Ethics in the criminal justice system is very important. When I think of ethics in the context of a group I think of groups such as a church or police officers. Those are groups that essentially share the same ethical values as yourself. When it comes to ethics in the criminal justice system it is so important to make ethical decisions because there are so many aspects of the criminal justice system that affect our everyday life. One example are police officers and the recent events that has been happening over the past few years.
Over the last few years’ police officers across the United States have had a hard job. I say that because there are more than likely a few police officers that violate the ethical code that they swore to serve and protect but because the different media outlets do not put many if any at all stories of what the good police officers are doing they glamorize the bad police officers and their actions. Since the media has glamorized the bad officers so much now people only see that police officers are not protecting them so now they are no longer to help them in their own community and the interactions they have with the local people will not be friendly. Over the past few years we have seen a rise of police related incidents across the world with the majority of incidents that are being reported involves people of color being killed by police officers. One story that really got my attention happened in the state of Georgia where I live and it was involving a female white officer who said she was shot by a black man. This story was so impactful to me because it was revealed that the officer was lying and that there in fact was no black man who actually shot her.
She actually shot herself and in one interview she said it was an accident. This officer made up that story during the time when police officers and the communities they were sworn to protect were at war with each other. This officer’s unethical behavior could not have come at a worse time because as a black man myself who has served his country for many years and has never have been arrested and remains a positive person in my community the black man she described could have looked like me. So now you have officers who are stopping black men who fit the officers who lied description all because she made up story because she did not want to admit she shot herself by accident. That incident can leave a sour taste in people’s mouth about the ethical values of their police force because if they would go through such an extent to lie about an accident what else would they lie about.
All that officer had to do was be honest about the situation but instead she chooses to further damage the relations between minorities and police officers and at the same time she damaged the police departments credibility.
Banks, C. (2013). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice (3rd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage