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Ethical Paper

1164 words - 5 pages

Officer Martin was the district attorney’s key witness in US vs. Kevin Smith in which he testified against his partner in a criminal and civil trial that resulted in Officer Smith’s termination from the Virtual County Police Department. Officer Smith was found guilty of using excessive force when he deliberately and unlawfully struck an offender while the offender was restrained in handcuffs. Virtual County Internal Affair’s Division investigated the case and the circumstances that transpired after the courts findings were published. Internal Affairs Investigators learned that Officer Martin was being verbally and physically harassed by fellow officers because he chose to testify ...view middle of the document...

Internal Affairs has made it clear that they are going to investigate and recommend termination for officers who breeched their ethical duties by harassing an officer who did the right thing and honored his morals. It appears that some officer’s behavior has created an ethical dilemma.

Some Virtual County Police officers were faced with an ethical decision in which they had to decide to tell the truth about their actions and face the consequences. Unfortunately, several of the officers have persuaded each other to lie rather than tell the truth because to them, “the right choice will be difficult because of the costs involved.” However, I have decided to tell the truth, in order “to take a stand that has much impact.” My decision is impactful because it will send the message that I will not support injustice or unethical acts amongst fellow officers. I also want to endorse Officer Martin’s decision to do the right thing. Furthermore, I am uncomfortable with the situation because police officers have a duty to protect and serve the community. Unfortunately, Officer Smith chose to abuse his police power by using excessive force during arrest. Additionally, he jeopardized the department’s reputation and violated the trust between officers and community residents. Police are supposed to protect people, not harm them. I have to tell the truth although my statements may jeopardize the officers who supported Officer Smith’s bad behavior. Thus, it is my responsibility and ethical duty to tell the truth instead of turning the other way (Pollock, 2012, pg 14). .
Although I pride myself on having a strong moral fiber sometimes I think it would be easier to turn the other way and join the crowd of officers who are sticking together, so I won’t be considered a rat. However, I have to consider the legal, moral and professional consequences of doing the wrong thing. When officers provide written statements to Internal Affairs those documents are sworn to. Therefore, if the investigation reveals that I lied or concealed the truth I could lose my job and also be charged with obstruction of justice. The legal issues would be burdensome; however the moral issues would weigh heavy on my conscious. I joined the police force not only to protect and serve the people in the community; I also joined the force to protect fellow officers. That said, I couldn’t respect myself if I stood by and watched Officer Martin be harassed and humiliated by his colleges all because he told the truth. However, if I did jump on the...

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