Target: Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties, U.S. Department of Justice
Goal: Set stricter standards for the controversial practice of police entrapment, which tricks people into engaging in crime.
The U.S. is a difficult place to be poor. We have few social welfare programs, and the ones we do have tend to be underfunded and constantly berated by politicians and the media, so it’s no wonder that many Americans will take the risk of doing something illegal for a monetary reward. The police are well aware of people’s willingness to commit crimes in apparently ideal scenarios, and many police departments find ways to exploit that willingness. Certain departments routinely set up ideal situations for potential thieves, drug dealers, or prostitutes, encourage people to take the opportunity, and then arrest them as soon as they attempt to do so. This is called entrapment, and it is supposed to be illegal, but it happens anyway.
A teenage male growing up in poverty might take a seemingly perfect opportunity to steal a car, not out of any malicious intent, but simply because he needs money and has few, if any, ways to earn it, while constantly being shamed by society for not having it already. Instead of trying to maintain a safe and fair environment for teenagers to live in, police who practice entrapment are looking for ways to trick them into committing crimes so they can be fined or sent to juvenile detention facilities.
There have been several cases in recent years of undercover police officers posing as high school students, coercing non-drug using students into buying drugs, and then arresting those students for drug trafficking. These are situations where the police fabricate crime scenes and then place the blame on young students. If this is not illegal, then it most definitely ought to be.
It is unethical and unfair for police officers to not only go out looking for trouble, but to actual engineer crimes and try to push people into them. What does it say about our society that those people who are supposed to serve and protect us are looking for ways to trick us into fines and prison sentences? Sign the petition to tell the Justice Department to set and enforce stricter codes of conduct for police officers in terms of entrapment.
Dear Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties,
Police officers routinely engage in entrapment as a way to increase fines and prison sentences. They create ideal crime situations, strongly encourage vulnerable people to take advantage, and then arrest those people. Some police are constantly looking for ways to exploit the people they are supposed to be protecting. Please put a stop to this.
Citizens cannot trust the police as long as high school students are in danger of being coerced into criminal activity, only to be arrested and prosecuted for what police officers told them to do. We need the police to be looking out for our best interests, not trying to manipulate young people into becoming criminals. We urge you to set and enforce stricter codes of conduct for police entrapment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: conner395