Police Brutality And Race Essay

2819 Words12 Pages

Police Brutality and Race
Police brutality is not a new problem in the United States. It has occurred throughout history and has affected all genders, ethnicities, and races. Recently, however, police brutality towards African Americans has become a controversial topic in the news media, and has prompted heated discussions and angry public outcry about race relations and civil rights throughout all sections of the country. Ever since the Michael Brown shooting in 2014, which was caught on camera and viewed widely on national television and on social media, the police have been under scrutiny by both the news media and the general population to stop their use of physical force and unnecessary violence when apprehending and confronting criminals. …show more content…

According to the article, “Why Police Kill Black Males”, Gilbert and Rashan state, “The criminalization of black males has a long history in the USA, which has resulted in an increase in policing behaviors by legal authorities” (Gilbert and Rashan). They also assert that black males in America have been stereotyped as violent criminals, felons, drug dealers and sexual predators (Gilbert and Rashan). Even more striking is the claim by Matthew Hughley in his article which appeared in Critical Sociology, that the criminal justice system has evolved the ideology that blacks have an inherent predisposition to commit crime (Hughey 857). Sadly, black males are perceived as threats even when they are unarmed. Hughey supports this assertion when he states, “Black Americans who are fatally shot by police are, in fact, less likely to be posing an imminent lethal threat to the officers at the moment they are killed than white Americans fatally shot by police” (Hughey 859). Because black males have more confrontations with law enforcement officials, the stereotype that blacks are naturally more predisposed to violence and crime becomes substantiated, which creates a never ending circle of prejudice and fear for police officers against black …show more content…

According a study conducted by Chaney and Robertson, American’s attitudes about police officers have changed dramatically in the past ten years. Their study, which appeared in The Journal of African American Studies, suggests that instead of feeling safe and protected by police, many citizens actually feel animosity towards police officers, and are mistrustful and suspicious towards them (Chaney and Robertson 480). This situation seems almost impossible to rectify, especially since law enforcement is given the authority and the privilege to use force not only by the law, but also by society. In order to allow law enforcement officers this power, the public must completely trust those who are protecting them, and must believe that police are using force responsibly and ethically. People naturally assume that the police are well-trained to use force appropriately and fairly without prejudices. Sadly, According to Ross, the training given to law enforcement officers is inadequate and, in many instances, even biased against those who they think are a threat. In truth, there is no uniform preparation of law enforcement officers, no federal rules or guidelines regulating their training, and as of yet, no consistent set of federal standards for police confrontations (Ross). Envisioning a

Open Document