Types of Police Misconduct

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While most police officers are honest, misconduct does occur, and it affects the integrity of the justice system. Here are some of the most common types of police misconduct.

Kickbacks and Bribery

Police officers have numerous opportunities to take financial advantage of those with whom they have dealings. Kickbacks and bribery could come from a store owner who would like extra protection, or from a drug dealer who wants an officer to look the other way.


Police brutality refers to the use of excessive force on someone. The force doesn't have to be lethal, just more than the situation requires.

Abuse of Authority

Abuse of authority can range from sexually abusing a victim or suspect to coercing a false confession.

Falsifying Evidence

Falsifying evidence can include planting evidence at a crime scene or making up false witness statements.

False Arrest

False arrest occurs when police officers arrest someone they know is innocent.


Police officers who commit misconduct may be suspended or fired, and they could face civil suits from their victims. In the most severe cases, they may face criminal charges.


About the Author

Michael Scott is a freelance writer and professor of justice studies at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a former prosecutor. Scott has a J.D. from Emory University and is a member of the Utah State Bar. He has been freelancing since June 2009, and his articles have been published on eHow.com and Travels.com.