When Escarsega was taken to police headquarters for booking, he had bruises on his face. A watch commander asked if he wanted to file a complaint. After a discussion with one of the arresting officers -- Canales -- he decided not to. Police said he had banged his face on the edge of a kitchen counter when he dropped to the floor as ordered
During an 18-month period between 1996 and the end of 1997: the National Inspectorate reported that R675 700 worth of items were stolen from Johannesburg Central police station, including nine vehicles, 70 fire extinguishers, 21 police radios and R100 000 in cash; a Soweto police station reported 124 case dockets as stolen or missing. Figures released in 1999 suggest that a police officer is three times more likely to commit certain categories of crime than an average citizen given the proportion of police charged with offenses.Figures released from the SAPS National Anti-Corruption Unit reveal that the number of police members under investigation for corruption increased constantly from 2197 during 1996 to 4374 during 1999, and the number of police members arrested and charged with corruption related activities by this unit alone almost doubled from 475 during 1998 to 844 during 1999.
Corruption along the U.S.-Mexican border takes many forms. It can start as simply as a smuggler's $50 gift to the child of a reluctant federal agent, quickly escalating to out-and-out bribes. "Everyone does it," the agent, now in prison, recalls telling himself. Other times, county sheriffs greedily grab thousands from drug dealers, traffickers even place members in the applicant pool for sensitive border protection jobs.
Federal prosecutors are scrutinizing several cases involving use of force against suspects and have subpoenaed the department's files relating to two cases. In both, booking photos show bruised or bloody suspects, but the arrest reports provide explanations for the injuries. Investigators are trying to determine whether improper force was used and whether the arrest reports were falsified, according to the sources
The possibility exists that no matter how conscientious they are and how thoroughly they do their jobs, first- and second-level commanders cannot keep an officer inclined to act unethically from doing so. The ratio of officers to supervisors is too high to allow for close enough oversight. However, in police work, leadership is not solely defined by rank, instead all officers need to exude some leadership skills because they operate, for the most part, without direct supervision.
Besides time and expense, a significant hurdle to success is found in the legal protections that police enjoy. Since the late twentieth century, many court decisions have expanded the powers of police to perform routine stops and searches. Plaintiffs generally must prove willful or unlawful conduct on the part of police; showing mere negligence or other failure of due care by police officers often does not suffice in court.
Essentially, police corruption falls into two major categories-- external corruption which concerns police contacts with the public, and internal corruption, which involves the relationships among policemen within the works of the police department.
Research into police corruption offers some understanding of the phenomenon in the hope of rooting out this behavior that serves to undermine the overall legitimacy of law enforcement. Theories on the role of society in law enforcement, the negative influence of an officer's department, and a person's own natural tendency to engage in unethical behavior have been offered as explanations of police corruption.
For a corrupt act to occur, three distinct elements of police corruption must be present simultaneously: 1) misuse of authority, 2) misuse of official capacity, and 3) misuse of personal attainment. (Dantzker, 1995: p 157) It can be said that power inevitably tends to corrupt, and it is yet to be recognized that, while there is no reason to suppose that policemen as individuals are any less fallible than other members of society, people are often shocked and outraged when policemen are exposed violating the law.
The notion of "noble-cause corruption," that is, illegal actions undertaken to achieve laudable ends, is a contradiction in terms in relation to the narrow definition. Noble misbehavior by police refers to actions undertaken on the presumption that they achieve a larger social good, such as the extrajudicial killing of vicious criminals or dropping of malicious prosecutions.
Misconduct is "procedural" when it refers to police who violate police department rules and regulations; "criminal" when it refers to police who violate state and federal laws; "unconstitutional" when it refers to police who violate a citizen's civil rights; or any combination thereof. Common forms of misconduct are excessive use of physical or deadly force, discriminatory arrest, physical or verbal harassment, and selective enforcement of the law.
Corruption can also become endemic in certain police units where the environment of certain tasks can leave police specifically susceptible to corruption. Units dealing with such crimes as drugs and illegal aliens are particularly susceptible to endemic corruption. Manning and Redlinger (1979) highlight how police members working in such areas often find themselves on the 'invitational edge of corruption' because these crime types are usually secretive in nature, extremely difficult to regulate, seemingly endless in occurrence and large sums of cash may be available to the corrupt officer.
To reduce police corruption, the commissions recommend creating external oversight over the police with a special focus on integrity, improving recruitment and training, leadership from supervisors of all ranks about integrity, holding all commanders responsible for the misbehavior of subordinates, and changing the organization's culture to tolerate misbehavior less