Essay on Police Discretion

Published: 2021/12/16
Number of words: 1074


Mainly the activities of police officers occur away from the public and other peoples’ eyes. It forms a situation that might allow police officers discretion of what they see, handle the situation and report the incidence. Mostly because police officers form suspicions infrequently, it is crucial to analyze the police officers’ reports. Police officers might withhold or fail to disclose all the facts since they are sure that the suspect is guilty. However, it is unlawful to lie to prosecute the suspects, although all the facts suggest guilty. The papers elaborate how lack of complete police discretion by the police officers can be justified in hearings.

Police Discretion during Reporting

For a police officer to make an arrest, they must have probable cause. In this case, there is not enough information to link the suspect to the bag (Crespo, 2019). To determine the needed evidence to justify a finding cause depends on the specific facts of the situation. Identifying a suspect selling to an undercover agent the drugs is the first substantial proof that the suspect is involved in drug operations. First, I would report the full details of the operation truthfully. It will be explained using the specifics facts that the suspect is indeed the one that dropped the bags. Every detail will be well explained to be used as reasonable evidence that the suspect is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence should be sufficient to influence the judge to sentence the suspect to jail.

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The offense of possession of drugs is committed when a person is illegally in physical possession of a drug and knows of its possession even if they did not know it is a controlled drug. The Act justifies that the suspect should be charged with possessing the drug since he had the drugs and sold them to an undercover officer. Though the suspect was not found in possession of the bag with the drug when arrested, the fact is he had the bag before and dropped it. As a police officer, it is essential to give factual evidence that the suspect had the drug. A person found in possession of drugs is to be charged with the offense of possession of drugs. I would present proof that injury or scratch on the skin can be used to explain the fall. It can help convince the judge and the jury that the suspect dropped the bags after the fall.

Eliminating the exclusionary rule or changing the way the hearings are held can be challenging to explain the lack of complete police discretion during the cross-examinations (Sekhon, 2019). There are ways to allow lying even in the courtroom to prove that the suspect is guilty (Gundhus et al., 2021). Presenting a sufficient offer of proof to criminal court judges can allow for full-dress litigation of police credibility. With the right and factual details, the judge can allow for a more profound examination of the issue of the policy’s credibility. For the judge to consider the inconsistent reporting about the case as a police officer, I would start with most material impeachments and finish with the least. Explaining to the court that some missing information mentioned earlier could cause the judge to pay more attention to the essential details. If I begin with the strong points, it would be hard for the judge to dismiss the minor points.

Establishing the facts will also allow the defense lawyer to connect with the case and dismiss the omissions during the initial cross-examination (Mah et al., 2020). I would present the facts that the bag belonged to the suspect. It will be easier to prove since these facts are rarely grouped as exhibits or testimonies. The other essential thing I would do is look for evidence in the record and separate the laser-like precision. The analysis of the reports and the written material will give more information on proving that the suspect had drugs.

The analysis might point out evidence that can help sentence the suspect. The arguments will be built on facts gradually in the progression towards the conclusion that will convince the fact finder that there is no doubt that the suspect is guilty. Starting with more critical points and finishing with weak arguments will help fight the temptation of a fact-finder to omit the minor differences in the testimony. This will be convincing that the judge will not ignore that, indeed, the suspect had the bag with drugs.

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Arguing on noncompliance of the police officer procedures can also explain why there was noncompliance (Mah et al., 2020). It can be explained that even though the suspect sold the drug to the undercover officer, he was not found with the bag at the time of apprehension. The suspect will indeed be charged with lesser offenses. By lying, it was the only way to arrest the suspect and held him accountable. It is proof that being truthful would mean that the suspects get away with an additional offense. Arguing that if there is complete discretion, the suspect will get a lesser sentence than he deserves is likely to convince the judge to rethink the issue even though the police officers did not follow the rules.

It is essential that honesty, due to the above explains, gets a free pass when there is sufficient evidence that the suspect is guilty. Any judge will be willing to credit the testimony by adopting the police officer’s grey zone moral perspective. Facts and enough evidence are sufficient to prove that though there was no complete discretion as facts, the fact remains that the suspect is guilty of drug selling and possession of drugs. The case has enough evidence and facts to act as probable cause to sentence the suspect (Crespo, 2019). Lack of complete discretion as a police officer should not hinder the suspect from getting the ruling he deserves if there is probable cause.


Crespo, A. M. (2019). Probable Cause Pluralism. Yale LJ129, 1276.

Gundhus, H. O., Talberg, N., & Wathne, C. T. (2021). From discretion to standardization: Digitalization of the police organization. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 14613557211036554.

Mah, S., Hamsher, T., Hughes, J., & Moody, A. (2020). Perjury. Am. Crim. L. Rev.57, 1115.

Sekhon, N. (2019). Police and the Limit of Law. Colum. L. Rev.119, 1711.

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