Police misconduct has become a significant issue in the criminal justice system. Cases of authorities who have violated human rights have been experienced in various areas. Although police encounter challenges in their activities when dealing with violent criminals, they should focus on law enforcement ethics. Many individuals have claimed that authorities have trivialized the aspect of fairness and equity in their line of duty. For instance, racial discrimination is one of the issues that have been emphasized when analyzing police misconduct. One of the cases associated with police misconduct involved the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Different articles have investigated the case, and individuals can use the information provided to acquire information regarding how authorities abuse their power.
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The Case of George Floyd and how it Relates to Abuse of Power in Policing
The criminal justice system has developed various approaches that guarantee that police can be held accountable for their misconduct. For instance, civil rights were to protect all individuals from experiencing discrimination. Authorities who exercise any form of discrimination and violation of human rights can be sued and charged. For instance, Floyd’s case shows that the officers were accountable for their misconduct (Hill et al., 2021). Therefore, authorities can be responsible for any actions that violate the rules and regulations legislated by the government.
The case I have chosen to discuss involves Floyd, who died on 25 may 2020 after being assaulted by the authorities. The case is one of the most recent ones involving police brutality in the United States. Moreover, Floyd’s case led to the Black Lives Matter protests, creating awareness of police misconduct globally (Tjihenuna, 2021). Many people learned about the different challenges civilians encounter when engaging with police. Furthermore, people in several areas shared their experiences involving police misconduct during policing activities, such as stop and frisk and interrogation. Therefore, I selected Floyd’s case since it is one of the most recognized issues involving abuse of power in law enforcement.
The officers involved were Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane. The authorities have faced charges and were fired after Floyd’s death. On May 29, the Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, announced third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against Chauvin (Tjihenuna, 2021). However, the orders against Chauvin were upgraded to second-degree murder on June 3. The other police officers were also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Although trials of Chauvin are still in progress, and the verdict has not been made. He might be held accountable for Floyd’s death since footage has revealed that the officer misused his powers (Hill et al., 2021). Keng, Lane, and Thao were released on bail since they violated the policies implemented to protect human rights. Police misconduct was used as a factor that led to the charges of the three officers. Chauvin may also face hefty charges and imprisonment if found guilty.
To conclude, abuse of power is a significant issue that has been experienced in many states. For instance, police brutality is a type of misconduct that should be eradicated at all costs. Individuals have lost their lives due to abuse of power by police. For instance, Floyd’s case has been used to show that police misconduct in the United States is a challenge in the criminal justice system. Training should be exercised to ensure that police have adequate skills to conduct various policing activities without abusing power. Thus, ways of preventing misconduct in law enforcement should be practiced in multiple countries.
Hill, E., Tiefenthäler, A., Triebert, C., Jordan, D., Willis, H., & Stein, R. (2021, March). How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody. The New York Times, 1-2. Web.
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Tjihenuna, G. U. (2021). Casting the George Floyd story in a broader context. The Thinker, 86(1). Web.