Ethical Violation Paper
Janelle S. Russell
February 26, 2018
The purpose of the criminal justice system is to maintain social control, deter and mitigate crime, and sanction those who violate laws with penalties appropriate for their crimes. However, it is beyond control to be sure that everyone working within the criminal justice system has or maintains high ethical standards. This paper will explore one instance where there was an ethical violation resulting from actions of employees in the criminal justice system.
Criminal Civil Rights Violations
The story researched for the purpose of this paper is entitled “Former East Haven Police Officer Sentenced to Five Years In Prison For Criminal Civil Rights Violations.” This article was written in 2014. The officer in question is 30-year old Dennis Spaulding, formerly of the East Haven Police Department in Connecticut. Spaulding’s reign of unethical behaviors lasted from 2007 to 2011. “Dennis Spaulding repeatedly violated the civil rights of Latino members of the East Haven community.” (Daly, 2014) During the five years, it was found that Spaulding had done many different things to violate the citizens’ civil rights. He falsely arrested, used cruel and excessive force which caused physical injury, and executed illegal searches. He used his authority which was supposed to be to protect and serve the community to instead harass, intimidate, and humiliate them. He was found guilty of: “one count of conspiracy against rights, one count of use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer, two counts of deprivation of rights for making arrests without probable cause, and two counts of obstruction of a federal investigation for preparing false reports to justify the false arrests.” (Carson, 2014)
Criminal Justice Agency’s Involvement
The agencies involved in the sentencing for Spaulding include both the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut and the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the U.S. District Court. Spaulding’s actions were actually discovered as part of a larger criminal investigation into certain members of the East Haven Police Department. Some officers had allegedly been using excessive force, conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures, and filing false police reports. Spaulding’s actions, however, not only reflected poorly on himself, but also badly on the public’s view of the East Haven Police Department. With Spaulding’s sentencing, the department is hopeful that the community will be able to heal and their trust in the East Haven Police Department will be restored.
Role of Media and Public Opinion
This article does a lot to both inform and regain the trust of the local community. By quoting the words of FBI Assistant Director-In-Charge Venizelos, the article is letting the community and the public in general know that they have...