Police brutality is defined as excessive force application by the officers against a civilian. Police brutality is a common issue in many countries across the world including the United States of America. Arguably, the police only become brutal towards the civilians who intimidate them to the point of force application. The main reason as to why they have to use excessive force is when the civilian resists arrest. The issue has led to debate whether the police should continue using excessive force or whether the government should protect the citizens. Therefore, when that force becomes excessive to the degree of brutality, the problem needs to be addressed by both the officials and the public.
The paper analyses the police brutality in the United States by focusing on past cases, statistics and police training.
Police brutality in the US has been occurring since the 19th century. Various incidences in the history reflect on how the police are brutal to the civilians. In 1874, the New York Police officer brutally attacked the unemployed civilians at the Tompkins Park. The case was among the first ever-noted issues of police brutality in the United States (Champion, 2001). The aforementioned unemployed people were on the demonstration for lack of job opportunities when the police attacked them at the park. In addition, another excessive use of power by the police occurred in 2001 at the Quebec City Summit of the Americans. During the incidence, the police applied teargas that was not a justified action (Jayat, 2002). Statistics indicates that the occurrence of police brutality fluctuates annually with some years recording an increase, while others show a decrease. In some situations, police brutality result in lethal cases. For example, in 2009, an American civilian Ian Tomlinson died a few minutes after the police officer applied excessive force on him.
The police brutality clearly reflects the kind of training that the police receive at the camps before they graduate the police academy. The police are trained to use force from the early days of education (Greene, 2007). The main reason for such training is to give the officers a sense of defense in case they are facing technical tasks. The training for the force application might be the main reason for police brutality when dealing with the civilians. Apart from the use of force, the police are also taught lethal tactics to use during their work. Despite the fact that the tactics should apply to the dangerous criminals only, the police use them on civilians causing injuries and even deaths (Human Rights Watch, 1993).
Due to the rise in the police brutality, there are various responses from both the police and the public. The main response from the police is that they only apply violence when needed. The police argue that the civilians force them to act brutally when they refuse to cooperate. Contrary, the civilians blame the police that they are naturally brutal despite the willingness to cooperate. The civilian’s main argument is that the police usually fail to listen, thus treat any attempt to communicate as the resistance of arrest (Human Rights Watch, 1996). Currently, various organizations are raising the awareness of the police brutality to motivate the officials to decrease violence. However, the end of the police brutality is only possible if the two parties come together and discuss the issue to set up a mutual agreement.
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In conclusion, police brutality is the use of excessive force by the police towards the civilians. The excessive use of power has raised concerns of human rights organizations due to negative effects on the innocent civilians. Notably, police brutality has led to injuries and even deaths among the citizens of the US. The police response to blame for brutality is that the civilians fail to respect officers’ command forcing them to apply violence. Contrary, the civilians argue that the police must listen to their arguments before arresting the individuals. The police brutality connects to the violent and lethal training that they undergo at the camps. Thus, in order to eradicate the occurrences of police brutality, civilians, the police officials and government have to cooperate to develop mutually beneficial ways of communication between people and the police.
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