10 Examples Of Police Misconduct To Refer Your Case-Halt.org (2023)

Table of Contents

  • What are The Different Types of Police Misconduct?
  • 1. Philando Castile Case
  • 2. Lying to Investigators
  • 3. Ferguson Racial Profiling
  • 4. Planted Evidence
  • 5. Walter Scott Case
  • 6. Sexual Assault and Rape
  • 7. Witness Tampering
  • 8. Drunk Police Officer
  • 9. Rachelle Jackson
  • 10. Eric Garner
    • 10 Examples of Police Intimidation Cases: Wrapping Up

Police misconduct is any action done by a police officer that is illegal, inappropriate, or against police policies. This is a broad concept that can range from using excessive force, performing illegal searches, selective law enforcement, racial profiling, and even sexual assault.

What are The Different Types of Police Misconduct?

Because many of these actions and concepts are broad and non-specific, it can be hard to delve into exactly what problems these cases involve. But skilledcriminal defense attorneys can often use police intimidation toget criminal charges dismissed or even bring a civil claim against police for financial damages.

We’re going to go over 10 examples of police misconduct cases so you can see exactly what are the different types of police misconduct, and how it plays out in court.

1. Philando Castile Case

The Philando Castile case is one of the most famous police brutality cases to come up since Rodney King’s assault in 1992. So what happened?

Philando Castile was driving in a car with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s daughter. He was then pulled over by Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Mr. Castile immediately reported to the officer that he had a legal gun in his possession.

The events that happened next are the example of police officer misconduct: Yanez tells Castile not to reach for his gun. Castile replies that he is not going to reach for his gun and that he is going to reach for his ID. His girlfriend, and police body footage, corroborate this story.

However, Yanez does not listen and fires 7 shots into the car, killing Castile. This is considered excessive use of force, especially considering that there was an unarmed person and child in the car when Yanez fired 7 shots at close range.

(Video) 10 Outrageous Police Misconduct: A Compilation of Videos

Yanez was charged with manslaughter and acquitted. However, he was removed from his position as a police officer and Castile’s girlfriend received over 800,000 dollars in settlements from the city.

2. Lying to Investigators

When police officers make an arrest, they’re required to tell the investigators that often take over the case all of the details and information they can. Lying to investigators about anything involving the arrest or the case is an example of police officer misconduct. This can be considered an obstruction of justice as well as going against police rules and regulations.

After the Mike Brown case in Ferguson, there was a huge Department of Justice probe into the racial profiling and misconduct performed by the Ferguson Police Department.

One thing they found in this report is that officers consistently lied to investigators about arrests, events, and interactions. One example given was that an officer lied about an altercation over the police loudspeaker.

This is a serious police misconduct laws offense, but the officer was only suspended for 12 hours (which, in fact, is another example of police officer misconduct, since that punishment doesn’t follow police regulations).

3. Ferguson Racial Profiling

That same report showed multiple examples of racial profiling within the FPD as well. Racial profiling occurs when officers and law enforcement officials use race or skin color as the basis for suspecting a crime.

This occurred a lot in Ferguson and is a prime example of police misconduct. The report showed that officers would target men of color, hold them, and then search whether there was a warrant out for their arrest (which is another example of police officer misconduct).

4. Planted Evidence

Officers planting evidence in order to make an arrest is a gross misuse of power and an example of police officer misconduct. A current case involving the premise of planting evidence involves Officer Richard Pinheiro of the Baltimore Police Department.

This case showed via body cam footage that Officer Pinheiro planted fake drug evidence in order to arrest a man on drug charges, which led to this man being held in jail for multiple months (all because of fake evidence).

(Video) 'Egregious Misconduct' by State Police Lab Gets 27,000 Cases Reopened

This might be a problem within the Baltimore Police Department, seeing as another example of planted evidence was unearthed also because of body cam footage at a 2016 traffic stop.

5. Walter Scott Case

The Walter Scott case involves both the issue of planted evidence and police brutality. Attorneys involved in this case had to be both experts on police brutality, civil rights issues, and planted evidence in order to get a conviction.

If you want to learn more about or find lawyers that specialize in police brutality, check out these attorneys.

