|Categories:||Law Criminal justice|
According to Blumberg, (1979), many people have different opinions about different things in society. As such, even the issues about who is right and who is wrong in a place of work for example a school, a police station or an organization is bound to have different interpretations by different people. What one person sees as right might be a wrong thing to the other. Legal issues regarding crime in a country usually depends on what the society considers as important values that are put in place not to give members a difficulty but to guide each and every person in whatever he or she does. Most of the time, the laws that operate in a country are made basing on what the citizens of that country consider as values. Most of the times you will find that the people charged with crime in courts of law have actually committed something which is considered by the society in which he committed the act as immoral and against the values of the people.
Given that Officer Golden has never had any disciplinary issues for the ten years, the credibility of his transfer from a beat officer to a desk job by the sheriff is obviously a doubtful decision and the lawsuit that he threatens to follow will obviously unearth some issues which the sheriff might not want to be revealed. However, since the values and rules of the Saint Leo Sheriffs Department prohibit any officer working outside the department to talk about issues of the department, Officer Golden could definitely find himself in trouble for breaking the rules governing his place of work. This means therefore that Golden can be held accountable for carelessly sharing information regarding the department with outsiders which is against the rules and regulations of the criminal investigation department at Saint Leo Police Department.
The threats that the Golden makes to the sheriff of following a lawsuit might be very dangerous for the department and the sheriff in particular because her transfer is completely illegal. Despite Golden working in the department as a beat officer for a whooping ten years, he has never found himself with any disciplinary issues. Possibly Officer Golden has worked under several bosses and all of them have acknowledged that he is a good officer who deserves promotion and not demotion of some kind. His transfer from being a beat officer to a desk job, even though his salary did not change, is a complete demotion and this can be used by the judge in a court of law to rule in favor of him.
Golden is not contented with the decision of the sheriff to transfer him to a desk job from being a beat officer. This action of the sheriff is actually not right for the transfer is done on grounds of stopping Golden from talking about matters of the department. However, Golden can use this transfer to assert that he was transferred so that he does not spoil the plans of the Saint Leo Sheriffs Department officers such as Silver of taking some of the drugs seized. This can leave the officers at the department with no word left for them to defend themselves against the claims. The investigations that can be launched by the court order might end up spoiling the sheriffs job for covering criminal officers and sacrificing Golden in order to secure the operations of the criminal officers who are engaging in criminal acts.
Furthermore, the Officer Golden might place charges of drug trafficking against the sheriff and the other officers at the department. This is because maybe, Golden got hold of the video cameras that captured Silver returning some of the drugs that he feared would have been found with him. The sheriff cannot completely rule out the possibility of Golden having seen Silver return something to the bag in the evidence room. This can be used to enforce the lawsuit for Golden. There is therefore some kind of uncertainty regarding the strength Goldens law suit. Possibly Golden had set measures in place to make sure that he has enough evidence to support his claims against the officers of his department that led to his transfer.
The manner in which the transfer of Golden was done is not legal. The law does not allow transfers of officers on grounds that they tried to articulate their feelings about an issue that affects the society at large. The transfers are only supposed to be done to meet a need that exists in the destination area so as to enable improvement of the place in matters of legal issues regarding criminal charges. It is also illegal to transfer an officer without their consent in a manner that suggests them being forced. Therefore, the sheriff made a mistake, in fact a criminal act by transferring Golden illegally without any tangible reason underlying the transfer. This can be used by officer Golden to demand for his position to be reinstated and even compensated for the psychological effects that the transfers has caused him.
The general rules which are set in the Sheriffs Department at Saint Leo could also land the Sheriff in hot soup due to the fact that these rules to some extent are going against the constitutional right of every human being. It is against the law to limit individual officers at a police station to freely express their ideas about something or an idea about what they feel about their work. The transfer is done purely on grounds that Officer Golden should be stopped from speaking about the department since he is out of it. This can be a stronghold for officer Golden since he may claim that he was transferred to keep him away from revealing the crimes of the officers at the department involving illegally seizing drugs from criminals and failing to record the drugs in the inventories. Instead, the officers use the drugs for trafficking and making themselves rich.
