Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taping Daughter Because of Hitting Back- Guilty or Not?



Ethics is a subject matter that most like to avoid, but truly define what is “good” and “how to behave”. When raising a child normally people have a general idea about what is acceptable and what is deemed unnecessary. The ethics of childhood is basically the provided care and education in a safe, healthy, and nurturing home. The parents are supposed to give a child proper development and provide them with an appropriate way of discipline when a child is in trouble.
                Andre Curry is a dad who raises his daughter on his own. A few weeks ago he claimed to be joking around when he posted a picture of his daughter on Facebook with tape around her hands, feet, and over her mouth. People that knew him said that he was a very good father and that everyone “plays” with their children differently. As we were learning Kant focuses on the act not the outcome of what the person is doing. This is why this case could be supported from either side so to speak. From a person that is in love with children and despise when people do not treat them right, I think this could carry a very heavy outcome. He is a single father who is 21 years old and is supporting his child on his own He obviously doesn’t treat her wrong on a regular basis if he is doing all the raising himself and does not have a criminal background at all. No one understands why he chose to joke around like this but an ethic basis from a child is that the child depends on their parents. A barely one year old girl was raised by her dad because the mother was not suitable. She is still very young so she needs supportive people around her to protect her and help her grow. This act that Andre Curry did was not acceptable but he did it as a joke.
                He was held on bond for roughly $100,000 and then was lessened to $30,000. He was released on a 105 bail of that $30,000. It is understood he has no criminal record and very cooperative with the police. He has spoken to his church and has openly claimed what he did was wrong. That is something that many would find a positive outcome of this situation, but he did take a risk posting items on a social media sight with humorous intentions at the result of his child being the one laughed at! With social media becoming its own being so to speak what type of ethics and standards should be expected of parents when it comes to pictures posted of their children? One of the comments to Curry’s photo was a woman claiming he was going to have DCFS called on him. Is it going to be DCFS’s problem to search public media outlets for safe keeping of children as well? Would the same outcome be if it was a girl’s first bath with the baby being naked in the picture? Though maybe that will open another can of ethic worms!
People do make mistakes but which mistakes are the ones that should be taken seriously or not? 

Bloomington Blunders

Jeff Pelo
The first few classes we have discussed two theories of ethics and how they relate to certain situations.  To be brief Kantian ethics say that if it’s a rule for one it should be a rule for all.  The law is universal and should be adequately applied to everyone.  Seems fair and makes sense, however what is right and just for one isn’t always right and just for all.  To contrast that, Utilitarianism says that we must sacrifice or act in accordance to please the greater good.  Again, what is pleasure for one may or may not be pleasure for all.  Ethical dilemmas appear everywhere in professional life most notably in policing.  Police work hands down has to be one of the professions that use the most self discretion to make a choice not only for oneself but a choice to suit society.  Making a ball or strike call may be hard for an umpire to do, and when making the wrong call the implications can be huge, especially if it is in a World Series game or some game of worth.  Or who could forget about Steve Bartman’s decision to try and catch a foul ball and cursing the beloved Cubs once more.  But policing is different because it could be dealing with possible life or death situations.  Although this one wasn’t it still was an ethical dilemma, albeit on a very small scale. 
The blue code of silence, briefly stated, is the understood laws followed by the brotherhood of police officers.  Although unwritten, they still are greatly followed.  Simply put don’t be a snitch.  In one of my other cjs classes, contemporary policing in America, we learned about a small ethical dilemma in which an officer was faced with arresting and detaining a fellow officer for his would be action, going on a hunch of what had taken place in the past, or letting the law play out and making the conviction when necessary.
Former Police Officer Sgt. Jeffery Pelo was sentence to 440 years in prison for his multiple counts of sexual assault in the small town of Bloomington Illinois.  I chose to write about this because not only does it tie into what we our discussing in class but also it connects to another one of my classes, AND it’s about a local, of beautiful Bloomington!  Jeffery Pelo was not only an officer of the law donning the badge and gun, but was also a serial rapist.  He was very methodical in his work making sure to cover his tracks, and which each successful assault he grew smarter and more confident.  He was never going to get caught he probably thought to himself.  Little did he know that Clay Wheeler and other Bloomington Police officers were hot on his case.  While watching the "Who the (bleep!) did I Marry? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy9aJwdTTLM&feature=related (not the entire 50 minute video, but the best segment I could find) series video I believe in class I thought to myself it was only a matter of time before this got out of hand and the time where Pelo would get caught up in his actions was soon to come.  While lurking around the property of his next victim a disturbance call was made and on the scene came office Dave Zeamer.  When confronting the offender, Zeamer called out the man to turn around and when he did it was a shock.  Zeamer was now face to face with the would be rapist, Pelo.  However Zeamer couldn’t fully know just yet that it was Pelo who was to be held accountable for all the past rapes.  However he did have the right to arrest him on the spot to prevent more of these occurrences from happening before the long arm of the law finally had its way with Pelo.  The choice not to arrest him was one out of perhaps the blue code of silence.  He went on with his business and returned to work the next day knowing in his head what had happened but he didn’t want to tell anyone.  Don’t be a snitch right? 
In this instance I agree with Zeamers actions not to arrest and let the law do its job.  Even though Pelo’s excuse for being there was bogus and that he was looking for a new house for his mother, albeit at one in the morning because no one was around to bother him, I could justify Zeamers non action.  Pelo was Zeamers superior and both out of respect and perhaps duty to let this one slide, Pelo walked away.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ethics and The Blue Code of Silence

