Excessive Force And Police Brutality

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INTRODUCTION Excessive force and police brutality have become common terms for anyone keeping up with today’s current events. In 2014, the media covered numerous cases of excessive force that resulted in the deaths of several people of color (Nelson & Staff, 2014). The most widely covered cases by the media in 2014 were of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black male shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri; and Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black male in Staten Island, New York who was put into a choke by police officer Daniel Pantaleo until he lost consciousness and stopped breathing (Nelson & Staff, 2014). These cases brought attention to the seriousness of police brutality and the curiosity of how often it occurs (Brown, 2015).
The media coverage of excessive force has caused outrage among citizens across the nation. The cases in Ferguson and New York have stirred up major debates about excessive police force and the meaning of justice for all within our judicial system. Protests and riots have ensued in cities across the nation and the cases are affecting us all, whether it is protesters blocking major highways during rush hour, or citizens burning down local businesses out of anger and frustration. The issue of excessive force needs to be addressed and the main question people want answered is, what causes police to use excessive force? Research has been conducted on variables such as the race of police officers, preconceived negative
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