The Controversy Of Police Brutality

2866 Words12 Pages
I. Introduction In recent years and in light of recent tragedies, police actions, specifically police brutality, has come into view of a large, public and rather critical eye. The power to take life rests in the final stage of the criminal justice system. However, the controversy lies where due process does not. While the use of deadly force is defined and limited by departmental policies, it remains an act guided chiefly by the judgment of individual officers in pressure situations. (Goldkamp 1976, 169). Many current studies have emphasized the racial disparities in minority deaths, primarily black Americans, killed by police through means of deadly force. The history of occurrences reveals the forlorn truth that police reforms only receive attention in wake of highly publicized episodes of police misconduct. The notorious 1992 Los Angeles riots brought the matter to mass public attention and prompted improved law enforcement policy. Significant local reforms resulted, for instance, ending the policy of lifetime terms for police chiefs. Additionally, on a broader platform, in 1994, Congress approved provisions to the Crime Control Act in effort to tackle police abuse in a more structured way. Unfortunately, today these account for mostly failed attempts. More than two decades later and with a growing number of incidents, the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, has elicited a new and essential call for reform. Improved
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