CJUS 630 Liberty University Police Ethics Discussions Replies

Please respond to the following discussion replies with 250 words EACH, 1 biblical viewpoint with scripture reference EACH and 1 citation EACH.

this is the original discussion post, (this does not have to replied to) Topic: Ethics

One communication technique that is seldom included in a police training program, but one that is often employed, is for an officer to simply lie to achieve a desired goal. For example, consider the officer who tells a potential combative suspect that he needs to place him in handcuffs only temporarily while completing some necessary paperwork, and that he will release him when he’s finished. Once the cuffs are secure however, the officer advises the suspect he is in fact under arrest. He lies to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Another example is the officer who advises an abusive husband that his wife does not wish to file a complaint, a lie, and then attempts to get him to admit that he struck her. Of course, once he does, then the husband is placed under arrest. And finally, consider the hostage-taker who gives up after he is informed by the responding officers that the prosecuting attorney has agreed to charge him only with a minor infraction, again, a lie intended to de-escalate the crisis and effect the safe release of the hostage.

The idea of the police lying seems repulsive to some, but to others, especially the police, it is a legitimate method for containing and de-escalating a crisis at times. Is it legal? Absolutely; however, there are limitations on the extent to which the police can lie. The courts have essentially ruled that intrinsic lies, or those lies that misrepresent a person’s connection to a crime in order to gain a confession, are acceptable. For example, telling a suspect that his car was observed by a witness at the scene of the crime, even if not true, is an acceptable intrinsic lie. Extrinsic lies, or those lies that may potentially distort a person’s ability to make a rational choice about confessing to a crime, are mostly not acceptable. For example, threatening to take a mother’s children from her unless she confesses to a crime would likely render the confession inadmissible due to its coercive nature. Some of the relevant court cases on police lying are as follows:

Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969). Holland v. McGinnis, 963 F.2d 1044, 1050-51 (7th Cir. 1992). Lynumn v. Illinois, 372 U.S. 528 (1963). Spano v. New York, 360 U.S. 315 (1959). State v. Kelekolio, 849 P.2d 58, 73 (Haw. 1993). United States v. Flemmi, 225 F.3d 78, 84 (1st Cir. 2000). United States v. Rodman, 519 F.2d 1058; 1975 U.S. App. LEXIS 13204 (1st Cir. 1975).

Discussion Questions (select one of the following questions and draft a response according to the directions outlined in the Assignments folder and Syllabus located in the Course Content section)

1. Should the police ever resort to the use of lies with vulnerable or mentally ill persons, even if legal and used for the purpose of saving lives?

2. Discuss some ways in which the use of lies by the police could potentially be misused when applied to situations involving the mentally ill or other persons in crisis.

3. Do some basic Internet research on the concept of police “entrapment,” and discuss the differences between entrapment and the legitimate use of lies by the police.

please respond to the following to classmates: 1) King- Lying to the Vulnerable or Mentally Ill

Police officers do not necessarily have a good reputation when it comes to dealing with the mentally ill. A lot of this is due to the fact that police officers are not trained to deal with the mentally ill or other vulnerable individuals, scholars say that “An unethical cultural attitude towards mental health care has caused decision-making and the exercise of police discretion to be neither well informed nor protective in many cases, resulting in the substandard treatment of people with mental health problems.” (McDaniel, 2018). The lack of training and care that is shown to the less fortunate by law enforcement is an epidemic that needs to be taken more seriously. Luckily there have been some programs established to deterrer police officers away from non-violent situations involving the vulnerable and mentally ill, such as the PERT (psychiatric emergency response teams). Researchers state that “The main purpose of the PERT is to respond to emergency calls regarding persons (of all ages) facing acute crises or acute mental illness, with suicide prevention as the main priority. The vehicle used resembles an ordinary ambulance and is equipped with a blue light and sirens, computers for mobile access to patients’ medical records and medications such as basic tranquilizers, sleep medication and antipsychotic drugs.” (Lindstrom, Sturesson & Carlborg, 2020). These teams can do the same work police officers do but less harmful to those that are in crisis situations.

