Causes and solution essay on Police brutality

An essay to delve into practise of police brutality in America


People, Police and Peace are the three intrinsic P’s which together aligns growth in an economy. These not only push the country towards the continuous improvement in the growth statistics. But are also highly dependent on each other to sustain the strength of the country. Out of these, one element which independently manages the other two P’s, is Police. This is trusted for protecting the people and maintaining peace in the society. Policemen are chief executors of the law and they serve as an idol to the civilians with reference to incorporating rules and regulations. However in the present scenario, in some of the major countries, the image of police has got disrupted because of their biased behaviour. This has even taken the shape of extremity in many countries, which gave birth to the term police brutality. This unpleasant term refers to the human right violation by the police. This violation is in the form of beating, racial abuse or unlawful killing.

This essay is going to give an insight into the meaning of police brutality, its practice in America, history of the same, causes, attributions and so on.

Police Brutality Definition

Police brutality refers to the redundant use of power by a police officer. It leads to the violation of human rights of the general public. Police brutality can be verbal as well as physical. Beginning from using pepper spray, batons, teasers, hitting, choking, abusing, throwing a non-combatant civilian to the ground, to the sexual abuse, the types and shapes of police brutality has evolved for wrong in the recent times.

Many countries have established their laws in relation to police brutality. It is counted as a serious offence but still, there are cases where the voices of civilians or victims go unheard. This was also because there has been no substantial proof to validate the same, till date. But with the advancement of technology, the civilians have started to record the videos of their interaction with the police officer. Moreover, the same process of recording the videos is also adopted by the police officers for their defence. This helps in bringing a clear point of view in the interaction and provides a balanced understanding of the case.

(police brutality in the United States | Definition, History, Causes, & Examples, 2020)
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Police Brutality in America

Americans have been subjected to police brutality since ages. Americans of all races, ethnicities, ages, classes, and genders have experienced the harsh behaviour of the police. It has led to an unrecoverable loss of lives in the country. Though America is counted as one of the safest places to stay but due to the increase in brutal incidents by police, it is no longer considered safe. The reason for increasing police brutality is the police union, racial discrimination, the militarization of police, legal protections and most importantly the blue wall of science. Police departments in the United States classically follow an informal cultural code which is called the blue wall of silence. This rule states that no police officers will report the misconduct or abuse committed by other officers. To add more, if they observe such an act, they will not interfere in it. The reason behind this is that police officers typically consider themselves as part of a larger "brotherhood".

History of police brutality in the USA

The roots of police brutality in the USA lies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. One can see different ways by which police brutality started being practised in different regions. In the USA police brutality was used as a tool to suppress the voices of the citizens who stood against big industries. Also, police brutality was used as an influential method to dominate labour strikes. Adding more to the havoc, police started to mistreat working-class people and arrest them without any reason. Moving further, Police brutality was also a common scenario to watch during the civil rights era when activists would be sprayed down with water hoses and attacked by the police dogs.

In fact, it has always been misunderstood that African Americans were the first victims of police brutality. But, it was actually the poor and working-class whites, who had to first face the suffering. They were frustrated by over discriminatory policing in northern cities. To add more, Jewish and other immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were also a target of police brutality against their communities during the same times. Even in Chicago and New York in 1920, urban police departments were using illegal tactics against members of Italian-immigrant communities so as to trap them in organized crime. In 1943, officers of the Los Angeles Police Department were involved in attacks on Mexican Americans by U.S. servicemen. This happened during the Zoot Suit Riots, which reflects the department’s history of hostility toward Hispanics (Latinos)

The cruelty did not end here, further there was harassment to homosexuals and transgender too by police in New York City. This misbehaviour began in 1969 in the Stonewall riots when a police raided on a gay bar. It led gay and transgender to come together which further resulted in protest and emergence of international gay rights movement.The brutality continued further with policemen starting to target the Muslim Americans. They were subjected to harassment and racial profiling. Though a number of local law-enforcement agencies were launched for their protection which stayed unnoticed. Then came the period of the racism against African Americans who have been the major sufferers till date.

(police brutality in the United States | Definition, History, Causes, & Examples, 2020

Causes of Police Brutality

Police Brutality is now an integral part of the American system which results in systematic disempowerment. This harsh practise results in sufferings and in some cases even loss of lives can be witnessed. There are a couple of reasons behind it. Mentioned here are some of them.

  • Culture Difference

    The mindset of police officers is trained in an unusual manner. They are made to believe that certain communities are of no good to society. It is because of this doubtful behaviour of the policemen, unnecessary harassment has become a part of the lives of the respective communities.

