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THE SYMBOLIC RHETORIC OF POLICE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS.

1. Introduction

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)

3. Methodology

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.


5. Conclusions

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)

Acknowledgments

This paper was supported by Grant GE-1904764 from the Center for Labor Research and Education at AAER, Chicago, IL.

Author Contributions

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.

REFERENCES

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doi:10.22381/AM1720188

FILIP BACALU

filip.bacalu@gmail.com

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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