Case Study 1.1 Police Brutality In New Orleans – Case Study Example
Case Problem: Determine how Ontological Ethics support or condemns the conduct in the selected case and recommend which ethical theory resolves the particular ethical issue of the case.
Ethical Issues: The ethical issues that emerged were: the use of police force and brutality, police lying under oath due to the “code of silence”; police cover-up of the factual events that transpired, and racial discrimination.
Analysis through Ethical Theories: Ontological ethics was defined as a “subcategory of normative ethics that judges the rightness or wrongness of behavior on the basis of the act itself” (Souryal, 2007, 49). The rightness or wrongness in the actions of the police should be judged on the basis of their obligatory nature: to uphold justice and prevent crime; thereby, ontological ethics condemn the act that pursued in the case.
Consequences and Obligations: To resolve the ethical issues identified the ethical theory that should prevail is Kant’s “categorical imperative” which states that “always act in such a way that you would be willing for it to become a general law that everyone else should do the same in the same situation” (BBC, n.d.). The normative ethics should likewise apply: “one’s conduct must take into account moral issues; that is, one should act morally, using reason to decide the
proper way of conducting oneself” (Banks, 2009, 7). The police, through the “code of silence” bypassed conducting actions which adhere to moral issue of justice and doing what is right. Subsequent actions were contrary to the standards and ideals that law enforcers are expected to uphold.
Banks, C. (2009). Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice. SAGE Publications, Inc.
BBC. (n.d.) Ethics Guide. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
Souryal, S.S. (2007). Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth, 4e. Elsevier, Inc.