Police misconduct Worcester

What is Police Misconduct?

Laws protect society and ensure society runs smoothly, maintaining justice and equality for all. Laws establish order and standards, help resolve disputes, and protect liberties and rights.

Societies have police to monitor, apply, and enforce the laws.

Covid 19 has exposed already existing cracks in society and created new ones. One such crack or division is the relationship between police and society.

Police conduct in America and around the world has come under scrutiny, and as a result, numerous cases of Police Misconduct are being revealed.

Police officers must discharge their duties in accordance with the law. In misconduct cases, officers discharge their duties illegally or unethically and in so doing, violate an individual’s civil rights.


Examples of Misconduct

Misconduct can take many forms and include many different actions, both physical and verbal. Some of the more common and noticeable forms of misconduct include the following.


Police Brutality

Reports of Police Brutality are commonly in the news and officer brutality is all too often linked with the race debate. This is important because at the crux of Police Brutality lies the violation of civil rights.

All definitions of Police Brutality include the use of excessive and/or unwarranted force. Brutality is regarded as an extreme form of Police Misconduct because it is based on violence, abuse of civil rights, and can result in mental and/or physical injury and loss of life.

Police are in charge of enforcing the law to maintain order in society, and it is in the use of force to maintain order that equates to physical abuse.  In performing their duties through the application of force, police often tread a fine line between maintaining order and abusing civil rights.

Lastly, it is important to note that a police force can sometimes be manipulated and used to enforce political objectives contrary to the peoples’ will.


Police Dishonesty

Police dishonesty, also referred to as Police Corruption, is classed as a form of Police Misconduct. Police Corruption involves officers engaging in corrupt practices for illegal personal gain and breaking their law enforcement oath of honor.

The most common forms of Police Corruption are bribery and extortion.

Corrupt practices may be confined to a single officer or involve a group of officers. The personal gain will take the form of monetary payment or increased power and influence.

Police Corruption damages the police force and society because it represents police abuse of position and authority, damages law enforcement’s public image and, encourages criminal activity in the community.


Police fraud

Fraud is commonly defined as the practice of lying, deceiving, or engaging in false practices to gain an advantage or benefit.  In law enforcement circles fraud will normally take the form of a bribe. Fraud is considered a form of Police Misconduct because it negates police credibility and effectiveness.



Police coercion refers to police officers exerting undue pressure upon a suspect in an attempt to get an admission of guilt. Put another way Police Coercion involves police officers using inappropriate pressure to get a confession.

Exerting undue pressure not only constitutes Police Misconduct but it can lead to physical and mental harm plus it can elicit false confessions. Lastly, coercion creates a negative image of police and gives them a bad name in the community.


Forced confessions

A forced confession is one that is obtained through the use of force. The force is applied during the interrogation process and it can take a variety of forms including physical and/or mental torture.

A forced confession is not considered valid and it cannot be used as evidence in a court of law.


Sexual Misconduct

Police Misconduct can also take the form of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct will most often involve police officers demanding sexual favors in exchange for leniency. For example, police sexual misconduct may involve a law enforcement officer forcing a person to have sex in return for not being arrested or not being issued a ticket.


Investigation and Prosecution

Allegations of Police Misconduct are investigated and prosecuted by the Department of Justice under the federal criminal statute 18 U.S.C. In section 242 of the statute, it states “Whoever, under color of any law, …willfully subjects any person…to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States [shall be guilty of a crime].”


Remedies for misconduct

When evidence is obtained illegally it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment and a criminal defendant can ask for illegally obtained evidence to be excluded. This is called the exclusionary rule.


Criminal Charges

In some states, criminal charges apply to Police Misconduct. For example, in Worcester, Massachusetts, a police officer engaging in misconduct will face criminal charges.


Civil Lawsuits

Victims of officer misconduct can file a Civil Lawsuit (often referred to as a Section 1983 Lawsuit) wherein they seek money damages for injuries that are a result of Police Misconduct.


Civil Lawsuits & Structural Reform

Some Civil Lawsuits have identified departmental patterns of misconduct by officers. When a department demonstrates a pattern of civil rights violation through Police Misconduct, the state or federal courts may order structural reforms to be implemented throughout the entire department.

These reforms can include changes to department policies, practices, collection of data, and training methods.


Administrative Remedies for Police Misconduct

There are three administrative remedies for officer misconduct and they can be imposed by a state agency, the police precinct, the district, a citizen inquiry, or an oversight board. The three administrative remedies are revocation of license, internal affairs investigation and citizen oversight boards.

Other remedies for Police Misconduct include policy reforms (for example the mandated use of body cameras for police) and Community Action.

This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with JD Molleur Law, PLLC, or any of their appointed associates through this site does not form an attorney-client relationship. This site is legal advertising. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. We invite you to contact our office and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting this office does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. JD Molleur Law, PLLC does not intend to hold itself out as an expert or specializing in any particular field or fields or law, but rather as welcoming or focusing on matters related to specific practice areas. JD Molleur, PLLC, does not and cannot guarantee any specific results.