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Blue Wall of Silence and Its Effects on Police Activities (Essay Sample)


Discuss the code of silence that involves law enforcement officers. Discuss popular events/cases (Knapp Commission in New York(1970's) and Christopher Commission in Los Angeles(1991) that revolve around the code of silence of officers and the impacts of police officers not talking about other police officers wrong doings/misdeeds.


Blue Wall of Silence and Its Effects on Police Activities
The police force is regarded as one of the most disciplined institutions. When discussing police discipline, it is imperative to take into account the complex nature of the force's discipline and the variables that relate to it. Like many other aspects of the society today, police discipline is very complex and requires a multi-directional study to understand it. One aspect that makes police discipline a complex occurrence to understand is a phenomenon known as "the blue wall of silence" among police officers. The blue wall of silence impedes the force's ability to learn and investigate misconduct and at the same time undermines its credibility as far as the public is concerned. This paper examines major events related to the blue wall of silence ,like the Knapp Commission in New York (1970's) and Christopher Commission in Los Angeles (1991) ,and argues that the blue wall of silence creates legal and moral debacle within the force, leads to obstruction of justice and impedes police discipline institutional accountability.
The blue wall of silence can be defined as the situation where police officer shows solidarity with each other. Police officers refuse to debate unsuitable police conduct or might lie about the conduct to offer protection a colleague who is involved in misconduct (Cordner, 2014). The blue wall of silence within the police force presents in various forms. It can be referred to as shielding fellow officers (Miller,2003) or unwillingness to be unfaithful to colleagues or even a cultural outlook that define the accepted behavior that is required to be seen by peers ‘as a good officer" (Wolfe & Piquero, 2011). The blue wall of silence has been the underlying motivation in which crimes committed by the force are not reported. Research into police conduct studied elements like police conduct on patrol, acceptance of bribes, stealing from the crime scene, and even beating up a suspect. Rothwell and Baldwin (2007) acknowledged from their study that the blue wall of silence is strongly prevalent in police force as compared to civilian employees.
In the study of major events related to blue wall of silence, Christopher Commission in Los Angeles (1991) which was set up to look into excessive force by Los Angeles police department must be considered. Police o...
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