Police discretion in contemporary America
Young, Bernice Brooks.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Police officers legitimately have broad powers of discretion to enforce the law. Discretion is the capacity an individual police officer possesses to make a choice among a number of possible courses of actions. This thesis discusses police exercise of discretion and its relationship to the U.S. Constitution and the Criminal Justice field. It addresses the two most common interactions between police and citizens, the traffic stop and maintenance of order. It illustrates abuse of discretionary authority in the Rodney King case and the Kent State University shootings. This thesis will conclude by addressing the use of standards to help focus police training on proper use of discretion consistent with U.S. democratic values.
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