The code of silence should  not be broken, or should it be?

These past class lectures have been dwelling deep into the word “ethics.” “Ethics” is this, and “Ethics” is that. Why are we talking about ethics though? We have been discussing ethics because every professional in the criminal justice field should be displaying this. Lawyers, police officers, and judges are supposed to display ethics every day and every hour while on the job. This is because these professionals make decisions that affect normal people every day. Whether it is an officer issuing a ticket, a state’s attorney deciding on a plea bargain or on a guilty verdict, or even a judge making a final say so; ethics are used every day in the world of criminal justice. So are these professionals supposed to have ethics? I would think so. There is something that stands in the way of me believing that one of these professions have ethics or good morals all the time, and that is the blue code of silence, and that is normally used by police officers. The Blue Code of Silence is an unwritten rule among police officers in the U.S not to report on other colleague’s errors, misconducts, or crimes. That is basically saying if you see something wrong, then do not snitch. I would never snitch myself, but if you are officer of the law you have to report crime whether it is your colleague or a random person (that’s why I will not become a cop). Cops are sworn into law enforcement to enforce the law on others, but they won’t snitch on each other because of their code; where is the ethics in that?I know all police officers are not the same. I understand the brotherhood of not snitching on each other. I am in a fraternity so I know some things are meant to be kept in the family. There does come a time when you have to hold your brother accountable for what they are doing, especially when your job is to enforce the law. Sometimes police officers are faced with the decision on whether to snitch on their fellow employee. What would you do if you were in an officer’s position and you knew that one of your colleagues did something illegal? Would you report him/her? Would you look the other way? Honestly, I feel I wouldn’t say anything at all, but then again I am not an officer and I wouldn’t become one so I wouldn’t have to be faced with that decision. I researched a story on a police officer who broke the code of silence and did report a fellow officer. In fact, that officer testified against the whole department. (see link at top of page) The police officer did the right thing to the eyes of the public and to his peers. You cannot argue with that. The officer is now faced with the deep fact that he knows that he broke the code of silence. He will no longer have the bond shared amongst other officers because he broke the code. He will have to go to work every day knowing that he will be labeled as a snitch. That has to be hard on him.I feel bad for this police officer. I feel bad for officers in general. It’s a terrible feeling for getting ridiculed for doing the right thing all because they broke a secret code. What would you do? Would you testify or keep the corruption on the hush? Like I already said, I don’t think I would become a police officer. The job is already stressful enough. I wouldn’t want any more stress put upon myself all over a code of silence.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to the CJS 395 Blog

We are going to have one class blog this semester --  I found out that blogger permits us to have the whole class in one blog.   You should accept the invites sent to your email.  You can use your ISU email or an existing or new google account.