  • The blue wall of silence

    This rule clearly explains that no police officer will report the misconduct or abuse committed by other officers. Even after witnessing a negative incident with their own eyes they are still not supposed to interfere. The reason behind this is that police officers typically count themselves as a part of a larger "brotherhood" or they consider all the regional officers as their family members.

  • Undue Power

    The police officers are given undue power and there is no questioning on their actions. Even if a police officer is involved in an illegal act, the government won’t interrogate till the time there is clear evidence. Adding more to it, every policeman supports each other which weakens the position of the government. Thus this unethical use of power results in police brutality. In other words it can be said that to safeguard themselves the police officers try to suppress the public.

  • No training is given for non-violent instances

    The police officers are trained for the toughest situation which may arise. They are given training on self-defence and other actions to protect themselves. But on the contrary, they are not explained how to deal with non-violent situations. Thus this absence of training leaves them in a handicapped situation, where they are not able to understand the psychology of the common public. As a result they use the tool of brutality to get hold of the situation.

  • The system is not transparent

    A major factor which prompts the culture of police brutality is that there are no set standards by law enforcement officers. The system is designed in such a manner that there is no requirement to maintain a set level of answerability or transparency in their community interaction. In such a situation, even after doing something objectionable a police officer never receives a warning. So this gives the officers more freedom, thus resulting in increased cases of brutality.

Examples of Police Brutality

When you take a closer look at the history of police brutality, you will come across a number of incidents. These incidents are shocking, traumatizing and depressing at the same time. Mentioned here are few of the extreme cases which have been reported by people of the American constituency

  • Robert Davis, New Orleans, Louisiana

    This incident brings into picture Robert Davis who was a retired school teacher. He was beaten and arrested by three policemen in New Orleans. This incident took place when he was 64 and the year of assault was 2005. The incident was recorded by passersby who happened to be the Associated Press journalists. Adding to the worse, the journalists were also beaten by police. Davis was charged with public drunkenness. After the clip got viral one officer was fired, one was suspended and another was cleared of all charges. When Davis was asked about the incident he explained to the media about the mishap. He told that he was a teetotaler and had never consumed alcohol for more than two decades.

  • Walter Harvin, New York

    Walter Harvin suffered a cruel beating in 2010 at the hands of New York police officer David London. Walter is an Iraq war veteran. London was closing the door to a building in a housing project when Harvin who was staying there tried to get in. This led to a heated argument between the two and as a result, London beat Harvin with his baton. Not just this, he even hit and kicked him even after he was on the floor and was unconscious. London was then taken to court where he explained that Harvin had pushed him and thus London was released without any charges.

  • Angelina Garbarino, Shreveport, Louisiana

    Angela Garbarino was sternly beaten in 2008 by a police officer Wylie Willis. The incident took place in Shreveport Louisiana as he became angry in a police booking room. Garbarino was drunk and she started the argument with Willis, who dropped her down to the floor. After that Willis switched off the camera of the room and hit her badly. When the camera turned on again, Garbarino was lying in a spreading pool of blood on the floor. She was quickly taken to the hospital.. Garbarino suffered two black eyes, broken teeth and a broken nose. To protect himself Willis explained that the woman fell on her face while trying to leave the room. Willies did not get into much trouble as they settled out of court and his job was also retained.

Anti Brutality Campaigns

To every action, there is an equal opposite reaction. To bring this brutality into an end, people of America and all over the globe started raising their voices against this evil act thus resulting in the beginning of anti brutality campaigns. Listed below are few of them.

  • Campaign Zero

    This is one initiative which is started by localities of America. They raised funds from all over the world for bearing the expenses of the campaign. This campaign has people representing different states of America who have worked towards forming new legislation. This is directed to save the lives of common man from the brutality of the police. The state representatives along with the members organize the protest, raise their voices in public and show the unity of common men. The only aim of the campaign is to seek justice and to make sure that all wrong policemen should be held accountable for their brutality.

    (Campaign Zero, 2020)
  • ACLU Michigan

    This anti brutality campaign has its roots in 1959. This campaign is for the people of Michigan who have been denied their basic rights. It has no collaboration with any party thus making it a nonpartisan. The basic aim of thie organization is to give utmost liberty and protect people from all kinds of discrimination. People from any race, caste, colour and religion have all the rights to put up their concerns when any kind of injustice is faced by them. The organization has been a part of different movements such as the American Conservative Union, People for the American Way (PFAW), the Eagle Forum, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), Planned Parenthood, the National Rifle Association, Amnesty International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the Family Research Council.

