Probity

The presumption of probity, which is fundamental to the Constitution, seems not to have been included in police training. The presumption of probity is the basis for the presumption of innocence, which has to be overcome to prove malfeasance. The presumption of innocence does not just magically appear when law enforcement agents become suspicious. Of course, the transformation of an agent’s suspicion into a “suspect” whom the agent is entitled to restrain is an intellectual leap that supports the agent’s preference. That individual behavior is good conflicts with the cop’s belief that “everybody is guilty of something” and therefor liable to being detained. Finally, the presumption of probity is what sets up the conflict between the Constitution and Christian morality. Christianity, after all, presumes that all men are created evil and in need of being reformed/saved. Which, in turn, leads to the conservative conviction that governments are instituted to make individuals good, in case Christianity fails. The Constitution is a radical document. It restricts the behavior of agents of government and imposes obligations on them.