Duties have become a main stay in the interactions of humans over the years. Human interactions have created room for trust, which strengths relationship. On the hand, there could be abuse of this trust in a breach; this does not strengthen, but rather weakens or in any way completely destroy such relationships. Quite a number of organizations have been destroyed because of such collapse of accountability. This has its root in a character deformity that has pervaded every strata of society.
It runs through arms of government, their agencies, non-governmental organizations, private industries even to family and day to day human relationships. Therefore, if there are humans with no such respect for integrity and reputation for keeping promises, they are likely going to show their character through a number of antisocial behavior that make lives and property insecure. Such disturbances can not be isolated to any particular organization or a group of people. It represents a society. BREACH OF TRUST IN THE POLICE
The Police are an agency of government that deals, in simple terms, with the protection of lives and property within their specified jurisdiction. They maintain law and order in the society. Their work is sustained by government allocation derived party from the citizen’s taxes. This force uses a number of measures in the discharge of duties, including physical and sometimes deadly force. The use of such force is restricted only to situations that warrant them. Besides, for an effective police force, citizens and police officers have to work hand in hand in stemming the tide of criminal activities in the society.
This requires substantial accountability from both sides, especially the force. The privilege that the Police enjoy on the nature of their can actually be misused: this raises legitimate and expected concern. The extension of character defiance in the society has also permeated the force, as there have now been reported cases of Police brutality towards the harmless populace. Quite a number of such cases have been reported; these usually have inherent root in societal menace, particularly racism.
Of such cases are the recorded beating of Rodney King by four police men in Los Angeles in 1992; these men were charged to court and were acquitted of the charges. The verdict caused uproar in the area. The argument of the police towards such abuse of power is that such was necessary for the situation in order to effectively law and order. THE GUINEAN DIALLO’S CASE A classical example of police brutality is that of the 27-year old Guinean Merchant, Amadou Diallo who was killed by four New York City police men like a criminal facing a firing squad.
The ugly incident took place on February 4, 1999 when the promising young man was fired 41 shots in which 19 entered him. Diallo was returning home the night of the catastrophe when an unmarked car parked close to him, and from it emerged four white policemen. He was then questioned, and they reported that he refused to answer their questions. Diallo then reached for his pocket; one of them thought he wanted to bring out a gun. He shouted and they started firing the West African ceaselessly. He eventually collapsed at the door of his apartment drenched in his own cold blood.
His hand aimed at a purse, and not a gun. STRUGGLE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY Then the struggle against Police brutality and breach of accountability began with many high placed blacks rising up to the occasion to defend the rights t life of the harmless young man killed for ‘ no obvious reason’ other than racism and intolerance. Diallo began the martyr for the struggle against reforms in Police methods and investigations in the city and other parts of the country. His death shocked the nations, and ignited many protests and criticisms of the Police.
The Four white Policemen, namely Sean Caroll, Edward McMellan, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy, were charged to court. The trial began on February 2, 200 almost a year after the incident. On the 25th of the same month, these men were discharged and acquitted of all charges. The verdict sparked up series of demonstrations and protests led by the Clergyman, Rev. Al Sharpton. Other black leaders joined in the struggle for justice in this case. Critics of the judgment pointed out the failure of cross examination by the district attorney and introduction of racial factor that beamed brightly in the killing.
Besides, In April 2000, Diallo’s family filed a $61million suit against New York City and the four police officers indicted; they demanded for one million per bullet shot and the remaining $20 million for the agony inflicted on the family by virtue of loss of Amadou Diallo. POLICE REFORMS The underlying issue in this killing is the racial factor that was obvious. Quite a number of similar killings have been reported. It is important to reiterate the fact that such killings show a vivid picture of the state of the society, and can therefore not be isolated from it.
If there are elements in the society who have not come to term with racial intolerance, they would employ any opportunity at their disposal to exude it. This case therefore calls more important for consideration of racial discrimination, as a national issue of concern which requires immediate public attention to avoid a recurrence. Besides, the best part of the work would have to done by the affected minority group. Besides, this calls for a reform in the activities of the Police, including how more fair investigations can be carried with full accountability to the populace.
This requires ‘restricted openness’ that would be effective in arriving at logical conclusions of prosecuting culprits with the rule of law. The justice system should also be sensitive to issues of racism in its verdict. BIBLIOGRAPHY Police Brutality. Accessed from www. hrw. org/reports98/police Vila, Brian, The Role of Police in American Society: A Documentary History. Communities against Brutality Accessed from www. cuapb. org Woods, Gerald. The Police in Los Angeles: Reform and Professionalization.