Police Brutality

3484 Words14 Pages
The Price of Police Brutality
Chris Lawton
Union Institute and University
Applied Ethics in Criminal Justice Management
CJM 303
Professor Toni Bland
October 19, 2012


This paper will differentiate between reasonable force and excessive force. I will describe when excessive force turns into police brutality and how the police culture can influence police brutality. I will discuss some of the many negative repercussions that excessive force / police brutality have on the law enforcement officers, agency, city, community and profession.
The Price of Police Brutality
Is there a difference between excessive force and police brutality? Is one worse than the other? What are some of the negative aspects associated with
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There may be circumstances when no matter how much an individual officer may believe the force he applied was reasonable and just, the powers to be at that particular agency may deem it excessive. If an officer goes out every day with common sense and good moral character and does what he believes is right, sometimes these things happen.
What turns an excessive force situation into police brutality? It is the mindset of the officer involved in the incident and his justification of the use of force. If an officer applies force to an individual to inflict punishment instead of over-coming resistance, then by definition it becomes brutality. Brutal is defined as grossly ruthless or unfeeling, cruel, cold-blooded, harsh, severe (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brutal). An example may be an officer stops an individual in a park drinking a beer in violation of park rules. During the contact the individual pushes the officer and flees. The officer catches the fleeing suspect and tackles him to the ground. As suspect is on the ground he begins to put his hands behind his head he tells the officer he’s sorry and will comply, the officer sprays pepper spray in the suspect’s eyes. The officer gets up off the suspect, takes out his baton and strikes the suspect three times in the back while yelling at him he should never run from the police. Chasing the fleeing suspect and tackling him would

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