Re: Can Undercover Police Pretend To Be Engaged in Crime
The question I think you are asking has no simple answer. During the course of an undercover investigation, a law enforcement officer can always pretend to be involved in criminal activity. A law enforcement officer could pretend to be the second coming of Jack the Ripper as long as it is just make believe or Hollywood style staging.
But, where I think you are actually going with your question is whether a law enforcement officer can actually commit a crime to maintain their cover during an investigation. The answer to that question depends on many factors, including but not limited to, the nature of the crime to be committed, the nature of the criminal activity being investigated, the specific agency conducting the investigation, and any immediate exigent circumstances. For example, it is generally permissible for a law enforcement officer conducting a drug investigation to participate in a controlled buy or sale of controlled substances. However, an officer could not commit a murder to maintain his/her cover while trying to infiltrate an organized crime syndicate.
Behind the badge is a person. Behind the person is an ego. This is as it should be, person at the center and ego to the back.