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Police Authority: Abused or Misused

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CRITICAL READING
CRITICAL READING
Police Authority Abused or Misused
Giovanni Russo
Section 155.Betty Anne.Word Count: 2184
Police Authority Abused or Misused
Giovanni Russo
Section 155.Betty Anne.Word Count: 2184
08
Fall
08
Fall

Table of Contents Introduction 3 New York City 4 Police Dash Cams 5 Reported Abuse 6 Power Hungry Positions 7 Edward Krawetz 8 The Extent They Can Abuse Their Power With Out Any Consequences 8 References 9

Introduction
Every year there are numerous occurrences of police brutality. Many, if not all of these occurrences have been noted and in some instances videotaped by innocent bystanders or the cameras placed on police vehicles. In many of these cases a settlement is agreed upon and the officers involved are let free and put back to work. In April of 2012 a man was brutally attacked because police had figured he was spray painting (Defranco, 2012). The innocent man, Dan Halsted, was only walking home. The lawyer involved tried to use Halsted’s house collection of kung-fu movies against him. The courts realized this was a ridiculous claim which led to a $250,000 settlement between the two parties This is great, however the police officers involved where immediately put back on duty. The duties of a police officer are to “serve and protect”, not attack and abuse. How many times has a police car pulled up behind you? What are your feelings? Are you nervous? Do you care? Do you feel protected? Personally, I feel nervous when a cop car pulls up behind me, but why? I have a clean record and I have never been in trouble with the law. The only information they may find on my record are a few speeding tickets. I know for a fact that I am not the only individual who feels this way, many people have agreed. People feel this way because they are aware of police brutality and the power police have. Don’t get me wrong I have met many nice police officers but ultimately there are far too many that abuse their powers. It seems today that the police possess a power hungry attitude and the second they can use their power they happen to abuse it. A recent run-in with police officers has got me questioning the extent they can abuse their power with out any consequences. I believe that police officers have no limitations and are able to get away with the worse of actions not even imaginable to mankind.

About a month ago I was almost hit by a drunk driver. I immediately phoned the police to report this driver. When I had phoned the police the drunk driver was up on top of a snow bank on the opposite side of traffic. The officer on the phone was not cooperating with me. He kept suggesting that I was drunk and did not know what I was talking about. He said this because he could not find my location on the GPS. His technical difficulties lead him to believe that I was A) Drunk (he kept suggesting that I was) or B) Prank calling. I became very frustrated with the officer so I hung up the phone and left. Now don’t get me wrong, this situation is nowhere near the severity of others. However, the officer I was speaking with was very rude and impolite. I feel that his power went to his head and made him believe that I did not know what I was talking about.

New York City
Since 2007, NYC claims filed and the amounts of settlements have risen. These settlements are results from improper police conduct, false arrest or imprisonment, shooting a suspect, excessive force or assault, or failure to provide protection.
See graph on next page

Figure A. Picture of Police Claims in New York. Adapted from “NYC To Step Up Defense Of Police Misconduct Cases” by Zalman Schnurman & Miner P.C, 2013, http://www.1800lawline.com/blog/

Figure A. Picture of Police Claims in New York. Adapted from “NYC To Step Up Defense Of Police Misconduct Cases” by Zalman Schnurman & Miner P.C, 2013, http://www.1800lawline.com/blog/

Settlements are given because the courts found that one of the parties involved where at a wrong. The parties that are at a wrong in these instances are the police. From 2007 the number of settlements has risen from $25.5 million to $59.6 million. This graph clearly shows that police brutality is only rising, well in NYC anyways. Settlements are great because it shows there is some kind of punishment for brutality. However, these settlements do not punish the officers involved. The officers involved are not charged; they get away with their actions and are put back in the police force.

