Analyzing Unethical Behavior In Criminal Justice – The United States v. Jerry M. Bell, Darryl M. Forrest, and Dustin Sillings

Analyzing Unethical Behavior

Over the past three decades, the criminal justice system has received a tirade of criticism owing to a spike in cases of unethical behavior amongst persons expected to serve the citizenry under various capacities. A typical reason cited to explain this phenomenon is the supposed disillusionment that often plagues persons in this line of work. They are constantly in an environment where they wield immense power which is, in some cases, abused resulting in unethical behavior (Stering, 2012). In other occasions, continued exposure to this type of behavior leads the players to develop a jaded view of specific social constructs while normalizing unethical conduct.  They are continuously in tempting situations, with a few succumbing to their insatiable appetites. Nonetheless, it is vital to acknowledge that failing to uphold the oath of office is an infraction that is punishable by law. The case study in this analysis is that of The United States v. Jerry M. Bell, Darryl M. Forrest, and Dustin Sillings; an indictment for going against their oath of office and instituting theft. The said individuals also violated the U.S Constitution when carrying out their unreasonable seizures of property while using police badges.

The police have been accorded with a unique mandate that sees the citizenry cede a considerable amount of their power to these officials. They are therefore obligated to serve and protect a country’s greater population from any homegrown threat (Kargin, 2011, p. 67). It is pursuant to this requirement that member of law enforcement are given the power to enter and search homes of persons of interest provided they come armed with a valid warrant. Magistrates have had to provide warrants for a wide range of reasons that may include suspicion of drug dealing (Misuse of Drugs Act 1971), having stolen property (Theft Act 1968) or firearms (Firearms Act 1968). Section 8 of the CALEA Law Enforcement Standards and the Criminal Evident Act therefore allows these individuals to legally enter homes while seeking evidence that will come in handy in an indictable offence once it gets to the trail case (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, 2013). Additionally, these raids can also be carried to stop a crime that is in progress which will ultimately ensure property is protected and damage minimized. As members of the Kansas Police Department Score unit, Jerry M. Bell, Darryl M. Forrest, and Dustin Sillings were indicted for unethical behavior by stealing property when executing warrants.

The behavior of these three police officers was both appalling and a classic example of impunity. It is expected that law enforcement officers will often be the first to uphold the constitution and protect the citizens that they serve. This responsibility and the power given to them were abused when the officers took it upon themselves to deprive residents off their property during raids. The items in question were not seized and booked in as evidence as the law requires, but were obtained by the said persons for their own personal use. Ethical responsibility requires police officers and other law enforcement agents to practice truth and integrity when discharging their duties. The three indicted officers failed to live up to this requirement since they conducted illegal activities that led to the loss of property amongst residents of Kansas City.

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