6.11. Current Issues: Accountability
One of the most significant issues with police accountability is knowledge of the job of a police officer. If a person is ignorant about policing policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and how police operate, then there is going to be a disconnect when the media portrays police in different situations. All too often citizens get their knowledge of how the police operate through television shows. Miranda admonition is a classic example. The television show ‘Law and Order’ is notorious for showing the actors playing detectives, giving Miranda to a suspect, every single time; they place a suspect under arrest. The classic clip shows the hand-cuffs ‘click, click’ going on, and then as the detectives walk the suspect to their vehicle, they are verbalizing, from memory, Miranda. In reality, this could not be further from the truth.
Police have a considerable amount of power. Due to the temptation to abuse assigned power police must ascribe to a higher standard than someone in a non-policing profession. However, members of the public cannot appropriately identify police misconduct at all levels. “Most citizens possess an incomplete and incorrect understanding of what it entails. Often…American citizens frequently believe the police guilty of misconduct when, in fact, they are not…Dirty Harry is a hero of sorts to many Americans. When a Dirty Harry-type officer engages in curbside justice aimed at a local bully, for example, people tend to be very supportive of this type of misconduct. 
- Perez, D.W. (2011). The paradoxes of police work. Florence, KY: Cengage Publ. ↵