Racial Stereotypes Of Police Discretion

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These racial stereotypes bring with them issues regarding the concept of police discretion that was very well demonstrated in one of the observed trials. Police officers need to deal with infinite possible situations on any given day, so every officer has the responsibility to use their discretion to have every situation end in the best possible way. Because of the infinite number of possible situations, there cannot be descriptive protocols for every circumstance as people and social environments are always unpredictable. Therefore, it is hard to control every police officer’s actions, and not every person’s interaction with law enforcement will have the same, fair result. For example, one officer may react more professionally in order…show more content…
During the observed court proceedings, a police officer was on trial for the killing of a young, Syrian male. From what was observed, the Crown raised questions about the use of force and had an expert witness to attest of what Toronto police force training demands of an officer in high-risk situations. Vago and Nelson (2014) state that law enforcement officers most “directly” and “vitally” affect individuals in society, making their agency one of the most important policy-making organizations simply because of their discretionary powers. Therefore, by putting a police officer on trial in order to decide whether or not he used his discretionary powers to the best of his abilities speaks to Canada’s importance of having a fair trial and the importance of every life. A jury of peers is able to decide whether the police officer committed a crime instead of an agency that can be corrupted and self-interested, with an intent of covering up the possible crimes committed by officers on duty. Thus, by observing this type of trial, one can discern if and how police officers are given preferential treatment in…show more content…
Every person in Canada is supposed to have equal treatment under the law. Therefore, when observing courtroom proceedings, it is apparent that this practice truly is an important one. In one of the cases, a gentleman wanted to represent himself during the trial; however, the judge took the time to talk to the man and explain to him that he has the opportunity to seek legal aid in order to have the fairest trial possible. At the end of his conversation with the judge, the gentleman decided to take the extra time the judge allowed him to take in order to seek that legal aid. This, without a doubt, allowed him to have a fairer trial, as he was inexperienced to represent himself in the best way possible. By giving this man such an option, the judge “wasted” time and taxpayers’ money in order to give one person his best chance for the fairest trial. This courtroom culture is interesting to note because it demonstrates the importance that every trial has, no matter what the situation is or who is involved. In another court proceeding, a man in custody asked the judge for extra time so that he can switch lawyers. The judge listened to what the gentleman said, and the Crown did not make any objections. Once again, the culture in the courtroom demonstrates the importance of having competent legal aid in order to give everyone a fair

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