This topic is about a suspected terrorist who knows the code for a bomb that will detonate in two hours and he is in custody and my partner and I go to convince him to give up the code. An hour passes and there is no progress, so my partner goes in and turns off the equipment and asks me to leave the room. When my partner gets out of the room, he comes out with the code to deactivate the bomb but when I go to the room the man is unconscious and his face is covered in blood. My partner wants me to back up his story, the story being that the man got aggressive and he was just defending himself. The right thing to do in this situation is obvious; say the truth. Yes, I can lie and back up my partner’s story, but it is not okay to obtain information from someone with violence. There are rules and laws as to how things are done and what my partner did was completely out of line.
Saying the truth and not backing up your partner’s story is the right thing to do. According to Schram & Tibbetts (2014), “Terrorism has existed for hundreds of years. However, after the September 11 attacks, terrorism has become more intertwined with Americans and their lives than in previous years. For instance, we read about it more in the newspapers and have experienced changed in how we travel” (p.387). Terrorism is to be taken seriously and for good reason. The reason behind why my partner did what he did was understandable, but he should not have to go against the law to do so. My partner could have done it differently but chose to put his job on the line the moment he resorted to violence to get an answer from the suspected terrorist.
I can see why my partner did what he did. Do I agree with what he did? No. As anyone who is in law enforcement, you know there are laws to protect the person who is arrested. The person who was in custody has rights and no matter what the crime is, he will have ensured safety while he is with the cop. What my partner did is called police misconduct. There are many cases each year with victims claiming that a cop was not acting according to the law. As a cop you need to be mindful of the people’s civil rights. According to Schmalleger (2016), “The effects of police corruption can be far-reaching. As Michael Palmetto of Wichita State University notes, “not only does misconduct committed by an officer personally affect that officer, it also affects the community, the police department that employs the officer and every police department and police officer in America. Frequently, negative police actions caused by inappropriate police behavior reach every corner of the nation, and at times, the world” (p.171).
Similarly, police corruption is as serious as it sounds. According to Schmalleger (2016), “FBI Special Agent Frank Perry, former chief of the bureau’s ethics unit, distinguishes between police deviation and police corruption. Police deviance, according to Perry, consists of unprofessional on- and off-duty misconduct, isolated instances of misuse of position, improper relationships with informants or criminals, sexual harassment, disparaging racial or sexual comments, embellished/falsified reporting, time and attendance abuse, insubordination, nepotism, cronyism, and noncriminal unauthorized disclosure of information. Deviance, says Perry, is a precursor to individual and organizational corruption. It may even lead to outright corruption unless police supervisors and internal affairs units are alert to the warning signs and actively intervene to prevent corruption from developing” (p.172). My partner probably saw no other way to get the information out of the suspected terrorist and took matters into his own hands but that will come back to him. According Schmalleger (2016), “Internal affairs will be investigating what happened in that interrogation room. Internal affairs are a branch of a police organization tasked with investigating charges of wrongdoing involving members of the department” (p.175). If I was to back up my partner’s story and it would come to light that I lied for him, I would be in trouble as well. Nothing good can come out of lying, the victim (even though he is a terrorist) will say what happened and the officers that knew about this will be investigated and fired. Any kind of police misconduct is not taken lightly, so there is that chance that you will be fired and charged for it.
Saying the truth and not backing up my partner’s story is the right thing to do not only legally but also ethically. It is wrong to take matter into your own hands when you are in law enforcement, even if it is a suspected terrorist. I will abide by the law and be truthful. According to the Department of Justice website, “Federal laws that address police misconduct include both criminal and civil statutes. These laws cover the actions of State, county, and local officers, including those who work in prisons and jails. In addition, several laws also apply to Federal law enforcement officers. The laws protect all persons in the United States (citizens and non-citizens). Each law DOJ enforces is briefly discussed below. In DOJ investigations, whether criminal or civil, the person whose rights have been reportedly violated is referred to as a victim and often is an important witness” (Department of Justice. (n”,.d.). My partner should have thought of the consequences before doing what he did. I would not go down with him because of his unlawful behavior. If it is my job or his, I will choose my job over his