Rodney King Riots
Rodney King RiotsElement A
Leadership decision-making processes can sometimes result in dilemmas. The dilemmas are often the result of contradictions between personal perceptions and biases on the one hand and the application of legal principles and best practices on the other (Bergesen & Max, 1998). The Roy King Riots case study is a prime example of how conflicts between personal perceptions and set rules can clash resulting in ethical dilemmas. In the case, a Los Angeles jury had acquitted four officers caught on camera brutally assaulting a suspect, Roy King, until he was unable to move before arresting him (Bergesen & Max, 1998). Television stations aired the tape, which sparked uproar within the Los Angeles African-American and Latin American communities claiming the incessant use of brutal force by police officers from the LAPD and constant lack of response from the institution’s top leadership. After the revelation of the video and declaration of innocence by the court, the department chief of police, Dary Gates resigned citing disdain for the treatment of the suspect by officers under his jurisdiction.
The police chief expressly stated his disbelief is watching trained officers surrounding a suspect and beating him to the ground and continuing the assault until he could not move (Bergesen & Max, 1998). The chief was particularly disturbed by the fact that a police sergeant was at the scene and stood by doing nothing to stop the assault on Roy King. The law at the time allowed for the use of force on suspects who refused to comply with orders to surrender after a crime. The principle of use of reasonable force to restrain a suspect established in Graham v Connor (1989) provided viable legal defence for the use of such force after a car chase and an attempt by the suspect to flee on foot even after surrendering to the police. The Mayor of California at the time also expressed th...
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