The police officer is your friend. This is a popular aphorism and the message here is that you do not have to fear the policeman as long as you are a law abiding citizen. The job description of the average police officer covers a lot of ground. Apart from maintaining law and order, police officers carry out investigations, arrest and prosecute offenders. Because these officers wield so much power, some police officers may be tempted to abuse their powers. Now, the law will not condone abuse of power by police officers. This is why there are statutes to deal with police misconduct.
Police and Suspect Relations
If you are investigating a suspect, you cannot afford to get emotionally involved with the suspect. A police officer should be objective and impartial. For this reason, a personal involvement with anybody under investigation is prohibited. In cases where a male police officer gets emotionally involved with a female suspect, the relevant authority will sanction the officer in question.
Bribery and Corruption
A police officer should maintain the highest ethical standards all the time. It is a fact that many police officers are exposed to temptation in the course of their duties. In a high profile case of fraud or embezzlement of public funds, the suspects may offer police officers a hefty bribe. The honorable course of action here is to reject the bribe but not all police officers are honorable. In cases where a police man is indicted for taking or soliciting a bribe, the officer in question should be sanctioned and punished.
Collusion with Criminal Elements
One thing a police officer should never do is collude with criminals to pervert the course of justice. This is a serious crime because it might destroy the foundation of the criminal justice system. If a police officer is found guilty of this particular misconduct, he or should face the wrath of the law. In this context, collusion might take the form of destroying evidence, giving false testimony or hiring witnesses to give false evidence.
Lack of Diligent Prosecution
In the American criminal justice system, every accused person is presumed innocent until he or she is convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction. Getting a conviction in court largely depends on diligent prosecution by the police or the ministry of justice. If an accused person evades justice because the case was not properly prosecuted, the officer responsible for this police misconduct will be punished or even dismissed from service.