Business Law The Blue Code of Silence Discussion


The blue code of silence, also known as the blue shield, is the unwritten rule that police officers in the United States do not report other officer’s misconducts, bribery or crimes. During interviews in internal affairs investigations, the officers will claim ignorance of the wrongdoing. No officer will testify against another officer.

Case scenario: Officer A is a gambler and lost several thousand dollars at the casino. Officer B has a family and no financial problems. Both officers are on patrol in a business neighborhood. Officer B watches officer A leaving several small stores with a stack of cash in his hands. He asks officer A about the money and he answers that the store owners give him donations for patrolling the stores at night and to ensure that they are not burglarized.

Based on the scenario discuss the following questions:

  • Is officer A acting ethical?
  • Are the actions of Officer A criminal?
  • What would you do if you are officer B?
  • Should officer B notify the supervisor or ignore it?


Let’s analyze the scenario and the questions you’ve raised:

  1. Is officer A acting ethically? Officer A’s behavior raises ethical concerns. Accepting money from store owners under the guise of donations for patrolling the stores could be considered unethical, especially if Officer A is misrepresenting the purpose of the money. It could be perceived as a form of bribery or extortion, as Officer A may be leveraging his position as a police officer to extract money from businesses.
  2. Are the actions of Officer A criminal? Officer A’s actions could potentially be considered criminal, depending on the specific laws and regulations in the jurisdiction where this is occurring. Accepting bribes, extortion, or theft could all be criminal offenses. Additionally, if Officer A is using his position to coerce businesses into giving him money, it could also be considered a violation of the law.
  3. What would you do if you are officer B? As Officer B, there are several possible courses of action:
    • Officer B could confront Officer A directly and express concern about the situation. This could involve asking for clarification or challenging the legitimacy of Officer A’s actions.
    • Officer B could gather more evidence or observe Officer A’s behavior further to determine if there is indeed misconduct occurring.
    • Officer B could report the situation to their supervisor or to the appropriate internal affairs department within the police force.
  4. Should officer B notify the supervisor or ignore it? Ignoring the situation could allow potential misconduct to continue unchecked, which could harm the reputation of the police force and erode public trust. Therefore, it would likely be in the best interest of Officer B, the police department, and the community to notify a supervisor or internal affairs about the situation. Reporting misconduct, even when it involves fellow officers, is essential for upholding the integrity of the police force and ensuring that officers adhere to ethical and legal standards.

In conclusion, Officer A’s actions raise ethical and potentially legal concerns, and Officer B should consider taking action to address the situation appropriately. Reporting the behavior to a supervisor or internal affairs would likely be the most responsible course of action for Officer B.



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