Police Brutality

Topics: Police, Crime, Police brutality Pages: 7 (1852 words) Published: October 10, 2014
Police Brutality is Prevalent
Background Information
Over the recent years, police have been one of the organizations to be associated with the largest cases of misconduct. Police brutality can be termed as the process of misuse and abuse of authority by the police. The rising cases of police brutality are causing more harm to the public, compared to the actions perpetrated by real criminals. Although police claim that it’s sometimes necessary to curb crime, the process is illegal and police officers should be charged just like any other criminal offender. It should be the responsibility of the justice system to establish effective strategies to deal with the rising illegal activities in order to restore public trust in the law enforcement authorities. The police, the group with the responsibility of protecting citizens, commit illegal activities. Individuals engaged in law enforcement activities can define police brutality as the process of using excessive force. In addition to the abuse of power by the police force, the term is also used to illustrate the misuse of power by individuals in the municipal, correctional facilities and other facilities subjected to reforming and retaining criminals. In a case reported in the year 2011, SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team, killed a 31 year old man in a mistaken identity (Roberts 1). It is evident that several law enforcement individuals have been conducting careless investigations. It is evident that these cases are rarely reported either because the victims are uninformed of their rights, or the victim is afraid that same police who committed the misconduct in the first place will also be involved in investigating the abuse cases. By the year 2011, there were over 470, 000 reported cases of police brutality, that could be easily located on the internet (Roberts 1). Although people are gradually being encouraged to report abuse cases, the numbers have not decreased. Compared to the level of crime and the reported criminal activities, it shows that the public is usually at risk of being attacked by a police officer than a real criminal (Johnson 365). This means that police are becoming some of the individuals highly involved in criminal activities. Various Forms of Police Brutality

The longstanding perception is that police brutality involves only physical assaults. However, the term can also mean psychological assault, abuse and other forms of misuse of power. Some of the remarkable forms of police brutality involve false arrests and accusing the wrong person. In addition, intimidation and police profiling can also be considered police brutality, since it involves intrusion into the rights and the property of individuals. Physical brutality is one of the most widespread, and in most cases, individuals are subjected to torture and other physical harm. Ordinarily, people do not consider the various harsh treatments, being hit with police batons and being pressed by the police shield as part of police brutality. In most cases, people sustain very bad injuries from some activities of the police. Psychological brutality is mostly brought about by verbal abuses and subjecting the public to inappropriate conditions. Psychological intimidation may also occur in situations where the police are holding a suspect and they subject him or her to threats on family, life and other personal issues, a condition that may cause permanent or temporary psychological breakdown. In most cases, the reported cases are only those involving physical assaults, mostly because there is usually enough evidence to charge the involved personnel.

Causes of brutality
One of the main causes of police brutality is the authority vested in the police officers by their superiors, to ensure that law is enforced when necessary. When police officers are given the option to chose when to, and when not to, use excessive force, they end up abusing the power of choice by making the wrong decisions even...


Cited: Civil Rights Division. "Department of Justice Police Misconduct Pattern or Practice Program". U.S. Department of Justice. 2003. Web. 03 Nov. 2012.
Johnson, Marilynn S. Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City. New York, NY: Beacon Press, 2004. Print.
Owens, Katherine. M and Jeffrey, Pfeifer. "Police Leadership and Ethics: Training and Police Recommendations". The Canadian Journal of Police and Security Services 1. 2 (2002): 7
Roberts, Paul. Craig. Police Brutality in the USA: Americans Too Are Oppressed. 2011. Web. 03 Nov. 2012.
Skolnick, Jerome H. "Corruption and the Blue Code of Silence". Police Practice and Research 3. 1 (2002.): 7-19.
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