There is no question that police brutality, when it occurs, is one of the most egregious violations of public trust that a public servant can commit. Police officers, those individuals taxed with protecting the public from danger, should never be in a situation where they pose a threat to the public. Furthermore, there is no question that police brutality occurs. Moreover, generally when there are allegations of police brutality, there has been some type of underlying violent incident. In addition, while issues of brutality may seem clear-cut to a disinterested observer, it is critical to keep in mind that law enforcement officers are not presented with textbook examples of the appropriate or inappropriate use of force, but real-life scenarios involving quick decisions. There are many arrest and non-arrest scenarios where officers need to use force to protect self or others; and the degree of force required may be greater than what a disinterested observer would assume. Another recurrent issue in debates about police brutality is that racial bias appears to be a motive behind police brutality. When one considers that minorities are disproportionately likely to be arrested and convicted of crimes, one would expect to find a disproportionate number of minorities among those alleging police brutality. Therefore, while acknowledging that police brutality, when it occurs, is a serious problem, the reality is that most
The brutality of the police force has been a long worldwide problem, but especially between the years of 2012-2016. Black people are being unjustly beaten and shot in plain sight for doing nothing while being unarmed. Journal of African American Studies “Blacks are viewed as deserving of harsh treatment in the criminal justice system” (482). “Black males with more “Afrocentric” features may receive longer sentences than blacks with less Afrocentric features like lighter skin and straighter hair”(482). Nowadays it is important to know about the police force. It’s important to know our rights as citizens and be careful around cops. Not everybody is good, but not everybody is bad also. In The New York Amsterdam News 21 people were killed by Chicago police in 2008. Entire families were being attacked. They believe it’s because of their skin color and how they are different. The year of racism started off with the world seeing the police murder of Oscar Grant. “The media have pushed people away from hearing the issue of police brutality, and it has fallen off of the radar screen.”(2) “You can’t give in. They will try to make an example out of you, try to break your spirit!”(2) African Americans say do not trust the cops with anything. “They will ruin you.”(2)
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.
On August 5, 2014, five days prior to Michael Brown’s death, John Crawford III was fatally shot by police officers in an Ohio Walmart aisle. At the site of Crawford’s shooting, there were two hundred surveillance cameras, many showing him holding a toy gun, him on his cell phone, and other details of his death. After receiving a call from Ronald Richie, another patron, police officers responded to the scene with loaded guns and without any de-escalation fatally shot Crawford. Likewise with many other African American shootings by the police, the grand jury also failed to indict the officers who shot Crawford. Crawford’s outcome demonstrates one reason to be skeptical about the Police CAMERA Act because although there are high-quality camera footages police officers are still not getting indicted and these violent acts are still ongoing. However, as stated previously, body-worn cameras creates a sense of “self-awareness” in police officers than any other video capturing device can. According to the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, though Crawford’s death is a “miscarriage of justice, the filming itself by bystander or any form would not generate the self-awareness and consequent behavior modification during the incident.” Dr. Barak Ariel, a member of the Rialto Study from the Cambridge Institution of Criminology, explained that the body-worn camera present a ‘preventative treatment’ that carry a straightforward, pragmatic message that everyone is being watched, videotaped, and are expected to follow the
From the disturbing beating of Rodney King to the horrific death of Malice Green to the shooting of Michael Brown shows there is a consistent problem with police brutality and the exertion of force used. Police brutality seems to be a rising issue again with the occurrence of the Michael Brown shooting and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement making sure that any form of police brutality should not be swept under the rug. Action has been taken in some cities around the country for dealing with police brutality, such as police reform, which requires the retraining of hundreds of officers. There has also been talk and use of police body cameras that would record interactions between officers and the public to clear up any discrepancies in police/witness reports. To look at the effects and causation of police brutality we will be analyzing the media’s role, the sociological and psychological aspects of officers who administer the beating, and the timing of when these beatings/killings occurred.
Despite the important racial progresss our society has made since Emmett Till’s death, from the civil rights era, to present increase of police brutality has still left the Black/African American community in shadows of segregation. The second most recent shooting of teenager Michael Brown has left citizens in ongoing battles with law enforcement officers of Ferguson, Missouri. New Statement (2014) reports, Missouri police similarly attempted to retain control of the narrative, claiming Brown had stolen cigars, and then paying for them, and then claiming he was a bad child and attacked the officer who shot him” (New Statement, 21). Brown autopsy reveals he was gun less and shot six times. Police brutality is not solely about Ferguson, Emmett Till, or the civil rights movement, but it is simply about the history of capitalism and police brutality in America and having many forms of it.
