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Police brutality refers to the intentional use of verbal attacks or excessive force directed towards a country's citizens by the police force. This excessive force may be physical or in form of psychological intimidation. Police brutality is highly evident in many countries all over the world especially in the news where such cases are reported. It is seen as a form of police misconduct which involves sexual abuse, police corruption, false arrests, racial profiling, and political repression. These forms of police brutality are mainly directed towards the vulnerable groups such as the poor, the weak and the elderly (Wallace, 2010). Most of these police brutality actions are always linked to racism (racial segregation). Many countries have allowed their police force to use force in apprehending the suspects and also in protecting themselves. They are however supposed to use reasonable amounts of force in controlling any situation and in accomplishing their goals. Police brutality always violates the suspect's constitutional rights and it should be stopped. This paper is going to discuss the police brutality; tolerance of police brutality in the society and ending police brutality (Socyberty.com, 2010).
Racial discrimination is one of the major contributors to police brutality in the society. Some of the police brutalities actions are perceived in terms of racial profiling. This term (racial profiling) refers to the situation whereby a member of certain a race is considered to be more likely involved in a criminal behavior as a result of his race. One may often be accused of committing crimes even when there is no valid evidence available to substantiate these claims. Mostly, racial profiling is brought about by early considerations of the race in criminal investigations. For example in America, driving while black (DWB) is one of the existing form of racial profile. This is because the people of the African American descent are highly subject to scrutiny by police officers mainly because of their race. Innocent citizens are pulled over by the police officers for no other reasons because their race or because they are black. These racial profiling contains false assumptions about people of particular races or groups. For example the black African American drivers are always pulled over because it is assumed that they are more likely to be drug users and traffickers. It is proven that this assumption is untrue because in the US statistics have always indicated that Caucasian is more involved in drug use than the African Americans. Racial profiling is also depicted by the presence of Arab Americans. It is assumed that the Arab Americans are more likely to be terrorists. This is because someplace officers use the Arab ethnicity to possibly identify someone as a terrorist (Wisegeek.com, 2010).
There are some vulnerable groups which are always subjected to police brutality. These include the poor, the weak, women, drug addicts and the elderly. According to the amnesty international (2009), the police force has brutalized some of these vulnerable groups. The police are accused of routine beatings and the demanding of bribes or sex. It also observed that some of the punishments accorded to the suspects included shooting electric shocks and beatings. This police brutality to the vulnerable groups is always propelled by race and ethnicity (Oppapers.com, 2010). It is estimated that the policy brutalities directed to the minority groups have increased to 25% between the year 2001 and the year 2007. Many black people and Hispanics are more likely to experience police brutalities than the whites. This is because the police assume that these blacks are more likely to commit certain crimes than the white's. These misconceptions are not legal because they may lead to dreadful decisions and again they lack basis. This is because the attachments of racial stereotypes tend to eliminate the suspects who are not typically suspected of the certain crimes. Racial stereotyping leads to the investigations of the wrong people ruling out people who have committed these crimes but did not match the stereotypes.
Majority of the people in the society and especially among the vulnerable are used to the news of police brutalities. The news of another car chase on a black suspect is not new to them for this is what they are used to almost daily. Excessive police force has always been tolerated by the blacks because they where the formally incarcerated minority Afro-Americans who were trapped in a cultural context which was specifically designed to bar their development thus minimizing their threat to the white hegemony (123helpme.com, 2010). According to previous studies, the Los Angeles community is now accustomed to racial discrimination that occurs in their own police local police departments. These kinds of incidents where police are beating the suspect makes the American citizens to ask this question "Has the long-troubled LAPD changed since the 1991 beating of Rodney King?".