    (About Us, 2020)
  • Black Lives Matterc

    This is an international social movement which dates back to 2013. This movement focuses on fighting racism and anti-black violence especially in reference to police brutality. The name of the campaign has been designed to underline and highlight the importance of every life irrespective of their caste or colour. The campaign focuses on treating black people equal to white people. It also demands giving the fundamental rights to the black people which a citizen is entitled to get in a country. In the initial stages the movement was an online process but it got expansion in 2014 when two black men were killed by US Police. Presently this movement is in news everywhere and people from the USA and across the globe are supporting this campaign to great extent.

    (Black Lives Matter | Definition, Goals, History, & Influence, 2020)

Solutions to police brutality

Police brutality has been a part of society for a long period of time. There is no denying that people have been raising voices against it but still it is practiced in society. Thus right actions are required to bring this brutality to an end. Here are some solutions to it.

  • Track the problem

    The major reasons which give rise to the brutality should be tracked. The problems could be because of different cultures existing in the society. So an alliance should be formed between people so as to develop cordial relations.

  • Demilitarize

    The government has been looking up to the military for the necessary weapons and batons. It has been observed that more the number of weapons the police get from the military, more is the increase in brutality. Thus, to stop police brutality there should be limited control given to the police in terms of using these weapons on the common men. Even if they use, they should be held accountable for each and every act they do with its execution.

  • Change of Police Culture

    Changing police culture is the utmost necessity to stop police brutality. The police should be given training on how to deal with the public. Moreover, the skin tone of a person is one important factor that is taken into consideration before offering him the job of a policeman. Even in the training, the emphasis is laid on fair complexion which is not right. Equality for all should be the motto while training. To add more, as mentioned earlier, the specification on how to enact, should be mentioned on violent and non-violent incidents. A proper documentation should be done in the form of a guide which clearly defines the acts of policemen with respect to different situations. Even a monetary fine should also be imposed on breaking the guideline by the police itself.

  • Investing in alternative means

    Rather than giving the whole control to police, alternative means should be adopted. This can result in the formation of community police. This particular design should include people as representatives from different fields. These people can bring forth the viewpoint of different communities, which can help the law to improvise its decisions.

     

Police Brutality Essay


There are a number of topics of social concerns which are going on in society. You as students have to study about various issues. Here is a sample essay on police brutality which will help you understand the underlying reasons for the same. In case you are unable to do your college assignment, then you can consult us at Assignmenthelp4me. We are even available for instant assignment help, to aid you in difficult times.

Black lives do matter- An essay restating equality as the human right!

Introduction


Equality for every human being is not something to ask for, it is the birthright of every individual. It is a fact, but not everyone practises this very common and understandable view. The inability of the people to embrace equality is one reason that campaigns are run across the world to protest against inequality. One such indifference, which has resulted in a lot of backlash from the people of the world, is the ill treatment of the black people. In fact one can see, the slogan, ‘Black Lives Matter’, being raised all around to demand justice for the black community. This is because the Africans who have been a part of the USA since decades are not treated the way White Americans are. They are denied their basic rights and have to face disrespect all over the country. Adding to the worse they also have to suffer from police brutality. The sufferings which they have to face are not right as they are humans and cannot be deprived of their basic human rights. This essay gives a brief about why black lives matter and even proves the point that why at some stages the blacks are targeted.

Body

The very first reason to practise equality is the differentiation on the basis of colour is a man-made concept. All individuals are created equal by God. When human beings are born there is nothing called religion or caste associated with them. It is the family which gives birth that actually tags the child with the respective caste, religion and culture. The effects of the particular tag keeps on getting multiplied as the person grows. He tends to form connections on the basis of his religion, sex, culture, caste or creed. It can be learned from the past that the first person to stand against this injustice was Abraham Lincoln. He was a brave pioneer who took a stand against the notion of slavery, thereby challanging the traditional principles of America with the concept of equality. Even the research conducted by Pew Research Center brings out concerning evidence about the differences between black and white people in society. It clearly explains that Blacks people are treated wrongly across different phases of life. Beginning from dealing with the police to applying for a loan or mortgage, black men are given a setback. To describe the black movement in detail, it can be termed as the explosion of long-suffering that black people have been victimised of. To stand against this inequality, black people themselves started the moment ‘Black Lives Matter’. It is an activist movement which began online with a hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) after George Zimmerman was not found guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was an African-American teenager present without arms and was killed in Florida in July 2013. The movement got hype when there were two high-profile deaths in 2014 of unarmed African-American men (Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY and Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO). Neither of the police officers were accused who were responsible for the deaths.This whole incident proves the inequality exercised by the police towards the black Americans.

