Police brutality remains a common yet controversial topic around the world. Police brutality is “the use of excessive and/or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians” (thelawdictionary.org). It’s a topic that segregates communities and makes each other their enemy. Specifically, a white officer has been the enemy of the black community. Unfortunately, the tension between police and blacks grew over the past few decades. As a result, there is a drastic increase of violent outburst between both sides. For the last years, it was reported that 51.5 percent of black were killed by police officers (ibtimes.com). On the other hand, there have been 51,548 assaults against law enforcement and it resulted in 14,453 injuries in 2015 alone (nleomf.org). In the United States, recently, police brutality has been a popular subject all over the news and social media.
There are numerous issues that deal with the American criminal justice system, but the two I found most prominant that occur on a daily basis is the abuse from police officers and clear racism shown by the American criminal justice system. To begin, racism as we know is a prejudice directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. In the criminal justice system African Americans are directly targeted and punished in a higher more aggressive way, than say someone who is caucasian and committed the same exact crime. Racism is more often than not, the motive for official misconduct. There are examples of racism from every known region in the United States, spanning across centuries from slavery to
Assurance in equal justice remains as an overwhelming political principle of American culture. Yet withstanding unbelief exists among numerous racial and ethnic minorities. Their doubt comes as no surprise, given a past filled with differential treatment in the arrangement of criminal equity, an issue particularly clear in police misconduct. Researchers have investigated police responses to racial and ethnic minorities for quite some time, offering sufficient confirmation of minority burden on account of police. These examinations raise doubt about different police techniques of coercive control, maybe none more so than police brutality. Its use exemplifies the pressures between police and minorities that exist in America today.
As innate to America as apple pie and baseball are, so is vigilantism. Since the decision to revolt against Britain in 1776, acts of vigilantism have prevailed the nation. American vigilantism organizes itself into three distinct eras, classical, neo and pseudo vigilantism all of which serve as reactions to epidemics plaguing the nation.
In the spring of 1991,” In Los Angeles, California, four Los Angeles police officers that had been caught beating an unarmed African-American motorist in an amateur video an acquitted of any wrongdoing in the arrest.” [“1992 Riot in Los Angeles”]
The sentencing disparity for drug use by race is disproportionate for African Americans because of The War on Drugs. Matthew Lassiter (2015) explains, “In 1951, Harry Anslinger, the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, collaborated with senate of criminal investigations to target black ‘dope peddlers’ who were luring pretty white blondes into drug addiction”(2015:128). According to Lassiter (2015), Anslinger believed that peddlers, who destroyed teenagers’ lives, required the most sever punishment (2015:129). Using this rhetoric, presidents like Nixon and Reagan would shape the way drug laws are enforced.
Images and video of Eric Garner’s murder by police generated outrage and protests across the nation. Many wept for the loss of this innocent, but for Black America, it was just another offense in a long series of transgressions against the black body. To them, the pain was familiar—they had known it by many names: slavery, Jim Crow, mass incarceration. Police brutality was nothing new. This situation was different, however. Garner was the last straw—the one that broke the camel’s back. Horror, disgust, and rage swept through the nation’s major cities. This image galvanized communities around the country, who declared in one voice: “No more. Enough is enough.”
My daughter is away attending college, not just a few miles away from home, but four hundred and thirty miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. I couldn’t imagine my daughter calling home one evening hysterical because she had been arrested. Arrested for suspicious fraudulent activity using a credit card because her race, complexion, and ethnicity didn’t fit the criteria of how one should look when purchasing expensive items. Just thinking about the idea makes my heart pound uncontrollably. After many years of fighting for equal rights for African Americans, it’s unfortunate that racism still exist and the color of your skin can cost you your freedom. Racial profiling is unjust, unconstitutional, and remains a huge problem still in the twenty-first century.
Rebecca Nichols Alonzo, author of “The Devil in Pew Number Seven”, spent part of her childhood just seven miles from my home. The years that she endured in Sellerstown, NC were filled with threats, fear, violence, and eventually death. Her father, Robert Nichols, was a pastor and moved the family to the small community in 1969. Harassing phone calls, threatening letters, and events became part of their life. After looking through the list of books, I chose “The Devil in Pew Number Seven” because of the connection it has to Columbus County.
A news report released by CNN on April 10, 2015 displayed three examples of use of force abuse by on duty officers. Of these three incidents the results were a man dying in police custody after a dog allegedly mauled him, a mentally ill man being was shot dead after his family called police asking for help, and an officer who shooting into a vehicle after a car chase, killing a man who was initially suspected of drunk driving. Of all three incidents the deceased happened to all be Black men. Incidents like so have led to the formation of groups like Black Lives Matter. Instances such as these open up debate about if police are using excessive force based upon the suspect’s race. The Washington post gathered information from interviews, police
The Plague of the United States era, society is insistently assured by police and their apologist, is not the extensive abuse and other frequent misconduct by law enforcements officers, but the expanding “disrespect for authority” that is being encouraged by “liberals” and those more extensive individuals called “libertarians” The widespread media coverage of police brutality has become too common within our societies everyday life, thus causing destruction of the communities trust. Savage treatment is continually afflicted among African Americans as a replacement form of punishment. A substantial number of casualties of police brutality are African Americans, for instance during August 9th within a house of Brooklyn, an African American
At first viewing of the documentary "Gideon's Army.'* you may become overwhelmed by the dire situation of the criminal justice system in the South, specifically with regard to the poorer and less educated population. To observe how stressed the public defenders are, how tapped the resources, and how desperate the defendants, you struggle with the notion that there may not be anything that can be done and it's too big a problem to overcome. But delving into the professional, and, at times, personal life of Travis Williams, a public defender in Georgia, you feel determination and hope. Williams advocates for each client with passion and diligence. He is fully aware of his situation yet greets each day with new fire and energy. He celebrates the victories and acknowledges the losses. Travis Williams epitomizes why the legal community must be dedicated to serving the men and women who should be, but are not, treated as their more privileged, more affluent counterparts.
In their article, “Body Cameras Worn by Police are No ‘Safeguard of Truth,’ Experts Say”, Vivian Yee and Kirk Johnson emphasize on how body cameras are not effective enough to prevent police brutality against American citizens. A grand jury found out that innocent African American Men's’ rights are not being considered when they are been brutally beaten by the police. As a result, the grand jury’s solution to this problem was to create a law that forces police officers to wear body cameras when they are in the act of arresting their victims. Yee and Johnson provide several examples from the article to support this claim that the body cameras worn by the police are not necessarily effective. The title “Body Cameras Worn By Police Officers are No ‘Safeguard of
Unfortunately, police brutality has been a part of the United States for many years. Most police brutality began in the late 1800s, early 1900s. This is still a problem today in the United States. The main part of this paper is to present research findings on this particular social problem. Many researchers found that most cases of police brutality goes unreported. According to the Word Press, in 1982, the feds (federal government) financed a “Police Services Study,” selecting over 12,000 randomly selected citizens in three different areas. Studies showed that 13 percent of those surveyed had been victims of police brutality the year before. However, only 30 percent of those who identified the abuse filed formal complaints.
Eye witness identification involves selecting an accused perpetrator from a police line up, sketch or being at the crime scene during the murder time. After selecting a suspect, witnesses are asked to make a formal statement confirming the ID of the suspect (s) or other surrounding details which the eyewitness can testify in court. Eyewitnesses are always required to testify in court but eyewitnesses with psychological disorders, substance dependancy are at a higher chance of identifying the wrong suspect therefore wrongfully assisting convict the perpetrator in the wrong (Hal Arkowitz, Scott O. Lilienfeld, January 1, 2010).