Since officer Golden has been working as a beat officer at the department, he might have had contact with the criminals who were arrested by the sheriffs of the department and shared with them about how much drugs they were caught with. This means therefore that the claims of Golden that some officers are bad actors and that they take the drugs for their own use instead of keeping them as evidence would be justified in a court of law in case these criminals are used as witnesses in favor of Officer Golden. This can therefore be used by the judges in the court as evidence which might land the sheriff and her officers in trouble and lead them to a sentence in a court of law. In fact even the fact that the officers at the department take portions of the drugs from the criminals arrested could be seen from a legal point of view as destruction of evidence which can lead to criminal charges on the officers of the department.
In general terms therefore, the Officer by the name Golden has an upper hand in his pursuit of the lawsuit. First because of the merits of the claims he has and second, because of the fact that a law suit can be initiated by any person who feels that his or her human rights are being violated. A lawsuit can be used to claim back his position as a beat officer and lead to further court orders which may be used to regulate the operations of the Saint Leo Department of Sheriffs so as to avoid such scenarios in future from occurring.
However, Golden should trade carefully in his law suit because he went against the rules and values of Saint Leo Police department by sharing confidential information with a sheriff from outside the department. This can also be seen as a crime because departments which deal with criminal issues usually require a lot of confidentiality when it comes to sharing their information. The confidentiality is normally enforced in the rules and regulations that prohibit the officers from sharing such information. According to Silberman (1978), the confidentiality is highly valued due to the fact that its release to outside parties could lead to destruction of evidence against criminals who are been held for criminal actions in the department. Therefore, by the fact that Golden shared with an officer from the Hidden Valley Police Department, he broke the rules of the department and this could land him in serious trouble.
Silver also has some valid claims because some of his rights have been violated by the sheriff who searches his office and cubicles without a search warrant. If Silver continues with his case against the department, then he is likely to win the case because the sheriff who was suspicious of him conducted an illegal search in his office and cubicle trying to see if she could get some evidence against him. This can land the sheriff trouble because she went against the code of conduct of the department and also went against the constitutional rights of Silver which protects him from any illegal searches without a warrant in his private premises like the cubicle. This search is seen as illegal for it violated the constitutional right by infringing on the privacy of the officer by the sheriff.
Officer Silver could use the illegal search as evidence to defend himself against any claims that may be labeled against him by saying that they were put in his house by the Sheriff. The sheriff may not e in a position to deny this because he conducted an illegal search in Silvers cubicle. The officer might insist that the search was aimed at illegally placing pieces of evidence in his room so that that evidence could be used to outer him from his job.
The sheriff does not have the right to terminate the job of officer Silver just because of suspicion and claims which have not been proven. Since any individual facing criminal charges is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the sheriff would not have terminated officer Silver since he is innocent. Silver can only step down to allow investigations and his position cannot be taken by any other person until the case against him is heard and determined. Forceful termination of a sheriff is illegal unless the sheriff is proven guilty (Goldstein, 1980). The officer can only lose his job if the court rules that indeed he committed criminal acts and he deserves to lose his work. That way, the termination will be valid. However, that is not the case as the sheriff just goes ahead to terminate Officer Silver based on what she heard from Golden and the suspicion that officer Silver did interfere with the contents of the bag in the evidence room. These claims cannot be proved.
The best advice for the sheriff therefore is to make sure that she corrects her wrongs by bringing Silver back to work and then launching a legal investigation process against that follows the law so that she is not caught on the wrong side by the law. Failure to make follow up on behaviour of Silver may lead to her being held accountable for the crimes of her officers at the department especially if officer Golden decides to pursue the lawsuit.
In a strategy to try and settle the matter out of court, which is normally allowed by the law, the sheriff could make it known to Officer Silver that cameras have been installed in the evidence room and that they have so far captured several incidences where he has messed up with the exhibit in the evidence room. This might help to make Officer Silver to tone down especially due to the fact that he might feel guilty of his actions that were captured by the cameras. This is because disclosure of the defense facts to the complainant can aid in reducing the strength of the cases (Sirohi, 1988).
Legal justice and criminal administration is very complicated in that many societies have different perceptions regarding criminal activities. Some of the actions termed as criminal by the law are not necessarily criminal to many members of the society and therefore there is need to consider the core values that are universal to all in criminalizing actions or activities.
Blumberg, A. S. (1979)....
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