Across America police brutalities are evident. There is no public oversight where these police brutalities can be accounted for. The police officers will always get away with these brutalities because they are in the system of the law enforcement agency. Other officers who are accused of these cases are either charged with minor offences or charged with nothing at all. These police brutalities are on the increase. For example a goggle search shows over 2,210,000 entries of policy brutalities videos come up. Individuals can watch these videos for many weeks owing to their number. The police and public officials always deny any of these reports on brutality and always try to explain that the act was an irregularity. The criminal and the administrative systems that should stop these brutalities by holding the police officer accountable also foster this impunity. This is because they always defend them stating that the amount of force used was appropriate. There are some open claims from the administration which is in charge of the police. For example the president of the National Association of Police Organizations admits that there are policy brutalities. He goes further to explain that these police brutalities are as a result of the stress factor since stress happens to be an inherent part of policing. The director in charge of Misconduct Lawyers Referral Service is also in agreement that brutality is a day-to-day occurrence and that the issue only becomes bigger when the media takes footage of such an incidence.
The incidences of police brutalities are decreasing though the rate is still high if the rules and regulations that the officers are supposed to follow are anything to go by. Policy brutality is low in some cities such as Kansas. This is depicted by the fact that there are few claims directed towards police brutality compared to the recent and past years. Patrick .v. Murphy the former head of police commission in New York has also contributed into this debate for he urges that the number of people being killed from the vulnerable groups had lessened and is likely to continue decreasing overtime (123helpme.com, 2010).
Police brutality can only be eliminated if the public and the police work together. The police efforts in stopping these brutalities can only be achieved through its administrative organs. For example the public officials regulating security should discard laws that inflict strict punishments to the people who file falsified complains against the police officers. This is because at times these laws act as a restriction to people who believe that they are really victims of brutality. Many people will be convicted of the crimes if they allegations are not accepted and this is very dehumanizing. The police administration should also set up citizen review boards. These boards will give the citizens the opportunity to bring in their opinions and their definitions of excessive force into the review of the police conduct. The federal government should also enact laws that will propel the police officers into thinking twice before punching or kicking a person, using a nightstick unnecessarily, or using the excessive force on the suspects. For example the laws should state that any police officer who is accused by more than two witnesses for brutality will be suspended for a period of thirty days without pay only if he is a first time offender (Free essays.cc, 2010). A repeated offence should be subjected to the due process of the law where the jury decides the fate of the accused officer. The police department should also formulate reward systems whereby exemplary police officer will be honored. This will motivate the officers into choosing alternatives ways of dealing with the suspects without resulting into brutality. The police departments should also provide stress clinics where the officer will be treated and also given an opportunity to share the various way of coping with some notorious problems experienced during work. The police departments should also ensure that the recruits are thoroughly screened so as to wipe away racism. The recruits should also be highly trained on to facilitate their duties impartially. Other efforts that can be made reduce police brutality will include the use of the police foot patrols, gene stones and the federal and local reforms.
There are some public efforts that should be administered so as to reduce or even discard these police brutalities. For example the public should be explicitly educated on the various ways of identifying cases of brutality and the responsibilities which they can undertake in ending it. The public should also be educated on the various measures that can be taken against the police officers who engage in any forms of police brutality. The community should also be made aware of their rights and surroundings such that they may avoid being victims of police brutalities. The media should also continue airing the video s and reporting any form of police brutalities such that the activities of the police may be well versed with the government and the public. There are five major steps in which the public can stop police brutality like protests. It is the duty of the public to march and protest any incidences of brutality either in police stations or in other government avenues. The public should also use cameras to record any brutalities from the police. The public should also vote out leaders who are condoning police brutality. It should also engage in dialogue with the police officers so as to solve any problems without resulting in to violence or brutality. The public should also engage the brutal officers into the due process of the law so that they can get justice and again they should provide their views about the police to the review boards
Police brutality is still evident in many societies up to today. These brutalities have been mainly fostered by race and ethnicity. These police brutalities are mainly directed towards the minority or vulnerable groups such as the elderly the poor and the weak. It is true that the police officers use excessive force to apprehend suspect and also to protect themselves but they have been using this force excessively and this should be stopped so as to protect the citizens and also the police officers. It should also be noted that race can never be a proof of criminal behavior. It should not be considered as a factor when suspecting crimes. It is the duty of the, police officers and authorities, the government and the public at large to eliminate this vice. The close relationship between these four identities can go milestones in curbing police brutality (Gane-McCalla, 2009).
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