Ethics in Criminal Justice

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While not many know where you can find this place, but it’s clear that a big case like Philando Castile is well recognized state wide. In a small city in the state of Minnesota, called Falcon heights, is where one of the first serious police misconduct cases occurred within the year of 2016. As misconduct and even serious death cases occur in our state wide police forces, the community of minorities seem to be the ones in most danger of this kind of behavior. Without much consideration it’s clear to understand that many of these horrific situations happen right outside our front door without us even realizing it, situations like please give media news stories, but doesn’t always allow justice to our victims and their families.

Since the year 2016 most of these cases have become more brutal and or gruesome, some would even say cruel and unusual. Each and every day different news channels broadcast these cases for The people of our community to understand what’s going on, allowing us to people to decide whether justice is being served or justice being completely ignored. Safety is always our number one priority but when the people that are supposed to keep us safe start to hurt us we soon then run into cases such as Philando Castile’s.

Conduct has many different definitions, and stages, within officer Yanez’s case, he showed signs of failure to communicate properly within a traffic stop. While pulling Philando over, he states he did have a legal firearm in the car, communicating the best he could to the officer. Immediately Yanez becomes defensive, for what he says was for his own protection, but that is when he replies to not pull the gun out.

As Philando states his understanding, he then reaches for a valid form of identification, while doing so, Officer Yanez then in panic shoots Philando seven times, showing another example of misconduct. In this case, “unethical actions or the violation of ones individuals’ constitutional rights by a police officer”, is considered misconduct in the form of aggression or panic (California Project). Officer Yanez did engage unlawfully with his victim as he had no factual force or danger brought upon him by Philando. In this case Officer Yanez also had a partner present, who also states that Yanez had no ethical reason to shoot his victim to death. With a good view into the incident, it is clear to understand that misconduct was definitely present, it was filled with rage and anxiety, showing the most fatal effects in a innocent member of society.

Within this case the only officer that was implicated in anyway was Officer Jeronimo Yanez. As prosecutors gained access of Yanez’s side of the story, he first stated that the victim looked like a suspected robber from a crime earlier in the day, soon switching his story in court, claiming he assumed that Philando was reaching for his personal licensed gun, so Yanez decided to open fire in state of his own safety. Philando also was driving his girlfriend and child around, so after Yanez fired these unnecessary shots, Phlanido’s girlfriend begin to Facebook live stream in hopes to find some reasonable answer as to why her boyfriend was just shot During the video, it gave factual evident in admitting this unreasonable misconduct performed by Yanez in the video. This was a trial to stand for, measures were soon taken to have Yanez suspended and then terminated from the police force due to possible convictions and or charges. Without a doubt, it was reasonable to see that this trial would be long, but the unbeatable force Yanez brings to the table is considered because of this clean slate of a background he owned at the time.

Starting off, Yanez was set to be charged with second degree manslaughter, two felony counts for intentionally discharging the gun, and complete and final termination from the police force. The St. Anthony police force released this statement saying, “the city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer,” leading to the final termination and ban (Berman, Mark). Yanez then served a year before finalizing a verdict, which became an overwhelming settlement. Not only was Yanez taken care of money wise despite his charges. The family of Philando was also settled with a 3 million dollar lawsuit with the state of Minnesota for precluding an unlawful death. Money was definitely gained, but it did not replace what was lost. The state took it in its own hands to compensate, sympathize and distract its communities from the danger that could be right in front of them, or from a form of cruel and unusual punishment by a official state worker. A fast response, but a force not to be reckoned with.

Reaching the end of the case, it is clear that the police brutality movement is on the rise. Not only was Yanez tried at court and was found not guilty, but he was even set to receive some compensation money. After a year, “Yanez was given 48,500 for a security agreement with his police squad, and he is still set to get paid for 600 hours’ worth of back pay in order to help him find a new career” (USA Today). This crazy verdict caused immense frustration within the community, family members spoke out to the public talking about how great of a guy Philando was and even caused a hefty riot on the highway that he was shot on. During court, Yanez also took the stand crying, explain how he never wanted to shoot Philando in the first place. Yanez seemed to slip by these charges without any heat except a bad reputation and the soul weight of knowing he took the life of an innocent man. Within the case officer Yanez was the only person in the force to loose full accountability for his job and the duties that came with it.

In conclusion, it is clear to see the unjust nature of these horrific incidents. Police brutality has always been a problem here in the states, but it just recently came connected to racism and minorities. Problems like this have occurred all our lives, possibly even outside our front doors, we are acceptable to these kinds of brutality and misconduct at any time, but it is out job as a society to gain trust for our police force and to rely on them to bring upon that protection they preach about. It is our job as civilians to follow protocol and be polite, immediately pull the car over when getting pulled over, and to clearly communicate with your officer to prevent cases like these. In no way should our officers ever take advantage of our own situations, and if they do it is our time to fight for justice, peace, and corporation. Pain is not what the world deserves, nor does it deserve these unlawful deaths, but we the people can make a difference.


  1. Berman, M. (2017, June 17). Minn. officer acquitted in shooting of Philando Castile during traffic stop, dismissed from police force. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/16/minn-officer-acquitted-of-manslaughter-for-shooting-philando-castile-during-traffic-stop/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6579cf04b343
  2. Forliti, A. (2017, July 11). Cop who killed Philando Castile to be paid $48,500 in buyout. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/07/11/cop-who-killed-philando-castile-paid-48-500-buyout/466918001/
  3. Police Misconduct | Police Corruption | CIP. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://californiainnocenceproject.org/issues-we-face/police-misconduct/

Cite this paper

Ethics in Criminal Justice. (2020, Dec 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/ethics-in-criminal-justice/



How is ethics related to justice?
Ethics and justice are closely related as ethical principles guide individuals and institutions to make fair and equitable decisions that uphold justice and protect the rights of all individuals in society. Ethics provide a framework for determining what is right and wrong, just and unjust, which is essential for promoting justice in all aspects of life.
What are the three main ethical issues in criminology?
The three main ethical issues in criminology are the use of force, the collection and use of data, and the treatment of offenders.
Why are ethics important in criminal justice research?
Ethics are important in criminal justice research because they provide guidelines for conducting research in a way that is respectful of participants and that minimized potential harm.
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