Who is affected by unethical police officers and how?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Many people are affected by unethical police officers. The effects of their unethical behavior can differ depending on how exactly they are unethical. Let us look at some of the groups that are affected and the ways in which they are.

When officers’ unethical behavior consists of police violence or excessive force, the first group affected is the group of people against whom this violence is carried out.  These people are physically affected by the unethical behavior.  A second group affected by this type of behavior is the larger communities whose members are most likely to be treated in an unethical manner.  The clearest example of this today is the way in which African American communities have been affected by excessive violence against black youths by police officers.

Police officers in general are also affected by unethical officers.  They are affected regardless of whether the unethical behavior has to do with excessive force, corruption, or anything else.  When a few police officers act in unethical ways, it makes the entire community of police officers look bad.  All of the police officers who act in ethical ways at all (or practically all) times are tarred with the same brush as the officers who are more chronically unethical.

Thus, we can see that at least three groups of people can be significantly affected by unethical police behavior.

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