Policy Corruption in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina - Essay Example

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Police Corruption in New Orleans Before and After Hurricane Katrina Introduction That the police exist to enforce peace and order cannot be denied. This being the case, it is equally unquestionable that their first responsibility is to the people for whom they keep the peace in the first place…
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Policy Corruption in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina
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Download file to see previous pages However, this may not always hold true. For one reason or another, there are countries in which those part of the law enforcement agency are not only poor or incompetent at their job, but are more concerned of pursuing their own self-interests rather than to serve and to protect. Of course, the most instinctive solution would be to kick them out of the force, but even this does not always happen – often because the higher-ups remain ignorant, or worse, are themselves complicit in such morally questionable acts. While no law enforcement agency can ever be characterized as perfect – not least because each one will have at least a few shortcomings or problem areas to balance out its strengths – there are those that go as far as they can in the other extreme, not just failing to enforce and uphold law and order but even actively undermining it. In such a case, the so-called law enforcers become little more than goons in uniform, terrorizing the public in a manner not unlike the criminals they are supposed to be hunting down. Unfortunately, even in this day and age, there are law enforcement agencies which can be aptly described in such a manner. One of the more infamous examples in recent memory is the New Orleans Police Force, which was rocked by all manner of issues such as corruption and police brutality in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This paper is thus intended as a look at the corruption that rocked the NOPD to its foundations in the immediate aftermath of the calamity, hopefully in order to draw conclusions about how best to prevent such a scandal from recurring in the future. NOPD – The Corruption As noted in the New York Times by Treaster and Newman (2005), the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina saw the bulk of the police force dedicated to mounting rescue efforts all over the city. Unfortunately, this also meant that they ended up turning a blind eye to the opportunists who chose that moment to enrich themselves at the cost of the victims of the disaster. As a matter of fact, the inaction of the police force to these crimes resulted in criminals becoming so audacious as to commit crimes not only in broad daylight, but even in front of officers themselves in some cases – often with only a slap on the wrist to show for it, if at all. In fact, the situation got so bad that even then-City Councilor Jackie Clarkson was forced to acknowledge and lament the rapidly deteriorating situation. The calamity that had struck only recently at that time led to a major, major breakdown in channels of transportation and communications, which in turn led to a disquieting impotence on the part of police officers to properly counteract the terrible, terrible spike in crime rates. Looting in particular became alarmingly common during this time, with the shopkeepers involved forced to defend their property all by themselves. Armed robbery also reached a disturbing level of frequency at this point in the history of New Orleans, with most of the victims being robbed at gunpoint. For the most part, though, the looting incidents that were reported simply involved calamity victims gathering basic necessities such as food, water and clothing from unattended stores – which, while still being far from legally or morally permissible, were much more understandable in light of the terrible, terrible damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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