THE SYMBOLIC RHETORIC OF POLICE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS.
Police are the main drivers of social command and such kind of institutionally demarcated authority (Leskaj, 2017; Mihaila and Mateescu, 2017; Popescu, 2017; Skordoulis, 2016) causes power imbalance in fact-finding interviews handled by police. The power asymmetry is implicit in police interviews as a kind of institutional rhetoric and displays itself in police ascendancy over regulating the entire interview process and in the language employed. (Mulayim, Lai, and Norma, 2015)
2. Literature Review
The police interview constitutes the initial phase of the narrative-articulation processes in a criminal situation. Police examination is a scene of dispute between two accounts of events and of power conflicts between the investigator and the subject - confrontations carried out via rhetorical strategies in discourse-in-contact. The negotiation of authority and articulation of accounts of events are linked up. Rhetorical strategies of authority and combat (Freeman-Moir, 2017; Jenner, 2016; Machan, 2017; Popescu and Creager, 2017; Zavala and Golden, 2016) result in the process of assembling accounts of events by both individuals. Turn-by-turn employment of language shapes the discourse of thought-through examining (Hayes and Jeffries, 2016; Kliestik et al., 2018b; Mihaila, 2017; Radulescu, 2017; Zurga, 2017) as a socially established routine. (Nakane, 2014)
Building my argument by drawing on data collected from Pew Research Center, I performed analyses and made estimates regarding percentage of officers saying they strongly (dis)agree/(dis)agree that some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way and that in certain areas of the city it is more useful for an officer to be aggressive than to be courteous, percentage of officers saying that they see themselves as protectors/enforcers (police work nearly always/often makes them feel proud/frustrated, they worry about their safety at least some of the time or they think the public does not understand risks they face, and in the past month they have been thanked for their service/verbally abused), percentage of officers saying that when it comes to the way most individuals in their department deal with members of the public, they worry more that the officer will not spend enough/spend too much time diagnosing the situation before acting decisively, percentage of officers saying that employees in their departments are always/usually/sometimes/hardly ever/never asked for their input on decisions that will affect them, and percentage of officers in departments with <1,000 (or more) individuals saying their department has trained them adequately for their job/communicated their job responsibilities clearly/equipped them adequately to perform their job.
4. Results and Discussion
Police officers can opt to adjust to certain participant roles and to acquire collaborative resources of discourse command accessible to them. A police interview is a stage of interaction between the police entity and the more inclusive society, being generated within and resulting in numerous orders of discourse. The disagreements that take place in the interviews are typically brought about by a deficiency in identifying the feasibility for any other presuppositions about interviewing. Police interview is both a discursive experience and a social routine: it is a socially established conversational event (Kmecova, 2018; Lazaroiu, 2017; Nica, 2017; Silverman and Lewis, 2017) occurring in a dialectical correspondence with the police entity, the justice system and the more inclusive society. (Heydon, 2005) (Figures 1-5)
Figure 1 Percentage of officers saying that when it comes to the way most individuals in their department deal with members of the public, they worry more that the officer will...diagnosing the situation before acting decisively. Not spend Spend too enough time much time All officers 43 57 Men 42 58 Women 51 49 Whites 39 61 Blacks 62 38 Hispanics 46 54 Rank-and-file officers 41 59 Sergeants 41 59 Administrators 60 40 Years in law enforcement Less than 10 39 61 10 to 19 40 60 20 or more 48 52 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 1,200 individuals conducted June 2018. Note: Table made from bar graph. Figure 2 Percentage of officers saying they... with each of the following statements Strongly disagree Agree Disagree Some people can only be 9 49 38 brought to reason the hard, physical way In certain areas of the city it 9 36 37 is more useful for an officer to be aggressive than to be courteous Strongly agree Some people can only be 4 brought to reason the hard, physical way In certain areas of the city it 18 is more useful for an officer to be aggressive than to be courteous Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 1,200 individuals conducted June 2018. Note: Table made from bar graph. Figure 3 Percentage of officers in departments with...individuals saying their department has done each of the following very well. <1,000 <1,000 or more Training them adequately 52 for their job 31 Communicating their job 48 responsibilities clearly 31 Equipping them adequately to 43 perform their job 20 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 1,200 individuals conducted June 2018. Note: Table made from bar graph. Figure 5 Percentage of officers saying that employees in their departments are...asked for their input on decisions that will affect them Always/Usually Sometimes Hardly ever Never All officers 12 33 38 17 Men 13 34 37 16 Women 9 29 44 18 Agency size <500 officers 16 42 33 9 500 to 2,599 14 35 39 12 2,600 or more 7 23 43 27 Sources: Pew Research Center; my survey among 1,200 individuals conducted June 2018. Note: Table made from bar graph.
The legislative prerequisites with respect to the examining of defendants by police officers have precise consequences for the rhetorical articulation of the dialogue. The police interview is a decidedly organized type of discourse that is configured around legislative prerequisites. The manner in which each police interview is formulated as being a constituent of police institutional rhetoric is mediated via reciprocal actions (police interviews represent institutional interplays that occur in a legal environment). The tactless employment of language by police interview actors may undermine evidence. A commanding police part is incorporated in the turn-by-turn articulation of the dialogue (Leskaj, 2017; Mihaila and Mateescu, 2017; Popescu, 2017; Skordoulis, 2016), which is shaped up by the police entity and adjusted by the interview actors. Police ascendancy is encapsulated in the institutional sharing out of rhetorical resources. (Heydon, 2005)
This paper was supported by Grant GE-1904764 from the Center for Labor Research and Education at AAER, Chicago, IL.
The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication.
Conflict of Interest Statement
The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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Hyperion University, Bucharest
How to cite: Bacalu, Filip (2018). "The Symbolic Rhetoric of Police Investigative Interviews," Analysis and Metaphysics 17: 134-139.
Received 10 August 2018 * Received in revised form 1 November 2018
Accepted 8 November 2018 * Available online 11 December 2018
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|Date:||Jan 1, 2018|
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