And get a conviction they did: the officer involved was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the case. But what happened?

A cell phone video captured the events: Officer Michael Slager pulled over Walter Scott for an allegedly broken taillight. Scott and Slager apparently fought, and Scott fled the scene as Slager fired multiple shots at him (he was unarmed).

Slager is also seen to be placing his taser next to the body of Walter Scott, essentially planting evidence to make it seem like Scott was armed and using a weapon against him.

It was eventually ruled that Slager used excessive force and that Scott’s shooting death should be considered second-degree murder.

6. Sexual Assault and Rape

Some officers use their power to assault and rape alleged suspects. One example detailed how two New York City police officers arrested a young teenage woman for possession of marijuana. They loaded her into their unmarked police van and forced her to perform oral sex on them; they eventually raped her.

They threatened to charge her with crimes if she didn’t follow their orders. They’ve since been charged with multiple crimes including official police intimidation, sexual assault, kidnapping, and coercion.

(Video) Brave woman fights off male attacker while alone at gym | USA TODAY #Shorts

7. Witness Tampering

Witness tampering is a type of misconduct where police officers attempt to change or alter witness testimony by bribes, threats, or other coercive measures. An example case of this occurred recently in Maui, Hawai’i.

Now former police officer Anthony Maldonado pulled over a vehicle in a routine traffic stop. During this stop, Maldonado noticed a large amount of cash in the car, so he stole it.

This in itself is an act of police intimidation referred to as theft under the law. That’s not where the misconduct ends, though. Once the man realized his money was stolen, he reported it to the police department.

Maldonado and four others tried to bribe the man to drop the charges and withdraw the complaint. This is considered witness tampering and is a serious example of police misconduct.

Maldonado is no longer on the force, and he faces years in prison for these actions.

8. Drunk Police Officer

Drinking or using drugs on duty is a huge violation of police rules and regulations, which makes it an example of police intimidation. A recent example: a former Georgia police officer was fired after his supervisor discovered him drunk while filing paperwork.

While this might seem relatively innocuous, image what could happen if a police officer was drunk on duty and got into their police vehicle. Or made an arrest while high. Or shot someone in a drunken rage. Or even made a huge error in paperwork that allowed a murderer to walk free.

Even the smallest example of police intimidation is a serious problem.

9. Rachelle Jackson

Rachelle Jackson of Chicago witnessed a horrific car accident involving Chicago police officers. She bravely ran to the car and pulled one of the officers out fearing that the vehicle was going to explode.

(Video) Cincinnati Police Officer's Racist Outburst Caught On Camera

When other officers arrived, Jackson was immediately detained and was questioned about stealing the officer’s weapon and disarming a peace officer. She then went to jail for 10 months awaiting trial after she was threatened and essentially forced to sign a statement that officers made for her.

The case was dismissed by a judge and Jackson turned around and sued the officers involved and the city for a false arrest, coercive questioning, and malicious prosecution.

10. Eric Garner

The Eric Garner case is another example of police brutality as a form of police misconduct. He was allegedly selling illegal cigarettes on the street of Staten Island. He wasn’t threatening or being violent towards the officers.

The officers attempted to make an arrest and wrestled Garner to the ground. They then put him in a chokehold (an illegal maneuver for police officers to perform) when Garner said repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe.

“I can’t breathe” has become one of the rallying cries of the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement that focuses on the unfair and biased police brutality that mostly black men (but also any person of color) face.

Officers continued to press his head into the ground and kept him in a chokehold. He suffered neck injuries and died because of those compressions.

This case was considered to show police officers right that using illegal maneuvers and using excessive force. However, neither of the officers involved were charged with a crime.

The officer who put Garner in a chokehold was stripped of both his badge and his gun. His supervisor was also charged with failure to supervise and also stripped of her badge and gun.

10 Examples of Police Intimidation Cases: Wrapping Up

Police misconduct is a scary thought: police offers are supposed to be the people we trust to keep us safe. But, as these examples of what are the different types of police misconduct show, when police break the law or go against regulations, they can harm people’s lives forever.

(Video) Police officer seen in excessive force video is fired

If you need a lawyer to help with a potential police officer misconduct case or crimes and criminal defense, contact us. We can help find the best lawyer for your case.


