Abuse of authority

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Abuse of authority (or abuse of power), not to be confused with abuse of trust, is the improper or illegal use of the authority a person has for professional or personal gain. A common example of abuse of authority is in police brutality. More subtle examples include a police officer searching a property without a search warrant and a company manager firing staff based solely on personal prejudices.

Relevant cases

  • On September 14, 2008, 60-year-old Andrew Glover of New Britain, Connecticut, filed a federal lawsuit against police claiming civil rights violations when, during a search of his person, they violently removed a catheter he had fitted following a medical procedure causing significant pain and permanent physical injury. After informing officers that he had undergone a procedure only hours earlier, it is alleged that officers "searched him in such a way as to pull down on the catheter and/or bag while pulling up on his body multiple times, causing the catheter to be dislodged from his bladder." (Source: New Britain Herald)
  • On May 18, 2001, a two-minute deliberation led Judge Paul Czajka to convict Jeffrey Nickel on four felony charges relating to child molestation despite witnesses being unable to maintain consistency in their story and expert testimony informing the jury that photographs of the alleged abuse did not depict either the bedroom where the abuse supposedly took place or of the defendant committing any act of abuse. At present, Nickels is still serving his sentence. (Source: The Jeffrey Nickel Case)
  • In July 2003, Lawrence Stanley was convicted of engaging in oral sex with a girl. The girl denied having oral sex, and there was no evidence to prove that sexual contact had taken place. Just over a year prior to this, Stanley was arrested on suspicions of his website, Minimodels, being an international child pornography hub. While no images on the site were nude, a Brazilian police investigator admitted to news papers that she considered some of the pictures to be pornographic. (Source: Minimodels injustice - NewgonWiki)
  • In late 2007, BoyChat user Mendori argued against a mandatory national pedophile registry in a Facebook group which advocated for such a system. In his argument, Mendori stated that he was 16, had never touched a child, and had no intentions to do so. Despite this, the group said he would be on their proposed registry and then proceeded to contact the police regarding the matter. The police outed Mendori to his parents. After they were unable to find evidence suggesting he had any sexual contact with children, the officers threatened him by saying they could come back to confiscate his computers to search for child pornography. (Source: Re: What? - BoyChat)