Police Brutality: A Minority Group Concern Essay examples

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"Relations between the police and minority groups are a continuing problem in many multiracial societies. Surveys consistently document racial differences in perceptions of the police, with minorities more likely than whites to harbor negative views." (Weitzer and Tuch, Race and Perceptions of Police Misconduct, 2004)

A great deal of society views law enforcement officers as heroic and honorable individuals, whose main purpose is to protect and serve the community. For many officers, this description is accurate, however for others; violence and brutality against innocent citizens is part of getting the job done. For years, minorities have fallen victim to police brutality based on racial profiling, stereotypes and other
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Racial profiling is an example of police brutality, which is defined by Gross and Livingston (2002) as “the practice of some officers of stopping motorists of certain racial or ethnic groups because the officer believe that these groups are more likely than others to commit certain types of crimes” (p.1413). Therefore, individuals are treated unfairly by law enforcement solely based on their race. This type of mistreatment is unmerited and ultimately a violation of an individual’s rights. However, in many instances the courts do not find it a violation of their civil rights based on the fact that racial profiling is difficult to prove. Often, prosecutors are disinclined in bringing forth a case against officers on this particular matter. Officers are permitted to stop and search individuals and their vehicles whenever there is reasonable suspicion, however, there has been studies that prove that some law enforcement officers restrict these rights primarily to minority groups. Bowling and Phillips found that although there was no formal monitoring of use of these powers, it was concluded that it was particularly heavy use of these powers against ethnic minorities, largely of young black people (as cited in Sharp & Atherton, 2007, p. 747) . In several cases, officers argue that they reasonably pulled an individual over for other probable grounds such as: traffic violations, suspicious behavior, etc., with race never being an

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