"Just following orders" and other morally bankrupt police excuses

  1. "Ours in not to reason why, ours is but to do or die..."

  2. "We don't make the laws, we just enforce them..."

  3. "I have a very tough job, and I'm sick of dealing with losers, so of course it's OK if I get frustrated and beat you up."

  4. "This is the way we do things in America, buddy- if you don't like it, move to China."

  5. A psycho-social analysis of authoritarian police misconduct...
    "To everyone's surprise, over 60% of all subjects followed the experimenter's commands to [continue administering electric shocks], even after the [actor] ceased responding entirely."

    "People who are doing a job as instructed by an administrative figure are following the instructions of that administrative outlook and not the outlook of a moral code. The feelings of duty and personal emotion are clearly separated. Responsibility shifts in the mind of the subordinate from himself/herself to the authority figure. There is a well defined purpose behind the actions or goals of the authority, and the subordinate is depended upon to help and meet those goals. Milgram points out, 'The results, as seen and felt in the laboratory, are to this author disturbing. They raise the possibility that human nature, or -more specifically- the kind of character produced in American society, cannot be counted on to insulate the citizens from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority.'"

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