Police Brutality Research Paper Instructions
Write a research paper and create a PowerPoint presentation on Police Brutality in APA format, with APA references, and contain at least 6 references (must be from within the last 5 years) to include research, position paper, theoretical paper, or review of the literature published in professional journals. A research article has a method(s). A Review consists of summarizing the literature, research methods, research findings, research discussion and implications.
Police Brutality In The USA – Sample Paper
Police brutality has covered media headlines for the last two decades. The citizens have continued to riot in cases where this brutality exceeds the standard range of punishment. Fatal shootings are becoming common. Amazingly, the police officers responsible for the killings are not held for long before they are released to their normal duties. Studies have noted that police use excessive force on minority groups. For instance, Latinos and African –Americans have confidence that the police use this force on suspects, rather than the ideal victims of the offence (Bucerius & Tonry, 2014). On the other hand, a number of people think that excessive force is necessary to prevent additional crimes in society. Therefore, it is important to analyze the disparate views on the two sides of this aspect. Since the issue of police brutality is based on racial grounds, the police should be held accountable for their misconduct. This will enable them to treat all groups of individuals with equality; hence use the appropriate amount of force.
The use of brutal force by the police defeats logic since they are supposed to maintain law and order and use as little force as possible in carrying out arrests. Police are supposed to ensure people follow the law and where necessary seize those who prove stubborn and follow deviant ways. Unwarranted police brutality only draws the wrath of people especially when people are discriminated against. Racially, people of colour are highly prone to such treatment by police and if there are no changes in police conduct as they carry out their duties, people will harbor negative attitudes towards the police and policing will be difficult. Police brutality thus does not help and getting to the root of such actions is quite important in ensuring the code of conduct for police is maintained and carried out with equity regarding all races. People may not be criminals but may hold dissenting views regarding the police and even lack respect for them because of the brutality meted on them. Police, in this case, can be targets of their own doing where people attack them in the course of their duty. Such brutal shootings have been directed toward young black boys who are mostly teenagers. The use of excessive force, in this case, takes on the use of shootings or pepper sprays in some cases. Carrying out duties discriminatively affects the rights of most minorities and some cases of white officers shootings innocent teens have been evident especially in the Ferguson shooting where Michael Brown who was unarmed was shot by a police officer in Ferguson (Matthews, Szalai & Flaherty, 2016).
Brutal force does not help in the carrying out of justice primarily when innocent people are targeted. Such pressure may lead to injuries which would have been avoided if the polices had followed due process. Police have to measure situations and consider their investigation together with evidence and further confirm the credence of the suspicions at hand. As such, they should do much groundwork before they can use force. Many people are mostly wrongfully jailed especially those who are minorities. Therefore, innocent people suffer at the hands of law enforcement officers. Police in different communities is aware of the activities that are usually happening in their precincts and should therefore provide ways in which people are treated as innocent before proven guilty (Banks, 2013). The guilty by association approach, which is racially inclined, has mostly brought out rebellions in the targeted minority groups, especially African Americans. Police as such have created in such minorities a mindset that they are criminals even without being proved in a court of law. The many arrests involving such minorities make them rebellious to the police force and therefore they opt to defend themselves because ether police do not view them in equal light as the majority races. Brutal force meted racially on people who are innocent may criminalize a person, group or a section of society thus leading to an ineffective society that does not care about policing or the law. Black life matter has come out to demand African American rights following the recent shootings of young black boys (Mac, 2016). The use of brutal force causes resentment and dissent. Consequently, people opt not to respect the police and even consider all means to protect themselves from the police.
Police should carry themselves professionally as their duty calls to ensure that the people they serve are not hurt. Professionalism does not just mean the use of force in settling matters. Police can engage in fruitful conversations or negotiations whenever there is a need to prevent any use of unnecessary pressure. Police have in most riot situations treated people with brutal force. Though the tasks of the police are, mostly quite dangerous, police need to deal with protesters tactfully. In reducing the brutal nature of operations by police, top officials in the police force should not militarize the force by stressing the use of weapons constantly on people who may not pose a threat (Hess, Orthmann & Cho, 2014). The police in such a case get the mindset that each person is a suspect starting from the children to adults. The color of the uniform worn by the officers may influence their behavior from being calm to being aggressive. Authoritarianism results and police treat people as targets of brutal force. The police should provide services in accordance with the constitution. Therefore, the government in place should consider overhauling various practices that have contributed to the militarization of the police and the eventual use of brutal force. Demilitarizing the police is quite an important aspect of ensuring that the public is served humanely. Police in Maui, Hawaii used great power on peaceful protesters and later denied having done so.
Brutal force further has a negative impact on the freedom of people in a country. Black people have mostly been targeted even when they have not committed crimes. As a result, the police according to them are their enemies. People do not see the police as protectors but as oppressors. To certain sections of society, there is no freedom because they are targeted or discriminated against. Excessive force can be used in situations where suspects are violent and may not want to give in. such a case is quite different from a person who is walking peacefully and is stopped by police and expected to comply even though he or she has not done any wrong. Justice meted out with equity promotes confidence in the justice system by people of all races. Gangs usually use lethal force and the police should ensure that they only use excessive force in such situations (Williams, 2015). The magnitude of the force used by the police should be equal to the situation they are facing. Police deny people freedom when they go against their rights of freedom and movement. Some innocent people may feel threatened whenever they are near police because of their excessive use of them in the past. The constant suspicion surrounding such people creates fear in them of the police. Therefore, though police fear for their lives in every instance while dealing with criminals they should not use counterproductive means in dealing with crime. Police in creating fear create situations where they suspect mostly colored people without first proving their innocence. Latino populations have shown increasing fear of police as a result among other minority races (Hughes & Robinson, 2016).
The use of force is thus justified only in various circumstances where the life of certain people together with the police is in danger. The use of brutal force can be levelled at gangs who do not want to yield or in cases where the police are at a disadvantage of succumbing to certain situations involving criminals. Police should thus use force when their lives are in danger or when criminals directly threaten the lives of other people. Such force is applicable to situations where the criminals are violent and no negotiations can be done peacefully. Therefore only in cases where their safety and that of others are threatened should they use great force. On the other hand, it is important for police to consider all options before engaging brutal force (Roberg, 2014). Police can engage their faculties in dealing with matters before they take down a suspect using brutal force. Police have various means that they can employ to prevent excessive use of force by learning how to handle suspects and being proactive rather than reactive when carrying out their duties. Therefore, the use of excessive force should be limited only to the dangerous situations that is life-threatening.
Officers should avoid the use of brutal force at all costs. Police in a civilized society should carry themselves with the utmost respect in serving the people in their respective areas. The police are mostly given the important mandate of ensuring that people are secure. Therefore, when somebody is suspected, decorum should be maintained in the handling such a person. Brutal force has been evidenced mostly in black communities and minorities. Most blacks are innocent and thus suffer racial discrimination. Brutal force in such cases does not help matters but builds up dissidents in the minorities and others who are discriminated against. Brutal force should be relevant to the situation at hand. Such force should depend on whether the lives of the police are in imminent jeopardy. Demilitarization of the police force should take place and the use of force defined in different circumstances according to the dangers the police face (Spence, 2015).