Chukwuemeka Nwosu (PhD)


In most countries of the world the police is usually given enormous powers or authority in order to discharge their duties with a view to maintaining law and order in the society. Thus, police officers in the United States are bestowed with tremendous authority as well as wide latitude in using that authority. Also, to the average citizen, the police are the most visible symbol of not only the U.S. Criminal Justice System but also the U.S. government. More often police officers complain that the press overdo or carry too far cases of police corruption in their coverage. Thus, the 1991 Rodney King tape (the home video of the beating of African American motorist Rodney King by four Los Angeles police officers) was broadcast over every television network in the United States for a long time running into weeks. Also, in the case of Abner Louima in 1997 (in which a New York City Police Officer allegedly inserted a stick into the rectum of a prisoner and then put the feces-and blood-covered stick into the prisoner’s mouth) was worldwide news. In another genre, on May 25, 2020, Minneapolis Police officers arrested George Lloyd, a 46 year old black American man and killed him for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. His death was widely publicized by the press in the United States. Before we delve into what we mean by police corruption in our conceptual clarification, it is necessary to know what is ethical standard and virtue in the police service. Ethics is defined as the study of what constitutes good or bad conduct. The concept is often used interchangeably with morals, which is understandable because they came from similar root meanings pertaining to behavioural practices or character. Applied ethics in concerned with the study of what constitutes right and wrong behaviour in certain situations. Aristotle defined virtue as what he called the Golden Mean or Nicomachean Ethics. This philosophy suggests that life circumstances trigger a natural range of response that includes a mean between excessive and defective responses. The virtues cited by Aristotle more than 2000 years ago include courage, self-control, generosity, high-mindedness, gentleness, truthfulness and modesty.


Police Corruption, Biased-Based Policing, United States, Ethnical Standard, Criminal Justice System.

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