10 Examples Of Police Misconduct To Refer Your Case-Halt.org? ›

Examples of police misconduct include police brutality, dishonesty, fraud, coercion, torture to force confessions, abuse of authority, and sexual assault, including the demand for sexual favors in exchange for leniency. Any of these actions can increase the likelihood of a wrongful conviction.

What are unacceptable behaviors for police? ›

Examples of police misconduct include police brutality, dishonesty, fraud, coercion, torture to force confessions, abuse of authority, and sexual assault, including the demand for sexual favors in exchange for leniency. Any of these actions can increase the likelihood of a wrongful conviction.

What is the most common complaint against police? ›

The most common state claims brought against police officers are for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and use of excessive or unreasonable force.

What is the most serious type of police misconduct? ›

Excessive force – When police use unreasonable violence when making an arrest or investigating a crime, such action is considered excessive force. This type of brutality generally leads to serious physical injury and even death.

What are some of the consequences of officer unethical behavior? ›

These actions can result in physical harm or death, false imprisonment, and violation of constitutional rights.

What behaviors do you identify as unacceptable? ›

Some examples of unacceptable behaviour are: Aggressive or abusive behaviour, such as shouting or personal insults. Spreading malicious rumours or gossip, or insulting someone. Discrimination or harassmentwhen related to a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

What are police intimidation tactics? ›

Intimidation. Another tactic the police could utilize is to verbally and emotionally intimidate you. They could yell at you or throw papers at you to scare you. The police could also keep you in the interrogation room for hours or throughout the night to wear you down until you confess.

What are the three types of police abuse of authority? ›

Here are three common examples of police misconduct.
  • False Arrests From Illegal Search and Seizures. One of the most common ways police abuse their power is through false arrest. ...
  • Excessive or Unreasonable Force. ...
  • Misuse of Position or Power.
Oct 26, 2018

What is the second most common form of reported police misconduct? ›

#2: Excessive Force

The definition of what is considered excessive force depends on why the officer initiated the arrest and the manner in which the suspect responded.

How do you deal with a rude police officer? ›

How To Deal With Confrontational Cops
  1. Say as Little as Possible & Don't Admit Anything.
  2. Exhibit Non-Aggressive Behavior & Speech.
  3. Demonstrate Respect.
  4. If you Must Get Mad, Do it Later!
  5. Next step: contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney.

What are common examples of police misconduct? ›

Examples of police misconduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Use of excessive force.
  • Tampering with evidence.
  • Police brutality.
  • Mishandling evidence.
  • Coerced confessions.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Lying on police reports.
  • False imprisonment or arrest.
Sep 14, 2022

What is police abuse of power? ›

The term “abuse of power” encompasses all the ways police officers can abuse their positions by taking advantage of the very people they have pledged to serve and protect. While most police officers take that pledge seriously, there are some who abuse the power given them to fulfill selfish personal desires.

What is the most common form of police corruption? ›

The most common type of police corruption is the acceptance of bribes from those who deal in the vices of gambling, prostitution, illegal drinking, and the illegal use of drugs.

What are two examples of common unethical behaviors? ›

Asking for recognition for someone else's job, calling in sick to go to the hill station, sabotaging someone else's work, and, in sales, falsifying the product or service to fulfill the target are all examples of unethical behavior in the workplace.

What is unethical conduct examples? ›

Examples of unethical conduct could include situations such as: a fellow worker is overheard gossiping about a client at the local pub. a fellow worker is openly intolerant of other cultures and says negative things about people belonging to different cultures. two workers argue with each other in front of clients.