Police shootings are unfortunate events but whenever there is a shooting, the topic of race emerges. Police shootings have always been the highlights on news channels and there is always the racially biased narrative that keeps repeating itself yet no one seems to dispute this narrative. However, did you know that studies show a police officer is eighteen and a half times more likely to be killed by a African American male than an unarmed African American male is to be killed by a police officer? In fact, a recent “deadly force” study by Washington State University researcher Lois James found that police officers were actually less likely to shoot an unarmed black suspect than unarmed Caucasian or Hispanic suspect in simulated threat scenarios. Some would argue that there are still police shootings all over America and they occur when police officers
A young man’s brutal death at the hands of the police is found justified in a court of law due to his “suspicious” appearance: a black hoodie and his hands in his pocket. An elderly woman is fatally shot in her home for her relation to a suspected criminal. A married man with two toddlers is choked to death after a minor traffic stop by an officer who later claimed that his unarmed victim was wielding a gun. These people all have a few commonalities: the color of their skin, their presumed guilt at first sight, and their ultimate unjustified death administered by the law force. These are not uncommon occurrences. Due to the staggeringly disproportionate rate of African-Americans killed by the police, and the underlying rampant racial profiling, police brutality towards blacks in America must be called to light.
Many African-Americans are killed every year by police officers and their deaths impact not only their families but their community. However this past year the death of John Crawford and Tamir Rice impacted not only their family or community, but the entire nation. The case of Rice and Crawford isn’t nothing new, we always hear about a black person being shot by the police quite often. The only thing that makes these cases unique from rest is that they were both caught on tape. On November 22nd, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing in the park with a toy airsoft gun when officer Timothy Loehmann shot him two seconds after arriving to the scene. He died the next day due to a "gunshot wound of the torso with injuries of major vessel, intestines and pelvis” according to the autopsy results that were realized shortly after. 22-year-old African-American John
On the evening of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, a neighborhood watch coordinator, George Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old teenager named Trayvon Martin. Some say Zimmerman acted rightfully in self-defense while others believe he acted wrongfully by racially profiling Martin during the incident. Similarly, on August 9, 2015, an 18-year-old teenager named Michael Brown was fatally shot to death by police officer, Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Some witnesses believe that Brown was unarmed during this unfortunate incident and that he was holding his hands up in order to surrender to Wilson. Unfortunately, society may never know what actually happened since witnesses, proof, and evidence were very limited during that time of the events. Incidents like these may never have to happen again if law enforcement wore body cameras during their shifts. Body-worn cameras are a video recorder mainly used by police and law enforcement to record interactions with the public, evidence at crime scenes while still improving officer and citizen accountability. Due to the recent rise in news following innocent people being unjustly shot by law enforcement, the idea of wearing body cameras are starting to look like a great idea. Body worn cameras seem like a great asset to utilize for every police officer out there however there are some faults to it as well like some security, ethical, and social issues.
Excessive force and police brutality have become common terms for anyone keeping up with today’s current events. In 2014, the media covered numerous cases of excessive force that resulted in the deaths of several people of color (Nelson & Staff, 2014). The most widely covered cases by the media in 2014 were of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black male shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri; and Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black male in Staten Island, New York who was put into a choke by police officer Daniel Pantaleo until he lost consciousness and stopped breathing (Nelson & Staff, 2014). These cases brought attention to the seriousness of police brutality and the curiosity of how often it occurs (Brown, 2015).
In April, 2015, a white male police officer named Micheal Slager out of North Charleston, South Carolina, shot an unarmed African American male after pulling the male over for a faulty taillight. The officer claimed that he had feared for his life when the man stole the officers taser from him. Days later, the footage showed that the officer had pulled the man over. Then had a tussle with him and the male ran, then the officer shot him eight times in the back and walked up to the man and put what many speculated to be the taser in the man’s hands. After release of the video the officer was fired from the police force.
Kaepernick began his silent, kneeling protest at the beginning of last season, not as an assault against the United States military or the flag but as a dissent against a system that has, with a great degree of consistency, failed to hold accountable police who kill unarmed citizens. Since he did this, forty-one unarmed individuals have been fatally shot by police in the United States, twelve of them African-American, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post. The city of St. Louis recently witnessed three days of protests after the acquittal of Jason Stockley, the former officer who, while still working for the city’s police force, fatally shot Anthony Smith, an eighteen-year-old African-American motorist who had led officers on a chase. Stockley emerged from his vehicle, having declared that he would “kill the motherfucker,” then proceeded to fire five rounds into the car. Later, a firearm was found on the seat of Smith’s car, but the weapon bore only Stockley’s DNA. The issue is not imaginary.
Accounts of police misconduct, particularly cases involving police brutality, surface in today’s society more than ever largely due to how common it is for a camera to catch what really goes on. Some police give false statements of what actually happened during their confrontations, some being absurdly different from the truth. In the case of the Laquan McDonalds October 2014 shooting, the statement given by the officer and
I have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since I moved from Raleigh at the age of two. For most of my life Charlotte has been a peaceful and loving environment filled with increasing job opportunities. However, the recent events that have come crashing over Charlotte have overshadowed all of the great things that I have to love as child and now young adult. I am sure you are familiar with the tragic shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and the side effects that followed. Not only was my great city put into the limelight for a negative reason, it was also flipped onto its head leaving many of people confused as to what the future may hold. Now, people see Charlotte as an example of what not to be; however, I believe that Charlotte has the ability