One thought on “Don’t shoot!

  1. Barney says:

    “The policeman finds his most pressing problems in his relationships to the public. His is a service occupation but of an incongruous kind, since he must discipline those whom he serves. He is regarded as corrupt and inefficient by, and meets with hostility and criticism from, the public. He regards the public as his enemy, feels his occupational [responsibilities] to be in conflict with the community, and regards himself to be a pariah. The experience and feeling give rise to a collective emphasis on secrecy, an attempt to coerce respect from the public, and a belief that almost any means are legitimate in completing an important arrest. These are for the policeman basic occupational values. They arise from his experience, take precedence over his legal responsibilities, [and] are central to an understanding of his conduct.” William A. Westley, “Violence and the Police,” American Journal of Sociology 59 (July 1953): 35.

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