Police Brutality : A Social Problem

1548 Words7 Pages
Police brutality is a social problem faced in many communities around the world. Focusing on North America, the problems and central focuses on police brutality stem from racism and the excessive abuse of power. Police brutality is defined as unmerited, excessive and aggressive abuse, police brutality is a phenomenon that causes irreparable harm to its victims. The abuse may be physical or psychological, and the victims can feel the effects of this abuse for a lifetime. These effects include not only physical wounds, but also psychological ones. In some cases, the community also experiences the impact of police brutality on its victims. (Angel, CopBlock.org) In a review from a book that Holmes and Smith published, the importance of stereotypes is underlined. Drawing to some degree on theories that see police violence as the result of “threats” that police officers experience during encounters in minority neighborhoods, the authors suggest that the idea of threat is in large part based on prevalent stereotypes. These stereotypes are not just employed by police, but are also used by members of minority groups. Whereas police often experience heightened anxiety and fear responding to calls in minority neighborhoods, minority residents experience similar emotions when confronted by police. Minority members often perceive police to be highly biased and to resort quickly to violence. Dennis Mares states that there is a direct link between police culture with urban street
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