The one thing that makes government different than any other institution in our society is that it is given the right to initiate force. No one else can initiate force without getting a response from the government. The abuse of power by government is instituted by the police, DAs, court officers, judges and prison guards The more power one has, the more corrupt they seem to get. When government agencies/individuals do not feel the need to respond to citizen complaints, they have in essence become corrupted by power.
A police officer is given what we call police powers by the state or federal government and that police power is the right to initiate force on others.
A police officer becomes corrupted by power when (s)he uses the right initiate force when it is not warranted or when force is used against those who have not done anything that warrants such force.
It derives from the combination of Lucifer Effect and a lack of of accountability due to a very weak internal affairs department. The personal responsibility of the police officer weakens under a lack of accountability. The feeling is that if you can get away with it, do it. The same mechanism exists in any criminal activity. A number of officers become mean, malicious, punitive, sadistic, vindictive and vicious. A significant percentage of the Framingham police develop an element of thuggery in them
Regretably, most police officers are not sufficiently educated to even realize that they are abusing their state sanctioned authority. If they were well educated, then the only reason to abuse their authority is malice. If they happen to be control freaks, it gets worse.
It's the gun. The power-of-the-gun mentality make them unafraid to confront someone. When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, or kill somebody. They know they will be absolved of any crime and may get a pretty ribbon and award.
A police officer corrupted by power becomes a menial functionary who employs what power he has in order to annoy and frustate others for his own gratification.
When you strip them of their badge, their gun and state given police powers, you will find that these individuals do not possess any strong sellable or usable skills. Which is why they became police officers to begin with. You are left with a high performing idiot.
When a police officer or any other public official uses the authority granted them by the public to commit an abuse against the public, they should have malfeasance tacked on to each and every charge. This should carry an additional penalty, as appropriate for the nature of the abuse.
Furthermore, a record of malfeasance should be made public for any candidate running for an office or being considered for appointment/hiring.
If the penalty for committing a crime against a cop is greater than normal, the penalty for a cop who commits a crime should also be greater.
Corruption is not the #1 priority of the police chief. His job is to enforce the law and fight crime.
If we stigmatize sex offenders for life then its clear we should do the same for sociopathic cops. The time has come for a police brutality register. Once on the list you will be required to notify everyone in your neighborhood that you brutalized an innocent person and abused your power.
Evil is defined as the exercise of power to intentionally harm (psychologically), hurt (physically) and or destroy (mortally or spiritually). Evil is knowing better but doing worse.
We have always considered the police as a necessary evil, but an evil nevertheless because of the corruption through power.
One thing has become clear: The phrase drunk with power is often a dead-on description. Power acts to lower inhibitions, much the same as alcohol does.
Research documents the following characteristics of people with power: They tend to be more oblivious to what others think, more likely to pursue the satisfaction of their own appetites, poorer judges of other people's reactions, more likely to hold stereotypes, overly optimistic and more likely to take risks.
The novelist Amy Tan has an interesting definition of power: holding someone else's fear in your hand and showing it to them. We are often reminded of the abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and the Stanford psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo's simulated jail scenario. A study of the kings of England reported that those rulers with the greatest power were far more likely to commit crimes -- from theft to murder -- than ordinary citizens.
Abraham Lincoln stated: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Even the fumes of power lower your inhibition. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Powerful people are likely to find that every mirror held up to them says, in effect, you are the fairest of them all.
When governments have too much power and the citizens are not armed, consider this statement from the book: Death By Government by R.J. Rummel.
Since 3500 BC, there have been 14,000 wars that have killed 3.5 billion people.
In total, during the first eighty-eight years of the twentieth century, almost 170 million men, women, and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners. The dead could conceivably be nearly 360 million people. It is as though our species has been devastated by a modern Black Plague. And indeed it has, but a plague of Power, not germs."
Tell me again why you think power does not corrupt.
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