by the police officers causing numerous bone fractures as well as brain and kidney damage. This incident was revealed in footage and the immediate perception of the public was police brutality. The aftermath of this occasion was characterized by riots and destruction of property as people protested against this brutality. However, had the police apprehended Rodney King and rightfully taken him into custody without inflicting pain as was the right procedure, such chaos would not have been experienced (Young, 2011). This is a clear indication of uncontrolled police discretion. Also, two officers were charged with the use of excessive force, which further affirms the abuse of discretion accorded to the…show more content…
This is because this power gives the police the rights to take away an individual’s right as was the case with Rodney King. Nonetheless, due process mandates that police departments should structure discretion in such a way that there is avoidance of unnecessary arbitrariness in the decision-making processes. As such, unguided discretionary power will violate due process in the event that there is no adherence to these requirements (Dempsey & Forst, 2016). Therefore, it is essential that law enforcement agencies guide the police enforcement by use of rules and guidelines as is the judicial requirement. Conclusively, it would be worthwhile that police discretion is reigned

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