What are two ways to deal with inappropriate behavior? ›

Helpful Guidelines When Responding to Inappropriate Behavior
  • Use a range of options.
  • Keep positive by using support, reinforce, encourage, coach, and challenge.
  • Focus on rewarding appropriate behavior.
  • Use positive reinforcement to encourage compliance.
  • Avoid using the same response all the time.
May 1, 2014

How do you overcome unacceptable behavior? ›

Make sure you're not a culprit.
  1. Don't react; respond. Hold your tongue, keep perspective even when you're frustrated, and model the calm, productive behaviors you want your employees to exhibit.
  2. Explain what you want; not what you don't. ...
  3. Provide regular coaching and feedback. ...
  4. Ask for employee input.
Aug 1, 2018

How do you deal with bad behavior? ›

10 healthy discipline strategies that work
  1. Show and tell. Teach children right from wrong with calm words and actions. ...
  2. Set limits. ...
  3. Give consequences. ...
  4. Hear them out. ...
  5. Give them your attention. ...
  6. Catch them being good. ...
  7. Know when not to respond. ...
  8. Be prepared for trouble.
Nov 5, 2018

What is police coercion? ›

Put simply, police coercion takes place when officers of the law exert undue pressure to get an individual suspect to admit their involvement in a crime.

What is aggressive enforcement? ›

Definitions And Prevalence. We define aggressive policing (or aggressive order maintenance policing) as an expansive set of strategies used by law enforcement to proactively control disorder and strictly punish all levels of deviant behavior.

What are police tactics? ›

A police tactical unit (PTU) is a specialized police unit trained and equipped to handle situations that are beyond the capabilities of ordinary law enforcement units because of the level of violence (or risk of violence) involved.

When can officers be considered verbally abusive? ›

Verbal abuse is when police officers call a suspect offensive slurs or names. This most often includes verbal attacks regarding a person's racial identity, ethnic identity, gender identity, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.

What are the two categories of police corruption? ›

Police corruption is the misuse of police authority for personal gain. Examples include extortion (for example, demanding money for not writing traffic tickets) and bribery (for example, accepting money in exchange for not enforcing the law).

What are the four distinctive category types police misconduct falls into? ›

Though many police misconduct cases fall into one of these four categories: Excessive Force, Sexual Assault, Failure to Intervene, and Deliberate Indifference.

What is considered the most distressing forms of police deception? ›

Lying to conceal or promote criminality is the most distressing form of deception.

What are forms of police deception? ›

Police are offered considerable latitude by the courts during the investigation stage. This includes the use of informants, court-approved wiretapping, and undercover work. This latitude to deceive carries over into the interrogation and testimonial stages as a subculturally supported norm among officers.

What does one of the most notable forms of police misconduct involve? ›

Police misconduct may involve witness tampering, police brutality, or malicious prosecution. Other examples of police misconduct include false arrest, assault, tampering with evidence, theft, coerced confessions, and many other actions.

What does 126 mean for cops? ›

126Intercept suspects
127Proceed with caution
128No siren, no flashing
129Request back up
29 more rows

What is an example of contempt of cop? ›

Charges such as disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer may be cited as official reasons in a contempt of cop arrest. Obstruction of justice or failure to obey a police order is also cited in arrests in some jurisdictions, particularly as a stand-alone charge without any other charges brought.

Can you talk rude to a police officer? ›

To be clear, there isn't a law that specifically forbids yelling, swearing or otherwise being rude to a law enforcement officer – as long as you're not threatening to harm them or someone else. This is protected speech under the First Amendment.

What is an example of miscommunication in criminal justice? ›

Miscommunication Example: Listening

An example is missing out on a confession by a subject because the judge was not keen in listening as he or she expected continued denial of the crime. Court proceedings thus require one to maintain eye contact when listening.

What is misuse of authority? ›

(1) The term “abuse of authority” means an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority that is inconsistent with the mission of the executive agency concerned or the successful performance of a contract or grant of such agency.

What are the civil rights abuses by police? ›

When law enforcement officers abuse their power or exceed the limits of their authority to deprive a person of his or her civil rights, that is police misconduct. Unlawful detention, false arrest, excessive use of force, and racial profiling are all forms of police misconduct.

What is abuse of power * In simple words? ›

A simple definition of the abuse of power is the misuse of a position of power to take unjust advantage of individuals, organizations, or governments.

What is the general misuse of police authority for personal gain? ›

Police corruption is the abuse of police authority for personal gain. Corruption may involve profit or another type of material benefit gained illegally as a consequence of the officer's authority. Typical forms of corruption include bribery, extortion, receiving or fencing stolen goods, and selling drugs.

