- You are a police officer who encounters several juveniles trying to steal a 12-pack of beer from some other juveniles who have just bought the beer from a nearby liquor store. You break up the disturbance with the help of your partner and now must decide what to do. The group of juveniles who tried to steal the beer did not hurt the others in any way and were apparently just after the beer. Nonetheless, the other kids are angry and resentful. Both groups are obviously too young to drink alcohol. Both groups are known to be occasionally truant, but they have no record and are not known drug users. Furthermore, the liquor store owner is known to sell both beer and hard liquor to minors, although this is the first time you have caught juveniles right as they leave his store.
- Questions to discuss in your three-paragraph posting:
- How do you handle the juveniles who tried to steal the beer? Do you punish them for attempted robbery, for possession of alcohol, for both, or for neither?
- How do you handle the juveniles who just bought the beer? Do they have rights as victims?
- How do you handle the liquor store owner, who is the only one in his store at this time and who was clearly the one who sold them the beer?
- Which law enforcement approach do you think is best in this case: legalistic, watchman, or service? Would you treat the three different groups differently in any way (for instance, a watchman approach to the juveniles and a legalistic approach to the store owner)? If so, how?
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