(All Men Created Equal Essay - 1091 Words | Bartleby, 2020)

Secondly, there is no law which states that blacks are unequal. Every country has its own system of working. No law or statutory body of any country explains that there is differentiation in any human being. In the eyes of law, every human is equal, still one can witness police brutality incidents with black men. By taking note of the incidents taking place, one can count numerous cases where blacks are beaten up, traumatized and even killed to death. One of such incidents which was highlighted in the BBC was of Michael Brown who was 18 and was killed by a police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri. According to the reports he was carrying no arms. He had just stolen a box of cigars and was encountered. In fact, Brown was shot six times as stated by the autopsy reports. There are no laws which state that on stealing a box a person can be shot to death, but this young boy had to as he belonged to the African American community. The officer involved in the happening later resigned from the force, but was not accused of the crime. After this incident, multiple protests and civil unrest in Ferguson were observed. Even various movements on equality were also initiated by the international organizations. Taking into consideration the principle of equality and non-discrimination mentioned by United Nation which states, “all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, comprising of the State itself, are answerable to just, fair and unbiased laws and are permitted without any favouritism to equal protection of the law”. They are also committed to respect the equal rights of all without practicing difference on the basis of race, sex, language or religion.

(Equality and Non-discrimination - United Nations and the Rule of Law, 2020)

Moving further, it can be stated that the achievements of black men are no less than whites.. Whether it is with respect to the act of knowledge, running the country or making money, black men are equally good. It’s just they are deprived of opportunities and they are given a backspace in all the sectors. If given a chance they can show consistent results in comparison to whites. One significant example for the same is of Barack Obama, who served as the President of the USA for a long time. He was a black man and during his period he brought several changes. From passing health reforms, rescuing the economy, negotiating the deal to block nuclear Iran, eliminating Osama Bin Laden, cutting down the deficit, or reversing Bush Torture policies, he achieved innumerable tasks for the benefits of the common man. However, in spite of the fact that blacks are performing to the best of their abilities, still they are not treated equally. According to the survey by Pew Research Center, Blacks are not given equal rights. Black men are not treated equally in different sectors as compared to white men. Beginning from the workplace (a difference of 42 percentage points), when opting for a loan or mortgage (41 points), dealing with the police (34 points), in the courts (32 points), in stores or restaurants (28 points), and when voting in elections (23 points). By a fringe of at least 20 percentage points, blacks are also targeted more than whites to say racial discrimination (70% vs. 36%), lower-quality schools (75% vs. 53%) and lack of jobs (66% vs. 45%). These count as few other strong reasons which support that black men find it hard standing equal to whites.

(Key findings on Americans’ views of race in 2019, 2020)

Though, Black Lives Matter but there are some aspects which cannot be ignored about the black people. These have formed as the reasons for hatred towards black lives in the past and which still continues to the present. In the period of 1920-1990’s, the crime in the USA was at peak. The people involved in these crimes were African American. Around sixty five to seventy eight percent crime was committed by black men whereas for whites it was in between twenty to thirty five percent. Thus that scenario has made a mindset among the people that blacks are generally involved in crime.

(The Facts on Race, Crime, and Policing in America - Law & Liberty, 2020)

Conclusion

Thus to conclude it can be said that though the past has undoubtedly been a dominant factor for the ignorance and brutality against black people. But with changing times and the good reformations they are making to the society, there should be acceptance towards them. Most importantly, Blacks are as equal to other beings and the law should see them with the same eye. As like other citizens, they should be treated with due respect. There should be no discrimination towards them in terms of education, healthcare, jobs, banking and law. With this equal world of opportunities and stature, the world can move towards growth and true freedom.

Police as discussed earlier, is the guardian of the common man. It is not a political party who can stand with or against any community or set of people. It is supposed to treat everyone equally and it must do it in the same way. Therefore, the concept of police brutality should vanish from the society and every citizen in addition to police should emphasise on the prevalence of equality in the society.

References

  • Encyclopedia Britannica. 2020. Police Brutality In The United States | Definition, History, Causes, & Examples. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • Encyclopedia Britannica. 2020. Police Brutality In The United States | Definition, History, Causes, & Examples. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • the Guardian. 2020. US Police Brutality: The Five Worst Examples. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • .Campaign Zero. 2020. Campaign Zero. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • ACLU of Michigan. 2020. About Us. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • Encyclopedia Britannica. 2020. Black Lives Matter | Definition, Goals, History, & Influence. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • Bartleby.com. 2020. All Men Created Equal Essay - 1091 Words | Bartleby. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • United Nations and the Rule of Law. 2020. Equality And Non-Discrimination - United Nations And The Rule Of Law. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • Pew Research Center. 2020. Key Findings On Americans’ Views Of Race In 2019. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

  • Law & Liberty. 2020. The Facts On Race, Crime, And Policing In America - Law & Liberty. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].