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Conflict of Rights and Keeping Order

NCJ Number
Criminology & Public Policy Volume: 2 Issue: 1 Dated: November 2002 Pages: 155-160
Paul G. Chevigny
Date Published
November 2002
6 pages
This paper discusses the consequences of police misconduct.
The author explains that there is a widely held belief that police must occasionally bend the law in order to protect citizens from crime. This belief is held, and accepted, by the police and the public alike. However, the author puts forth the argument that this belief is detrimental to the effective operation of the American police force. The author sites instances in other countries, such as Mexico, where police are distrusted because of their own lawbreaking and corrupt behavior. He contends that police use of excessive force and invasions of privacy will only weaken the police force and breed mistrust and contempt for police among the American public. He further notes, however, that invasions of privacy are often made when the issue becomes one of safety versus control. References