As a patrol officer, you are only doing your job when you stop a car for running a red light. Unfortunately, the driver of the car happens to be the mayor. You ticket her anyway, but the next morning you get called into the captain’s
office and told in no uncertain terms that you screwed up, because of an informal policy extending “courtesy” to city politicians. Several nights later you observe the mayor’s car weaving erratically across lanes and speeding.
What would you do? What if the driver were a fellow police officer?
What if the driver were a high school friend?
There is a well-known minor criminal in your district. Everyone is aware that he is engaged in a variety of crimes, including burglary, fencing, and drug dealing. However, you have been unable to make a case against him. Now he is the victim of a crime—he has been assaulted and robbed at gunpoint.
How would you treat his case?
You are completing an internship with a local police agency. The officers you ride with are great and let you come along on everything they do. One day the officer you are riding with takes you along on a drug raid. You are invited to come in when the house is secure, and you observe six young men sitting on two sofas in the living room. The officers are ransacking the house and asking the young men where they have hidden the drugs. Four of the youth are black and two are white. One of the officers walks behind the sofa where the blacks are sitting and slaps each one hard on the side of the head as he walks past. He ignores the two white boys sitting on the other sofa. You are shocked
by his actions, but you know that if you say anything, your chance of being hired by this agency will be very small. You desperately want a good recommendation from the officers you ride with.
What would you do?
You are a police officer in New Orleans. During the flood following Hurricane Katrina, you are ordered to patrol a section of the downtown area to prevent looting. The water is waist high in some places, and the stores and shops in this section of blocks are, for the most part, inundated with floodwater. You come upon one shop where the plate-glass window has been broken, and about a dozen people are coming out of the shop with clothing in their arms. You suspect that the shop’s contents will be written off anyway by the owners, and covered by insurance.
Should that make a difference in your decision?
What if the store were in an area of the city that wasn’t flooded and the contents were not ruined?
What if the people said they were desperate and didn’t have any clothes because their belongings were under water?
What if the items being taken were televisions and other electronics?
You are a rookie on traffic patrol. You watch as a young black man drives past you in a brandnew silver Porsche. You estimate the car’s value at around $40,000, yet the neighborhood you are patrolling in is characterized by low-income housing, cheap apartments, and tiny houses on the lowest end of the housing spectrum. You follow him and observe that he forgets to signal when he changes lanes. Ordinarily you wouldn’t waste your time on something so minor.
What would you do?
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