In any profession there is room for improvement, and there are going to be times where mistakes are made. But the common misconception in today’s world is that mistakes are not allowed and we must be perfect at what we do. In fact, there is no possible way that someone can be perfect at what we do all the time, we are bound to make mistakes on some occasions. There are also going to be times in our lives that we make the wrong decision and but these things are just something that comes along with life, we learn from our mistakes and gain knowledge from the experiences as we go through life and grow up. But to say that a police officer is now allowed to make mistakes is just being unrealistic. No matter who you are you are not going to be proficient in everything so expectations like those shouldn’t even be in question.
As a matter of fact, there is a law called the Exclusionary Rule that protect policemen and the public for a mistake made by law enforcement. In an article published by the Legal Information Institute it states, “The decision in Mapp v. Ohio established that the exclusionary rule applies to evidence gained from an unreasonable search or seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment”. This both protects the officer and victim in this case because in an unlawful search they are not allowed to use the evidence the police gained against them. It would be hypocritical to arrest someone for breaking the law while breaking it at the same time, this is why this is in place. The officer would be disciplined accordingly for violating a constitutional right but at the end of the day the officer made a mistake and they’ll learn from it, it is a learning experience in a career where you deal directly with people everyday, you never know what is going to be thrown at you. In these cases, law enforcement realized that they violated a person’s rights and they were compensated them for it. As you can see, rules are even set in place for the mistakes law enforcement makes because we know that they can happen. It is a naive statement to say a person can be trained to the extent that they will never make another mistake in their life, police officers are people too, so they need to start getting treated like one.
The life of a police officer is definitely not for everyone and can arguably one of the most stressful professions. When being a police officer you are tasked with making many critical decisions that can impact many lives everyday, but this is why people jump on police officers so quick when they make a mistake. Those mistakes impact lives, obviously if officers could be perfect they would be by now. The consequences of your mistakes is just another part of the baggage that comes along with a career in law enforcement. A recent Supreme Court case gave police officers a little more leeway in the manner of making a mistake of the law. The article “Police allowed to make ‘reasonable mistakes’, rules U.S. Supreme Court” explains the outcome of the case “The Supreme Court has previously ruled that a search might be permissible if the officer makes a reasonable factual mistake”. To further explain this, I believe what the Supreme Court was aiming for was that if the officer makes an honest and logical mistake then they can let it slide. This just goes to show that it is a known fact that police officers make mistakes and there are laws that protect them. Mistakes are made everyday, it is just unfortunate that a mistake in law enforcement can be more serious than what it would be in other careers.
In conclusion, the concept that police officers cannot make mistakes is completely ludicrous. This is why people should not judge or even barate police officers for the mistakes they make. The publicity created from these mistakes are blown up through the media and usually tends to blow things out of proportion. Law enforcement members are not encouraged to, but allowed to make mistakes and there are laws ruled by the Supreme Court to support them. Clearly it is not a new things that police officers makes because if that was so then the exclusionary rule wouldn’t even be thing, the courts know that mistakes are made and they make sure that everyone is treated fairly. All in all, people must get rid of the idea that the police cannot slip up because they are just people like and you too.
Carlson, D. (2017, June 22). Exclusionary Rule. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/exclusionary_rule
Doyle, M. (2014, December 16). Police Allowed to Make ‘Reasonable Mistakes,’ Rules U.S. Supreme Court. Retrieved from http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/tns-supreme-court-police-seizures.html
Mapp v. Ohio. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/367/643