After following the instructional sequence, which includes reading the required chapters and the unit lesson, please discuss the following scenario. Imagine you are a police officer and having a private conversation with a fellow officer. Unbeknownst to you, a fellow officer is recording the conversation. You are later contacted by your supervisor and informed that you are now under internal investigation for what was said on the recording. Do you believe your rights have been violated in the given scenario? Explain why or why not.
ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTION AND THEN REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 125 WORDS or MORE)
In this scenario, I do not feel that my rights have been violated. Based on this scenario being an on-duty conversation, I’m also considering firsthand knowledge that at any time inside or outside the patrol unit leads to a possibility of me being recorded or videotaped by my unit, Body-Worn Cameras (BWC), or by the general public.
When conversing with coworkers, conversations should remain tactful. Even if something is said “off the record”, an officer should always be mindful that he could be scrutinized at any point by any action. In the 2019 case of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, prosecutors introduced text messages in which Guyger made offensive statements about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and black colleagues on the police force (Sanchez, 2019). These text messages were from her personal mobile phone; however, they were subject to scrutinization and interpretation by parties involved and the general public. Many may see this as an invasion of privacy however I reiterate that being a public servant comes with a higher level of transparency and being subjected to scrutiny. As public servants, police officers should be held to a higher standard (Burrus, 2014).
If my conversation with a fellow officer leads to an internal investigation, I should be ready to explain and defend any accusations or statements that may have been considered a violation of department policy. Also, I should be able to elaborate on recorded information that may be apart of another investigation that I was not privy to.
As officers, we must always maintain (or attempt to maintain) public trust. While in the Auxiliary Police Academy several years ago, I was advised that someone is always watching and listening. I was further advised that I should always be mindful of personal conversations on my cell phone while inside my patrol unit, out in public, and quite frankly, while wearing the uniform.
Burres, T. (2014, December 4). A Special Prosecutor for Police. Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/12/04/do-cases-like-eric-garners-require-a-special-prosecutor/set-a-higher-standard-for-police-use-of-force.
Sanchez, R. (2019, October 2). Amber Guyger’s offensive text messages are introduced at her sentencing. Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/02/us/amber-guyger-trial-offensive-texts-trnd/index.html.