Recent times have witnessed an array of headlines highlighting the rampant issue of police misconduct and unethical behavior. One instance that garnered much attention involved former police officer Everett Maynard in 2019. During the incident, Maynard was found to be exhibiting unjustifiable conduct and consequently dismissed from his position on the police force (CBS Pittsburg, 2022). This case exemplifies instances where law enforcement officials display controversial behavior that raises concerns regarding their commitment to protecting and serving society’s interests. This essay intends to explore the details surrounding the Everett Maynard case and study the unethical conduct he demonstrated during this period.
Everett Maynard, a former police officer with the Logan Police Department of West Virginia, was convicted for violating an arrestee’s civil rights by using excessive force against the individual. The event in October 2020 at the department’s restroom resulted in the victim becoming unconscious and experiencing several injuries that included but were not limited to a broken shoulder, a broken nose, and head cuts that needed staples (Coyne, 2021).
As someone trusted to carry out lawful duties professionally, his actions have been judged as unprofessional and dishonorable, causing a loss of public confidence in Law enforcement. Maynard used his badge as a license to abuse his power, violating the oath he took to uphold the law and the trust placed in him by the community (CBS Pittsburg, 2022). The case shows why accountability is necessary when dealing with responsible authorities such as Law Enforcement officers, who are always expected to follow constitutional guidelines without any favoritism or prejudice regardless of the differing backgrounds and circumstances they manage.
In this case, Everett Maynard displays numerous unethical behaviors. As a critical concern in law enforcement, the use of excessive force by police officers is an ethical issue. Even though they have the authority to use reasonable force when necessary to maintain public order and safeguard citizens, such force must be justified and proportionate under given circumstances (Wolfe et al., 2020). Nevertheless, Maynard failed to conform to this ethical standard, as his use of unnecessary violence against the victim violated his rights and represented unethical conduct on Maynard’s part.
Maynard exhibited an additional breach of ethics when he violated the public’s trust. The professional code for police officers demands impeccable behavior marked by honesty and integrity, which must be evident in their day-to-day activities (Payton & Sierra-Arevalo, 2019). During Maynard’s initial arrest proceedings, his actions showed zero regards toward the victim’s fundamental human rights while displaying a lack of faithfulness to the public capacity entrusted to him. As an honorable police officer, Maynard had been tasked with looking after the safety and well-being of citizens. Unfortunately, he failed due to using unjustifiable levels of force, violating both his duty and professional, ethical standards.
Everett Maynard’s actions during the arrest went against criminal laws, so he was found guilty by a federal jury. His use of excessive force towards the victim violated their civil rights, which, in turn, became a federal crime, and for this reason, Maynard was charged under 18 USC §242. This provision prohibits law enforcement personnel from using excessive force against detainees against their constitutional rights (Johnson & Kanaboshi, 2018). The violation of public trust is another serious criminal offense committed by Maynard. By employing unwarranted violence in his interaction with the detainee before him, he breached public faith in his capacity to complete professional obligations ethically and justly.
Furthermore, the behaviors exhibited by Everett Maynard in the case violate the victim’s constitutional rights. The United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable seizures and searches while also demanding that any warrant issued for an arrest or search is undergirded by evidence-based indications gathered with possible cause (Stoughton, 2020). The employment of extreme force during an arrest leads a law enforcement official to infringe upon an individual’s Fourth Amendment freedom. In addition, Maynard violated the due process rights conferred by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution towards his victim – whose liberty, property, or life could not be deprived without proper legal procedure as bolstered by due process clauses applicable in state and local government units.
In conclusion, the case of previous officer Everett Maynard emphasizes dishonest police behavior and an obligation for responsibility within law enforcement. Maynard’s actions led to grave harm and unconstitutional breaches on behalf of the victim. The behavior exhibited by a fraction of law enforcement officials tears apart the trust established between society and these individuals, thereby holding back the possibility of true justice and fairness in today’s world. As such, entities within law enforcement must implement preventative efforts to combat such infractions while taking tangible steps to hold those responsible accountable for their behavior.
CBS Pittsburgh. (2022, March 19). Ex-West Virginia Police Officer Sentenced To 9 Years For Excessive Force. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/ex-west-virginia-police-officer-excessive-force/
Coyne C. (2021). Former Logan police officer found guilty of violating man’s civil rights. Williamson Daily News. https://www.williamsondailynews.com/news/former-logan-police-officer-found-guilty-of-violating-mans-civil-rights/article_f5c09d5d-3195-5795-b350-f9f1cdaed458.html
Johnson, B., & Kanaboshi, N. (2018). Using 18 USC section 242 to prosecute private security personnel for civil rights violations: An analysis. Journal of Applied Security Research, 13(4), 411–436.
Peyton, K., Sierra-Arévalo, M., & Rand, D. G. (2019). A field experiment on community policing and police legitimacy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(40), 19894-19898.
Stoughton, S. W. (2020). How the Fourth Amendment frustrates the regulation of police violence. Emory LJ, pp. 70, 521.
Wolfe, S., Rojek, J., McLean, K., & Alpert, G. (2020). Social interaction training to reduce police use of force. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 687(1), 124-145.