Ethics and Discretion in Policing.

THE cause of lawfare(using the courts as weapon to silence dissent), legal positivism(the only legitimate laws come from the lawmaker) and legal relativity(arbitrary orders superseding statues and constitutional law) can be attributed to corruption at the “bottom” more so than corruption “at the top” in that politicians have no teeth without their enforcers. Law enforcement officers differ from mere enforcers in that they will enforce the law in a manner that is calm and informed.

Officers who know the law are able to both recite and apply the law in a way that matches the descriptive context of what the law prohibits. If an officer is enforcing a vague law which requires clarification from the citizen, than the officer is obligated to go back to his vehicle and look up what law he is enforcing. If there was a law that prohibited people from drinking alcohol, than the officer ought to use his discretion by not enforcing that particular law at all. Laws that prohibit the trivial backlog the courts, create unnecessary tension between the public and the police and bring about more contempt for the prohibition itself. It is immoral for an officer to arrest someone for drug use because confinement does not change a persons self culture and may ruin their professional status, educational endeavors, cause a person’s marriage to end, cause them to be estranged from their family or alienate them from the community they grew up in because they have the mark of a “criminal” on them-even though a vice is not a crime.

Any police officer who makes an unjustified or overtly political arrest and then tells the captured person to “tell it to the courts” should be charged for dereliction of duty(not adequately explaining why he or she was arrested), misuse of judicial resources, negligence(not knowing the law), extortion(person has to pay for bail) and indirect psychological torture by using the process as a mode of punishment. Police officers who arrest a woman who accidently murdered her abusive husband in self defense or handcuff a victim of domestic abuse because the tyrannical judge is angry at her for missing her court date, are guilty under all four charges for not using their discretion.

Let’s now apply Peels principles of policing to the present day:

  • Answer: The police cannot stop criminals from illegally acquiring firearms. The police also cannot alter a persons self culture by imprisoning them for drug or gang related firearm offenses. It is thus illogical for the police to imprison people for a vice or for owning a firearm because it was not properly registered when the person has not committed a crime with the firearm.

2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

Question: Are the police in alignment with the public interest? Answer: The police are not aligned with the public interest if they comply with orders which are self evidently immoral and contradict other statues or constitutional laws. There may be large segments of the population who may agree with unlawful government dictates, but it is not right for the ignorance of the masses to impose themselves upon individuals.

3. Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

Question: Do the police have the respect of the public?

Answer: The answer will vary depending on the persons perspective. A member of the public who is working with the police to shut down a business that is laundering money, is not dealing with individual officers but with the financial crimes unit and is therefore engaging in a specialized interaction. Individual officers will be sent to enforce the law once the investigation has concluded. Members of the public who are engaging in a normative or casual interaction with individual officers are dealing with what is properly called the police. The public do not respect police officers who act as lackeys for corrupt politicians or baseless laws when they shut down ski hills, parks, malls, kids baseball games and more.

4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

Question: Will the public cooperate with vague laws? Answer: No, historically people do not cooperate with vague laws as seen with the prohibition of alcohol, weed or prostitution. Using force to prohibit the trivial is a waste of resources and tax payer money.

5. Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

Question: Do modern police cater to public opinion are they just demonstrate an impartial service to the law? Answer: No, the current public health dictatorship has shown that modern police cater to those public opinions which use police to report large gatherings on ski hills or at bars. Arbitrary orders, which have not gone through legislative debate, do not supersede the constitution. The police cannot claim that the courts must decide weather or not an arbitrary law supersedes the constitution because there is case law that has already settled the debate.

6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.

Question: Do modern police exercise persuasion, advice and warning effectively enough to limit their use of physical force? Answer: No, there are numerous police related videos which show police officers using a disproportionate amount of physical force when dealing with people who, granted, may be argumentative and insolent, but are not overtly violent.

7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

Question: Do modern police see themselves as the public and that the public is also the police? Answer: We can infer that the deliberate lack of transparency indicates that the police do not see the public as the police because they refuse to hold themselves accountable for misconduct. See here:Only 1% of public complaints against Toronto cops led to a disciplinary hearing in past 5 years | CBC News

8.Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

Question: Do the police use their coercive powers to usurp the judiciary? Answer: Yes, when the police collude with politicians by having the mayor on the police services board and then use the courts as a battering ram to silent dissent by putting bail conditions on “controversial” people, then they are engaging in collusion and lawfare.

9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Question: Do the police effectively prevent crime and disorder in major urban areas? Answer: No, it is a logistical impossibility to stop gang related violence while also promoting the nonsensical politically correct agenda that gave rise to much of the gang violence that can be observed today. Examples of multicultural hotspots for crime can be seen in many parts of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton(Ontario) ,Surrey and Vancouver(BC), LA, New York, Detroit, Chicago(US) and in Bradford, Manchester, Nottingham, London and Luton(UK).

End.

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Luke "Lantern" Thompson

I am a lay libertarian, bioethicist, writer, philosopher, alternative health and reform advocate and more.