Police Dash Cams
Police have video surveillance cameras on the dash of their cars to record everything they encounter in a days work. I would imagine that these videos are reported to some level of authority in which they are analyzed and carefully edited. I imagine this because often times in a police video you see the arrest; you rarely see the actions before the police video. (Wright, 2012). On November 6, 2010 an arrest was recorded from a police dash cam. The officer’s name is Brad Richardson. The video begins at the beginning of the arrest. It leaves a large amount of video before the arrest out. The suspects involved claimed that they where brutalized in the missing portion of the video. Also, the microphone on the officer’s uniform recorded him telling the suspects “Yeah, I'm going to make stuff up" (Wright, 2012). The suspects involved where filed to have a relation with a robbery that took place in the area. When each suspect was screened, no criminal record was found. On top of this, Seattle P.D reported that officer Richardson did nothing wrong. The police department never released the remaining video. KOMO news had sued the police department for violating the Public Records Act (Wright, 2012). Why wouldn’t the police department release the video? What would they have to hide? It is reported that tens of thousands of hours from police dash cams have gone missing (Wright, 2012). What exactly went missing? How do police officials repeatedly get away with these actions? I can only imagine how many missing hours of tape there are around the world.

Reported Abuse
In several cases the police officer or officers involved in the brutality are not charged. There are few cases where police officials are charged. In 1991 Rodney King was tasered and beaten from four LAPD officers. From this incident only two of these officials where found guilty even though all four took part of the crime (Zabrina, 2012). There are ten famous cases of police brutality, the Rodney King case is the only one where police officials where charged. These cases are “famous” because media took their power and used it appropriately and properly unlike police officers. Another famous case took place during a friendly game of pool. A man accidently bumped into a girl, which at most would lead to a slap in the face. However, police officers felt differently. The man was brutally beaten and tasered multiple times by four different officials (Zabrina, 2012). One of the officers that were involved has been charged six times previous to this incident. He was charged again, but some how he still makes his way back on the streets as a police officer. What is the difference from a man getting jumped and brutality beat from four random people. The difference is none of them are a member of the law. Therefore, it is unacceptable. This incident was video taped from an innocent bystander and leaked onto the Internet. If there were no video this case would have never been an issue. I could imagine a settlement at best like previous cases.

Power Hungry Positions
Recent research reports state police officers are amongst the top in power hungry jobs (Michael, 2013). Below the police are jobs such as, bouncers, parking inspectors, and airport security. In the report an organizational psychologist Peter Langford states "It's always satisfying to have some level of influence and impact on the world - those people are just after that type of thing a bit more" (Michael, 2013). That little bit more is defining the abuse of power. He also stated that people who are more "self focused" than "other focused" (Michael, 2013) are the ones who are attracted the most to these power hungry jobs. In my point of view police officers are suppose to be more other focused than self focused. I also understand that there are certain precautions a police officer needs to take in order to make sure of the situation. However, beating on a man after he is hand cuffed or shooting a man in the back after he is handcuffed is unacceptable (Zabrina, 2012). Each and every citizen has the right to courts no matter what their actions. I know in some cases and places around the world a death penalty is granted (Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland) but the courts decide these actions not police officers.
Edward Krawetz
With social media exploding in today’s society, it is almost impossible to miss any major events. I came across an image on www.facebook.com. I couldn’t help but ignore this image as it relates perfectly to my argument. The image I found gave me the officers name which than led me to actual footage of what had happened. Back in 2009 a police officer; Edward Krawetz deliberately kicked a handcuffed woman in the side of the head. The blow to her head knocked her unconscious (Live Leak, 2012). In March of 2012 the Officer was given a 10 year suspended sentence with probation. Edward Krawetz was found guilty of a felony but received no jail time. He had another hearing in August that will be trying to get his job back (Roquemore, 2012). Edward was absent for both hearings that took place in August and he later resigned from the police force. During his time of probation he still received health benefits and other benefits that went along with his job (Snopes, 2012). Officer Krawetz was convicted and sentenced for ten years. All ten years were suspended and Krawetz never served the ten years. (Snopes, 2012). I decided to discuss Edward Krawetz because he is a perfect example on how police officers get away with their actions. Even after Krawetz resigned from the department there were no charges.