The question of if lying to individuals that are vulnerable or mentally ill depends on the situation. If someone is about to hurt themselves or someone else, I believe it is acceptable to lie to de-escalate the situation. One study discusses three different methods that may be used to deter situations “In examining how police resolved such situations, we observed three core features of police work: (1) accepting temporary solutions to chronic vulnerability; (2) using local knowledge to guide decision-making; and (3) negotiating peace with complainants and call subjects. Study findings imply the need to advance field-based studies using systematic social observations of gray zone decision-making within and across distinct geographic and place-based contexts.” (Wood, Watson & Fulambarker). Police officers should not lie if lying is going to hurt the individual or others. Police officers should also be careful with what they say to less fortunate individuals because it may make the situation at hand worse than it needs to be.


Lindström, V., Sturesson, L., & Carlborg, A. (2020). Patients’ experiences of the caring encounter with the psychiatric emergency response team in the emergency medical service—A qualitative interview study. Health Expectations, 23(2), 442–449. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.13024

McDaniel, J. L. M. (2018). Reconciling mental health, public policing and police accountability. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, 92(1), 72–94. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032258×18766372

Watson, A., Wood, J., & Fulambarker, A. (2017). The “Gray Zone” of Police Work During Mental Health Encounters: Findings From an Observational Study in Chicago – Jennifer D. Wood, Amy C. Watson, Anjali J. Fulambarker, 2017. SAGE Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1098611116658875.

2) Pritchett- The role of a police officer is to protect and serve. If a police officer is in the situation where they are trying to save someone’s life and they have to lie to another person to do so, then, by all means, no one should be able to argue with that. Mentally ill or not, if the only way to get needed information about a crime out of someone is to lie to them because they are not willing, to tell the truth, any other way, then lying is what it will have to take. Although when lying to a mentally ill person, or even interrogating a mentally ill person for that matter, police will run into problems using their testimony, if that is what they are needing from them. If they are lying to them because they need to know where a person is to be able to hurry and find them, then that would be very beneficial and they could hurry and find this missing person. But if they are doing it to get information about a crime and hope to be able to use this information in the trial, they will more than likely run into some legal problems. According to an article called Voluntariness with a Vengeance: The Coercivenessof Police Lies in Interrogations, the things that a judge or jury look at in the subject are their age, intellectual function, maturity, mental health, and physical condition (including states like intoxication) (Hritz, 2017, p.491). Another article tells about how police can actually get away with doing this and the rules behind it, this article is called, Deceit During Interrogations: When Can Police Lie to You? (Lerner, 2018). This article states that the police cannot coerce a confession by the subject at all, if a confession is made, it has to be made completely voluntary and Miranda rights have to be given to the subject. But what the law enforcement does is use deceitful tactics that they are taught to trick the subject, to make them think they know more than they do, or make them think they know something that is completely not true but they are just guessing is how something actually happened, they can only verify it happened this way if the subject admits to it though. Many of these subjects are being eaten alive by what they are holding in and the law enforcement officers have been trained to know exactly what to say to make them snap and let it all out. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13, ESV, 2016). There are certain rules behind what they can and cannot do though when lying, they cannot lie to them and tell them their confession will not get them in trouble and be used against them only to make them confess knowing that it will indeed get them in trouble and be used against them.


Amelia C. Hritz, Voluntariness with a Vengeance: The Coerciveness of Police Lies in Interrogations, 102CornellL.Rev. 487 (2017)Available at: http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/clr/vol102/iss2/4

Lerner, L. O. B. O. P. B. C. (2018, January 11). Deceit During Interrogations: When Can Police Lie to You? Lerner & Lerner, P.C. https://www.lernerandlerner.com/blog/2018/january/…

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV). (2016). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Prove…

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