Police Influence on Society Essay

817 Words4 Pages
Police Influence on Society
Bruce Strong
November 8, 2012
Albert J. Munoz-Flores, Psy. D.

Police Influence on Society
If you watch the nightly news you are bound to see a report of a clash between the police and a suspect or suspects. This often involves a high speed chase or the police taking a suspect down. These events are increasingly captured on video, especially with the advances in smart phones and portable video devices. Very often what you see is a white police officer or officers in some sort of violent struggle with an African-American or Hispanic male. Immediately, calls of excessive force or race enter the discussion. This is a serious issue in this country that only seems to be growing. Surely, the media
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The crime would be “solved” and off the books. The poor, non-white people who lived in the ghetto had little protection from the police and the majority of Americans really had no idea of the level of abuse taking place. During this period there was no mass media or internet to immediately call attention to police abuses. This type of police behavior only intensified fear and distrust among minorities of the police.
Eventually, these abuses exploded into a series of riots brought on by the Civil Rights Movement. Police corruption and practices came under national scrutiny. As a result laws were passed to provide greater protections to individual citizens. One of the greatest was the Miranda decision by the Supreme Court. This, of course, made it mandatory for police to issue a person’s rights prior to questioning. Other important safeguards were put into place limiting the ability of the police to abuse citizens.
Further strides have been made since this period to include a concentrated effort to make police departments more ethnically diverse. Despite becoming more diverse and laws to protect citizens there remains a great deal of distrust of the police among African-Americans and Hispanics. The Rodney King case was and is a lightning rod for those who point to police abuse based on race. Unfortunately, large numbers of African-Americans, Hispanics, and to a lesser degree other ethnic
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