The Extent They Can Abuse Their Power With Out Any Consequences
Through my research I think I have proven that police officers can do the unimaginable and not be charged. In almost every case presented in my report not one cop was charged jail time, other than the two cops involved in the Rodney King incident. Which than answers my question, to what extent can police officers abuse their power and not receive any form of consequences? I believe cops can literally do anything and get away with their actions. I briefly explained on page six that a man was handcuffed and shot in the back from police officers (Zabrina, 2012). The officers involved in these actions where not charged with any jail time or any consequence what so ever. I could imagine a police officer being in a gunfight and shooting someone. But shooting a man in the back after he is handcuffed is unimaginable. There is no threat from the victim in this instance. There is no excuse for these actions. And to find that the police are not penalized or punished for their actions is ridiculous. I also showed how settlements are rising in cases of excessive force or assault. Once again, settlements are money granted to the victims involved in these cases. The money is not taken from the officer involved, the money is taken from court costs. In other words the money is taken from the city. What does this say to police officers? Well it tells them they can literally do anything and not even be charged a penny, let alone a month in jail. My findings support my argument and prove that almost all police officers are granted freedom after breaking the rules “to serve and protect”.

References
Andrew S. Doctoroff, J. H. (1986, December 28). Psychologist Helps Police Screen Recruits : Consultant Keeps the Power Hungry, or Meek, Away From the Badge. Retrieved 2013, from http://articles.latimes.com/1986-12-28/news/hl-684_1_psychological-screening

Defranco, P. (2012, April 30). Police taze and brutalize innocent man, blame it on kung-fu movies . Retrieved March 30 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NkkewThejk

Live Leak. (2012, September 12). Edward Krawetz - Police Brutality: Rhode Island Police Officer Retrieved, 2013, from www.liveleak.com: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e13_1346655783

Michael, S. (2013, Febuary 25). Power Hungry? These are the six jobs for you . Retrieved March 2013, from http://www.news.com.au/business/your-business/jobs-that-make-you-powerful-but-not-rich/story-fn9evb64-1226585194863

New York Times. (1995, Apirl 22). The cost of police brutality . Retrieved March 2013, from http://go.galegroup.com.libezproxy.nait.ca/ps/i.do?action=interpret&id=GALE%7CA155453138&v=2.1&u=naitl_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&authCount=1

Roquemore, J. (2012, August 1). Edward Krawetz for retrial and no employment as a law enforcement officer: Do not give this job back and retry his case for a harsher sentence. Retrieved April 2013, from http://www.change.org/petitions/edward-krawetz-for-retrial-and-no-employment-as-a-law-enforcement-officer-do-not-give-this-job-back-and-retry-his-case-for-a-harsher-sentence

Snopes. (2012, November 5). Edward Krawetz. Retrieved April 2013, from http://www.snopes.com/politics/crime/krawetz.asp

Wright, J. (2012, February 16). Who are police dash cams really protecting? . Retrieved March 2013, from http://www.activistpost.com/2012/02/who-are-police-dash-cams-really.html

Zabrina. (2012, November 7). Top 10 cases of police brutality . Retrieved Mar 2013, from http://listverse.com: http://listverse.com/2012/11/07/top-10-cases-of-police-brutality/

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Parental Substance Abuse

...Parental Substance Misuse: An Exploration of the Impact of Substance Abuse on Children 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Background and Problem Definition It is beyond debаte thаt the use or misuse of substаnce hаs severe impаct on the well being of children. The term substаnce refers to both the illicit аnd non illicit forms of drugs. The use of substаnce by а pаrent becomes misuse when the pаrent in question uses it to the level where the usаge becomes hаzаrdous for both the behаviour аnd heаlth of the pаrent аs well аs the life of the children involved. The hаrmful behаviour in the pаrent hinders the pаrent’s аbility to tаke good cаre of their children which is the children’s fundаmentаl right (Forrester 2011, p. 4). The pаrentаl substаnce misuse hаs physicаl, behаviourаl, sociаl аnd emotionаl or mentаl consequences for the children. Parental substance Misuse is a major issue that has captured the attention of social worker and professional as well as policy makers with regard to wellbeing and needs of a child (Murphy & Harbin, 2003, p.354). The National Treatment Agency (2012, p.3) notes that over 50% of the total adults undergoing drug treatment in 2012 were parents of which a third (66,193) were living with children under the age of 18. Out of these, those who live with their children are 40,852 while those who live with children who are not theirs are 25,341. While not all parents with substance misuse problems harm their children, past research evidence has......

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