Police officers can make arrests outside their jurisdiction in exceptional cases. There is a mutual agreement between authorities and law enforcement that this is allowed. The police officers have the right to apply their discretion in arresting or stopping people from committing a crime and enforcing arrest where need be. The following are some factors that can influence police officer discretion:
- Nature of the crime – If the offense is not affecting the public much, the officer may ignore it.
- The relationship between the victim and the criminal.
- The state department policy
- The relationship between the police, the victim and the criminal
How do you apply discretion in the criminal justice system?
Police officers should act according to their conscience and judgment. Discretion is abused once the judicial action is unreasonable, fanciful or arbitrary. If the plaintiff feels that the judge in charge is abusing law enforcement, the plaintiff can file for an appeal.
Abuse of authority by a police officer
There are severe cases of abuse of discretion by police officers. A recent case in St. Louis has led to street protests, and some are violent. St. Louis protesters exclaimed that the justice system was broken.
Some of the ways police misuse and abuse power are acting contrary to the law and are guilty of harassment. Some methods of questioning and searches are considered harassment. If not well handled, interrogation can end up being police harassment. Other forms of power abuse are:
- Arresting a citizen falsely.
- Using excessive force.
- Searching and arresting a citizen without a warrant.
- Violating the civil rights of a citizen.
- Taking part in an unlawful murder.
- Forcing citizens to engage in sex in favor of not arresting them.
How do you fight police jurisdiction overuse in St. Louis?
The following are ways of fighting against law enforcement abuse:
- File a complaint with the police department.
- Filing a civil lawsuit through section 1983.
- Improve police training.
- Investigate crooked police and be acted upon.
- Police officers should enforce the law appropriately and avoid using unnecessary force of violence.
- Police to avoid at all cost accepting gratuities.
Is abuse of law enforcement common?
Abuse of law enforcement is common and leads to broken justice and can also involve discrimination of different issues within the community. Look for help from law firms that have handled various cases of law enforcement abuse and can help you as a resident of St. Louis. Every citizen has the right to be protected.
Most victims of law enforcement abuse, if not attended to, are left feeling hurt, and they should know that no officer is above the law. Protecting the civil rights of every citizen is one of the core values of every law firm.