The Problem of Police Corruption

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Illinois and most notably Chicago are best known for their corrupt public officials. From the days of Cermak and the Daley political machine, corruption has become second nature to these “public servants”. From rigging elections to accepting ‘dirty’ donations to the alderman’s campaigns, corruption can be found from the very top of the political layer, down to the lowest government position. Those involved in the corruption have benefited greatly from their dirty deeds. Public residents aren’t directly aware of this corruption since they aren’t public officials, but most can attest to corruption when it involves the local police officers and the exploitation of the public. Although corruption has a basic generic definition, it is altered to fit the circumstance to which it is applied. Political corruption could be totally different than police corruption and for that, there must be a universal legal definition of police corruption. According to the Legal Dictionary, “Police corruption is the abuse of police authority for personal gain. Corruption may involve profit or another type of material benefit gained illegally as a consequence of the officer's authority. Typical forms of corruption include bribery, extortion, receiving or fencing stolen goods, and selling drugs. The term also refers to patterns of misconduct within a given police department or special unit, particularly where offenses are repeated with the acquiescence of superiors or through other ongoing failure to correct them,” (Law Library). The different forms of corruption can vary from moderate to severe depending on the nature of the corrupt officer to the person they are exploiting. A more moderate form of bribery would be a police officer accepting money in... ... middle of paper ... ...osed, citizens become untrusting of legal authority and the credibility of the department is compromised. Investigations are questioned as to whether or not they have been tainted by officers either covering up certain illegal activities or the means of retrieving a confession from a suspect. Works Cited Hollist, D. R. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2011, from The University of Montana: http://www.umt.edu/sociology/faculty_staff/hollist/documents/Soc332_Lecture14_CorruptioninAmericanPolcing.pdf Law Library. (n.d.). Retrieved July 12, 2011, from Law Library - American Law and Legal Information: Police Corruption and Misconduct - History, Contemporary Problems, Further Readings Sherman, L. (2007). An Introduction to Policing. Wadsworth Publishing; 4 edition (March 14, 2007).
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