Essay The Law And The Legal System Of The United States

Essay The Law And The Legal System Of The United States

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In light of recent events and a history of tensions between the police and the public, this research focuses on the ways in which the law and the legal system in the United States functions to protect the public against police violence and misconduct. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution delegates to the states the power to enact measures to “preserve and protect the safety, health, welfare, and moral of the community.” West 's Encyclopedia of American Law, continues to describe police power “as the basic right of governments to make laws and regulations for the benefit of their communities. Under the system of government in the United States, only states have the right to make laws based on their police power. The lawmaking power of the federal government is limited to the specific grants of power found in the Constitution.” The purposeful vagueness of police powers and police accountability in the Constitution has been followed by amendments, statutes and regulations passed in order to hold police and police departments accountable to the law and the public. The amendments added to our constitution were created to protect against the misconduct of a state apparatus, and with each specific case brought forth, we have built laws describing what the police can and cannot do. They have shown they do not and will not to our expectations without rules in place. The problem we run into is that there are more incidents of police misconduct than there are cases or case law available. We find that there is not an efficient method to keep every part of law enforcement agencies accountable. The amendments and applicable case law generated from a need to protect citizens events of police misconduct are usually followed by federal act...

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...hat are settled behind closed doors obscure our perception of the police by denying the public the facts of cases of crimes against their community by police officers. Furthermore, taxpayers in some cities pay up to three different fees for officers to first repeatedly commit abuses, to cover their salary while they commit the abuses, next to pay settlements or civil jury awards, and finally through payments into police defense funds to protect the community from misconduct. It is important to note that these funds are not taken from the police budget but from general city funds so every time there is a civil suit against police misconduct, the public pays the price. Imagine if every instance of police violence was brought through the legal system how much more money would be wasted, compared to the small fraction of cases of misconduct that are reported today.

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