Police Brutality Essay

Police Brutality

Did you know that Police brutality is the intentional use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially also in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer? Despite major improvements in police practices (since 1981) reports of alleged police misconduct and abuse continue to spread through the nation. Police Brutality still goes on around the world today with improvements of enforcing police brutality in police departments. There have been several shocking incidents in the United States and the rest of the world which left the public in shook. The public has many different views of the police, but the police are out to serve the public in a professional way twenty four hours a day. When the disgusting brutality acts occur to United States Citizens and other people around the world the public has a very negative view against the police. Many of the cases that have occurred in the United States with police brutality have left many people injured and dead. Police officers have also served time in prison for such harsh acts towards the public. The people in the United States refer to police brutality to one of the most famous cases in policing history which is the Rodney King case.

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“The mere mention of the name “Rodney King” conjures the shocking images captured by an amateur video of an African American man surrounded and beaten by Los Angeles police officers (Police Brutality Is Widespread).” On March 2, 1991 Rodney King and two passengers were driving west on Foothill Freeway in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. Rodney’s car was spotted speeding on the highway and was pursued by police authorities. A police chase reached speeds up to 100 mph. Rodney King refused to pull over during the pursuit, which led the police officers to call in for back up. After eight miles of dodging traffic in all lanes on the highway the Los Angeles Police Department put a stop the high speed chase by cornering King’s vehicle.

The highway patrol men arrived at scene and had the passengers lie face down on the ground while Rodney King remained in the car. King then lied on the ground while police officers surrounded him. Mr. King was struck by a taser gun then was brutally beaten by authorities. Police officers hit him with batons in a “power stroke” way. Authorities showed no emotion towards King’s arrest, they kicked him and hit struck him with night sticks approximately 56 times. After this horrible incident many police departments show the video of Rodney King being physically and vocally abused. They show this horrible scene to the officers who are in the police academy to have an understanding of what police brutality is.

On the other hand “The Los Angeles Police Department, already battered with numerous allegations of misconduct, found itself involved in another scandal—this time involving its Rampart Division. Officers were charged with planting evidence on suspects and “covering it up.” The scandal reinforced the public’s perception that corruption still plagues the police department (Police Brutality Is Widespread).”

New York City Police department experienced police brutality cases also. “The New York City Police Department faced allegations in June 2000 that its officers did not respond to the cries for help from women in Central Park who were being sexually assaulted at a public event (Police Brutality Is Widespread).” Many of these cases range from vocal to physical abuse people take from the police. People look at the police as they were role models and people that are one hundred percent perfect at all times. The police have a certain amount of force they can use against a victim. They are properly trained to avoid shootings and any type of situation a victim might be hurt. “In order to protect citizens, police officers are entrusted with the enormous responsibility of having the authority to use force, including deadly force, under certain circumstances.

Decisions on use of force are affected by several factors, including the degree of threatening behavior displayed by the suspect, state laws, police department policy, and training. What we do know, from experts and police officers alike, is that the media portrayal of police brutality is often significantly different from reality (The Extent of Police Brutality Is Exaggerated).” When you are working in the police world, things happen very quickly. The police academies around the nation teach their officers how to properly handle things when officers need to your force. There have been many times officers disobey the department’s rules and handle things incorrectly. When things don’t go properly that’s when you have a big chance of police brutality occurring.

“In Houston in July 1998, Pedro Oregon was shot during a drug raid on his home. He was an unarmed Mexican national. The police officers were fired following protests from the Hispanic community (Police Brutality Is A Serious Problem).” Shootings occur frequently because the police suspect they have a weapon and feel they are in harm. As a police officer you want to protect your life along with the others you’re working with. “Many of the people allegedly kicked or beaten by police were not criminal suspects but people who had simply questioned police authority or had minor disagreements with officers,” Amnesty International said in a 1996 report “Police Brutality and Excessive Force in the New York City Police Department.” “Nearly all the victims in the cases of deaths in custody and police shootings reviewed by Amnesty International were from racial minorities particularly African Americans, Latinos, and Asians (Police Brutality Is A Serious Problem).” Not only are these acts occurring in the United States but also in other parts of the world.

Other countries police departments use harsher ways of brutality such as torture of death. “The case highlights the frequent use of torture and deadly force at local police stations in India, a practice decried by human rights activists and the Indian Supreme Court. A little more than a decade after Parliament established the National Human Rights Commission to deal with such abuses, police torture continues unabated, according to human rights groups and the Indian Supreme Court. According to the latest available government data, there were 1,307 reported deaths in police and judicial custody in India in 2002 (Police in India Frequently Use Torture).” Other countries have different laws and government rules.

People that travel to other countries from out of the United States are rarely arrested by police in other countries because they act in a respectful way. Police departments have harsh punishments for the people that disobey the law and who are trying to commit crimes. In Brazil, “Torture remains a serious problem in Brazil. The federal government’s National Campaign against Torture reported receiving 1,336 complaints of torture between October 2001 and July 2003 (Torture Is Still Common in Brazil).”

The police brutality problem will never stop because it is a human problem. There are many ways to limit it but it will never end. There are many states, counties, and other parts of the world believe the problem can be limited but not stopped one hundred percent. Departments have special ways to stop the horrible brutality acts. In community based policing, a community’s residents and its institutions work with police to reduce crime and police brutality. There are also other techniques and ways to prevent the brutality from police. We all hope one day there won’t be any more deaths or people injured by police because of unreasonable use of force.