The issue of unlawful police searches has been raised in the courts of the United States for many decades. Landmark cases have asserted what is constitutional during a police search and what is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. Police and other members of law enforcement are destroying the credibility of their own agency as well as inciting fear and disrespect within their own jurisdictional communities. This is due largely in part to police misconduct and extralegal activities permitted while performing their lawful duties.
This abuse of authority causes public resentment and an earnest distrust in the law and those representatives of it (Banks, 2009). Extralegal searches are never necessary in that they violate one’s Fourth Amendment rights. Higher courts in the United States would not permit such activities nor would they allow any evidence conceived as a result of such illegalities. Lower local courts may choose to look the other way in the pursuit of justice, but this would be an act of blatant ignorance on a criminal justice official’s part.
Extralegal searches in some cases cause severe emotional and physical harm to the parties that become violated. Prosecuting law enforcement officers for such infractions is difficult if not impossible. This legal obstacle can be accredited to the falsifying and untruthful testimony given by the officer and any other law enforcement colleagues (Fagan, 2004). Unlawful searches are never justified in the name of community safety. This is merely a damage control tactic. The thought of drugs, gangs, and drugs held by any community member raises concern and fear.
Some law enforcement officers prey on the fear of its citizens that they are sworn by oath to protect and serve (Fagan, 2004). Unfortunately, in some agencies, the duty to serve and protect has been replaced with the behavior of abusing and accusing without merit. References Banks, C. (2009). Criminal justice ethics: theory and practice (2nd ed. ). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Fagan, J. (2004). Shocking the conscience: beyond the routine illegality of police searches. Criminology and Public Policy, 3(3), 309-314.