This is how cops see the law. Also known as Codes, Statutes, Regulations, Legal Precedent, etc., they are conceptualized, written or enacted by our public officials and in many cases conflict with what we’ve been taught and accepted as a belief. I’m sure by now you can see the problems here. Natural Law can be viewed as a much higher in authority type of law as compared to man made law. Natural Law conflicts with Legal Positivism. Natural Law is viewed as giving people freedom from oppression while Legal Positivism is viewed as being restrictive toward our citizens. Where Natural Law gives freedom Legal Positivism takes it away.
On January 17th, 2012, some “Occupy Congress” protestors were arrested outside of the U.S. Congress. They were exercising their First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech, Assembly, etc (Natural Law). The U.S. Capitol Police made arrests for primarily trespassing (Legal Positivism). So much for the belief that the U.S. Congress is the “Peoples House.” That is why the police and the public won’t see eye to eye; it’s a legal polarization that isn’t going away anytime soon.
About The Author:
Keith R. Lavery, M.A., CMAS, is a full-time criminal justice educator teaching at a public Career Center, University System of Ohio. He has facilitated and designed criminal justice, security, and law enforcement courses of instruction at the post-secondary level. Keith had a very diverse police career spanning nearly 20 years, working in urban and rural law enforcement settings with assignments ranging from patrol to specialized functions, to include HIDTA Drug Unit, CLANLAB Enforcement Team, SRT and Supervision. In 2008, Keith was awarded the Certified Master Anti-Terrorism designation from the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board. Academically, he has completed post-graduate course work dedicated toward a Doctorate in Education. Keith is currently the Law Enforcement Liaison for the Cleveland, Ohio, Chapter of ASIS International.