What is the most controversial responsibility of the police? ›

13 The use of force, especially deadly force, is often the most controversial discretionary decision made by police officers.

What is an example of a situation that is ethical but illegal? ›

Ethical, but Illegal

A common example of this is “whistleblowing,” or an individual's disclosure of dishonest, corrupt or illegal activity. While it may be ethical to denounce such activity, doing so may violate organizational policies and thus be considered illegal.

What is illegal behavior? ›

Illegal activities are, of course, those that are forbidden by law. Illicit activities are considered improper or socially forbidden; they may or may not be illegal but they go against social norms and values.

What is unethical behavior in law? ›

'Unethical' defines as something that is morally wrong, whilst something being 'illegal' means it is against the law. In an illegal act, the decision-making factor is the law. For an unethical act, the deciding agent is the man's own conscience. An unethical deed may be against morality but not against the law.

What are the 6 types of unethical behaviour? ›

The resulting typology of unethical organizational communication consisted of six general categories: coercive, destructive, deceptive, intrusive, secretive, and manipulative-exploitative.

What are 5 unethical activities? ›

5 Most Common Unethical Behaviors Ethics Resource Center (ERC) Survey
  • Misuse of company time. Whether it is covering for someone who shows up late or altering a timesheet, misusing company time tops the list. ...
  • Abusive Behavior. ...
  • Employee Theft. ...
  • Lying to employees. ...
  • Violating Company Internet Policies.
Jul 2, 2016

What are at least five unethical behavior? ›

The ERC reported that employees most often observe the following five unethical behaviors in the workplace: 1) employees misusing company time, 2) supervisors abusing subordinates, 3) employees stealing from their employers, 4) employees lying to their employers, and 5) employees violating company internet policies.

What is an unethical violation? ›

Ethics violations such as discrimination, safety violations, poor working conditions and releasing proprietary information are other examples.

What is an example of unethical but not illegal? ›

Being unethical does not always mean remaining illegal as well. For example, if a person lies about work or a project from some other person in the workplace, it is considered unethical. Still, it is not illegal to hide some information from an individual.

What are the four common causes of unethical behavior? ›

Why Do Employees Make Unethical Decisions?
  • Pressure to Succeed. Employees may choose to act unethically based on unrealistic expectations to succeed. ...
  • Employees Are Afraid to Speak Up. ...
  • Lack of Training. ...
  • There's No Policy for Reporting. ...
  • Managers Setting Bad Examples.

What are three 3 categories of law enforcement behavior that are defined as a violation of the US Constitution? ›

To understand how this process works, the following sections will provide an overview of three common types of police misconduct that violate constitutional rights: (1) False Arrest or Imprisonment, (2) Malicious Prosecution and (3) Excessive Force.

What are the three forms of police abuse? ›

Below, we discuss common forms of police brutality and what you can do to protect your civil rights.
  • #1: False Imprisonment. ...
  • #2: Excessive Force. ...
  • #3: Malicious Prosecution. ...
  • Our Police Brutality Lawyers Will Advocate for You.
Nov 29, 2021

Can you be disrespectful to police? ›

To be clear, there isn't a law that specifically forbids yelling, swearing or otherwise being rude to a law enforcement officer – as long as you're not threatening to harm them or someone else. This is protected speech under the First Amendment.

What are 3 negative aspects of a police job? ›

Police work is rife with circumstantial stressors. Our fuses and energy become short with sleep deprivation, long shift hours, societal isolation, and continued exposure to negative human elements. Because police officers are in constant danger, we are also overly suspicious of everything and everyone.


1. Officer fired after ‘taking things too far’ while arresting man in wheelchair
(FOX 13 Tampa Bay)
2. Police brutality lawsuit filed against American Fork officers
(FOX 13 News Utah)
3. Court Cam: Crooked Cop CAUGHT Red-Handed Planting Drugs on Innocent People | A&E
4. Watch Cops Seize Combat Vet's Life Savings [RARE FOOTAGE]
(Institute for Justice)
5. Watch: Woman Slips Out Of Handcuffs And Shoots AR-15 Out Of Police Vehicle
(NBC News)
6. A Pattern of Sexual Misconduct by Louisville Police
(VICE News)


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