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Demetrius Amadeus

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Is it right to break the law in order to enforce that same law?

Imagine the following: You drive on a lonely road but you are in a hurry, so you speed up a little bit beyond the limit, suddenly a police car appears on the rear mirror, if you don't want trouble you just pull over and wait for the cop to fine you, but what if for whatever reason you don't realize and keep at the same speed?... if you are 5 MPH above the limit, the police ought to speed up at least 15 MPH above your speed in order to get you soon enough... So they are clearly breaking the law in a bigger order of magnitude!!! It is clear that in some circumstances the police breaks the law in order to enforce it.

This is just the most obvious example, but I'm sure you can think of many others.

Is this kind of acts correct? Why? What are the moral and legal bases? Are the options of the police limited in some cases? or there's always a way to enforce the law without having to break it?

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  • Jun 10 2013: George QT Don't you want a chance to explain what happened to talk your way out of the ticket? Not every stop results in a ticket.
    • Jun 10 2013: Perfectly valid point of view. We are not machines and shouldn't be treated like that. I appreciate your remark.
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    Jun 10 2013: We give our soldiers the lee way to mortally harm other human beings. That is very much against the law.

    In some states it is law that you stop and assist another citizen that is in harms way even though practicing medicine without a license is against the law.

    In some states it is required to assist an officer of the law in the execution of their duties, even if it is against the law to act as an officer of the law.

    I think it has more to do with common social sense than any real moral or legal basis. Laws are not guidelines.
    • Jun 10 2013: Good point!!! common sense, I overlooked that. However that implies that is the duty of the law enforcement officers to apply common sense, so how free or constrained should they be in order to do their job effectively?
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        Jun 10 2013: Actually it is the duty of the common citizen to apply more common sense. By doing so you take the police officer out of the equation. If no one is breaking the law, there is no need for the police officer.

        If a police officer is on his/her way to help your wife or daughter who has called the police because there is someone in the home how fast would you limit their speed to get to your home and save your family?

        I am assuming that you can't get there in time, have no means of communicating with your family, and they have no weapons to defend themselves with.

        The police officer is limited by traffic, weather, number of available officers, etc.

        Pay the ticket and forget about it. :)

        We all get tickets.
        • Jun 11 2013: Yes, I agree, it is the duty of the common citizen to apply common sense, and I trust must of us do, sometimes the common citizen makes stupid mistakes and have to meet face to face with the police, however I (wish to) believe when that happens we're talking about a minor offences, however the main reason for the police to exist is not the common citizen, but those who intentionally break the law.

          In the case you expose, the police officer is not speeding in order to enforce the speed limit, he/she is speeding to do a different duty. I think it is perfectly valid for the police officers to break the speed limit to do (almost) any of their duties, but my question is if it is right for them to do it when they are trying to enforce the speed limit. My question is not about the police/military breaking one law to enforce other (different and not related), I can find lots of valid reasons for that, however when they break one law to enforce that very same law I'm not sure it is a valid way of acting. Another example would be: An undercover operation in which an undercover police officer is selling drugs in order to prevent drug traffic. Do you get my point?
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    Jun 11 2013: I have two pieces of advice George:

    1. Slow down. If you feel you need to get there faster, leave sooner.
    2. Don't mess around with drugs.


    As to number 2. I know you are using this as an example and I in no way feel you use drugs. It's just an answer to the questions you poised.

    I fully support the police and you can be assured I will do so with regards to this question, over and over again.

    It is fun to talk with you. You bring a different perspective to the game. If you don't mind, how old are you and where do you live?

    :)
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    Jun 9 2013: Crime legalised for illegal activities

    Crime by state is legalised here. To deal with illegal activities of its populace.

    Few Examples

    Incarceration (Taking away somebody's freedom to move)

    Gagging (Taking away somebody's freedom to express)

    Physical punishments

    Death Penalty (License to kill)
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    • Jun 9 2013: Very valid your remarks, I like the idea of drones doing the job, perhaps they could be equipped with cameras that could take shots of the plate number and email you the fine right away to your smartphone.
  • Jun 8 2013: George another question is "Do you really want anarchy?"
    • Jun 8 2013: Me thinks he does!
    • Jun 8 2013: I am not talking about anarchy. In the case I exposed, for example, the cop can use his/her camera to take a shot of your car and licence number, then call his/her colleague at the next intersection who would be ready to block your way and make you stop, if there is no cop at the next intersection (or somehow you evade it), the picture(s) taken can serve as evidence and you might not be accountable immediately, but the minute the insurance expires, you try to sell your car or get involved in the most minimum accident all the speed up fines would pop up, and you would have to respond then. I think at least in this case there's no need to break the law in order to enforce it, in other cases may be, but in this particular one: no sir!
      • Jun 9 2013: Each is entitled to their own view, but I believe that your suggestion is a little cirsuitous.
        • Jun 9 2013: I dare to go even further, with current technology a simple snapshot of your plate number could trigger an automatic fine which could be sent to your email instantly, so the same minute the cop takes the snapshot your smartphone would be notifying you of the fine.