Police Brutality

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Police Brutality By: Anonymous

"But they didn't have to beat me this bad. I don't know what I did to be beat up." Rodney King, March 3, 1991. Police brutality has been a long lasting problem in the United States since at least 1903 when police Captain Williams of the New York Police Departmen coined the phrase, "There is more law at the end of a policeman's nightstick than in a decision of the Supreme Court." In the 1920's the Wichersham Commission had a number of instances of police brutality. Many of these included the use of the "third degree" (beating to obtain a confession). This is a very effective way to get a confession out of somebody. However, beating the accused could easily elicit a confession from a scared and innocent person. Also, this puts the accused person's life in danger. Police officers must make snap life and death decisions daily. Officers' work in an environment where death (theirs, their partners, and an innocent or guilty person) is one decision away. How does that constant fear effect an officer's perception? Unfortunately, many that are attracted to law enforcement are aggressive and prone towards violence as a solution. Police officers have a lot of power. With this power comes responsibility. Police brutality can be defined as the excessive or unreasonable use of force in dealing with citizens, suspects and offenders. A nationally known example occurred on the morning of March 3, 1991. Rodney King was pulled out of his vehicle and beaten by two Los Angeles police officers. The LAPD had originally

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