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Cameron holds forum on police ethics in Oklahoma

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Cameron University held a forum on police ethics today. It was a chance to learn how law enforcement misconduct plays a role in prosecuting cases.

Thomas Hosty, an attorney who has more than 24 years of experience in criminal defense, shared his experience in case dismissals and acquittals due to law enforcement testimony and ethical violations.

Jason Mewhirter is a senior criminal justice major at Cameron University who aspires to serve in law enforcement. He says a lesson in ethics is the first step toward becoming a good officer one day.

"Especially with the way the country is going right now, you have to understand that, police can't be a bully, but he has to do his job," said Mewhirter. "The ethics are what guides that, so we don't have anymore incidents like we've been having."

AttorneyThomas Hosty says the best piece of advice he can give is to be reasonable in every decision and know the legal standards, whether you're a police officer, judge, prosecutor, or defense lawyer. 

"We don't have the most perfect system, but we have the best system," said Hosty. "And for the system to work, everyone needs to know their role and appreciate it and follow those rules regardless which part of the role you're in. If you're a police officer, you have certain standards and oaths. If you're a defense attorney, you have certain standards and ethical duties. If everyone works together, the system works as best it can."

Merwhirter wishes there were more open discussions with the community about police ethics, especially with the tragic events that continue to happen across the county.

"It's not just set for police officers, it's not just set for government officials, it's to bring the community together and have the community understand," said Merwhirter."It closes the gap is what you could say, so t he community and everyone is involved."

Hosty discussed multiple police misconduct cases such as, Kingsley V. Hendrickson (2015) and Utah v. Strieff (2016).

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