Liberty CJUS 350 Discussion 5
Consider Frank Serpico, New York City Police Detective (Retired).
In the 1970’s, Detective Serpico “broke the ranks” and exposed police corruption in the New York City Police Department. As a result, he was shot in the face, and it is his belief that he was set up by his colleagues—officers charged with the protection of the citizenry. Do you believe the subculture is so strong that an officer who is considered to be a “rat” or a “snitch” will be ostracized? Would this officer not be afforded backup or assistance in a crisis situation? Explain your response.
Congressman Charles Rangel and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani both speak of the “blue wall of silence.”
Please describe what you think is meant by the blue wall of silence? Does it truly exist or is this just a perception? Would a police officer with very strong morals, values, and ethics fail to expose officer wrongdoing? Does the subculture constrain the officer’s individual values?
Dilemma: Please read Scenario 35 (p. 73) of the Goodman textbook. What would you do?