The Relationship Between Police Officers and Minority Groups

One of the primary roles of the government is to maintain public order. This is why police are important to a sovereign nation as they ensure safety, enforce the law, and combat criminal activities hence maintaining public order. Notably, police are supposed to protect and serve indiscriminately. However, this has not often been the case in the US as the police-minority relationship has often been more problematic than harmonious. Police-minority relationship in this country presents some of the more complex and enduring problems in policing compared to other countries worldwide. Historically, the relationship between police and ethnic and racial minorities has been characterized by prejudice, harassment, brutality, and excessive enforcement.

Read also Effective Ways to Improve Police-Community Relations

 Policing in the US is rooted in colonial times whereby it featured two key modes: slave patrols and centralized municipal policing. Slave patrol originated in South Carolina in the early 18th century and it served the purpose of instilling fear to maintain discipline and deter revolts. It also focused on apprehending slaves who attempted to escape. On the other hand, centralized municipal policing provided the foundation for modern-day law enforcement. This model began in Boston, Massachusetts in 1838 whereby it was a response to increased population growth, public intoxication, and gambling. Both models had a reputation for brutality and ruthlessness toward minority races and ethnic groups. Over time owing to the passage of constitutional amendments prohibiting slavery, the slave patrol model was officially disbanded (Yankah, 2018).  Thus, the police-minority problematic relationship has a longstanding history.

Read also Intimate Relationship In Police Work, Its Effects And Control Measures

Over the decades, police departments across the US have made active efforts to create a positive relationship between the police and minorities. Advancements in social justice, human rights, science, and technology have influenced law enforcement for the better. Despite these improvements, remnants of the past continue to infiltrate throughout. Over the years, poling and studies reveal significant differences in minorities’ and whites’ relationships with law enforcement. The studies and polls show that police officers continue to demonstrate prejudice over minorities. The prejudice in treatments such as racial profiling, harassment, brutality, and excessive enforcement (Bishopp et al., 2020). Recent cases of police brutality against minorities include the case of George Floyd who dies from being held down by a police officer who put a knee on his neck for more than 9 minutes in Minneapolis in May 2020 and Breonna Taylor who was shot eight times in Louisville, Kentucky in March 2021 (“George Floyd: Timeline of black deaths and protests”, 2021). Notably, these are just a few of the thousands of police brutality against minorities that have occurred in the past five years.

Read also Roles of the Community Members and Police in Promoting Good Police-Community Relations

The history of police violence and aggression toward minorities has eroded minorities’ trust in law enforcement, which has had long-term implications for police officers, agencies, and minority communities. Racial and ethnic minority communities generally do not trust police officers. As such, they do not cooperate with law enforcement agents even in instances where they witnessed a crime. Individuals from these communities also tend to avoid any type of interaction with police officers even if they are not doing anything wrong (Bishopp et al., 2020). According to Bishop et al., polls conducted in recent years have revealed a huge difference in minorities’ and whites’ attitudes towards law enforcement in the US. Approximately 76% of minorities believe there is a problem with policing in the US, compared to 33% of their white counterparts. The difference points out a major underlying problem in the police-minority relationship.

Read also Youth and Law Enforcement Relationships

Given the long history of the problematic police-minority relationship, there is a need for effective measures to be taken to establish a lasting solution. One of the steps that can help cultivate a positive police-minority relationship is a revision of the police recruitment curriculum. The curriculum needs revising so that it has a course dedicated to teaching police prospects about fair and just treatment of all persons regardless of their background. The course should also teach diversity and inclusion. Moreover, it should focus on best practices when policing in the streets (“Law Enforcement and the Communities they Serve: Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm | OVC”, 2021).

Read also Communication Barriers between Police and Community

Another step that can be taken is promoting the integration of police officers in minorities’ local communities. This can be through activities such as community cleanup so that the officers interact with the minorities in friendly circumstances. According to Braga, Brunson, and Drakulich (2019, this can help build trust between the two parties. Notably, in most cases, the only time police and minorities interact is when a crime has happened.  Moreover, there is a need for the implementation of strict laws and agencies’ policies against police brutality. Such laws and police can act as a deterrence strategy by holding police officers accountable for their actions (Braga, Brunson, & Drakulich, 2019). There is also a need for diversity during police recruitment. Police officers from minority communities can help curtail the prejudice of their white counterparts against minorities (Gibbs, 2019). Such measures can facilitate significant strides toward collective healing and improving police-minority relationship in the US.

Read also Security Director’s Professional Responsibilities in Today’s World And Need For Strong Working Relationships with Various Internal and External Entities

Need a Professional Writer to Work on Your Assignments? We will deliver Unique and Quality Work. Good Grade Guarantee!!

Order Unique Answer Now