An officer who uses more force than policy allows is said to have used excessive force and may be guilty of police brutality, the excessive and lawless use of police force. Police officers are often seen as a thin blue line of protection between criminals and law-abiding citizens, but when they use excessive force, they cross the line and become criminals. Police brutality damages the image of law enforcement as well as the justice system. It leads to loss of trust in the policemen, which then creates a gap between them and people in the community.
According to the early policing principles imported from 19th century England, it is the lack of centralized control which forms a corruption in America when opportunities of bribery were widespread. Police reforms from the 1930s to the 1950s sought to establish professionalism among police forces by introducing military-like command and higher performance standards. Not everyone agrees with this type of procedure when critics see the March 1991 beating of Rodney King by officers of Los Angeles Police Department which used professional policing. From Rodney King beating in 1991 through the O.J. Simpson trial, the rift has widened the threatening racial discrimination.
The reasons for the gap are complex and deep. According to the experts, it is based on the nation's painful racial history. The current practice of racial profiling, where skin color is a criterion to pull over a driver is ongoing today. For instance, when Reggie Miller, who is Black, had been ordered to pull over by a Nashville police officer for driving with expired tags, had suffered chronic back problems as a result of the beating. It was about 8:40 p.m. when he was shot on his chest and ordered him to lie face down on the ground. Within couple of minutes the officer, who didn't have a chance to identify himself, called for backup. Suddenly Miller found himself as a cushion using his body from five police officers that had...
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