Police brutality occurs daily across America. Police brutality can come in various forms, counting lethal and nonlethal force. Comprehending the exact commonness of police brutality is complex, because of the inconsistency in describing police brutality. The trouble in differentiating among justified and unjustified force. Police interactions often can be misconstrued, or sometimes turned around against an officer.
Questionable behavior and complaints against officers can be filed by even the most violent of criminals. Often, the officer may restrain a potentially dangerous citizen, and be accused of excessive force. Overall, this results in not only a mark against the institution of law enforcement and the officer specifically, but also in a lack of action in the future enforcements. Does the use of excessive force serve as purpose in reducing and controlling crime? How is the public affected by police brutality? How does mass media affect police brutality? This essay will further carefully examine the problems of police brutality.
The use of excessive force could be used negatively or positively in reducing and controlling crime. Police officers have a rough profession to do, and some of the circumstances they face are as intense as they are risky. The use of force is essential to controlling suspects, and to avoid suspects from harming officers and others. Suspects often become forceful when detained or when they believe they have little or nothing to lose. In a flawless system authorities would use only a reasonable amount of force essential to subdue and apprehend the suspect, but such a text-perfect theory fails to take into justification the actualities of life. Many circumstances of alleged police brutality comes from unnecessary force clashes. Hostile suspects are tough to control and police must rely on training, non-lethal, and lethal force to maintain suspects.
Further, use of force by a police officer has a possible deterrent outcome on crime. In demand to accomplish deterrence, these influences are essential: inevitability of detection, harshness of punishment, and swiftness of penalty. Permitting police officers to use any technique needed to detain and take suspects to justice would let police officers to achieve all required basics to deter future criminal conduct. The criminal would be deterred from committing crime under the awareness that if caught by the police, direct and harsh reprimand would be inflicted.
This moment would deter criminals from future crimes, but also citizens learning of the strict punishment. In fact, in a 1991 study of 57 U.S. cities, economist Dale Cloninger found an inverse relationship between the rate of civilians killed by police and the non-homicide violent crime rate: for a one percent increase in police killings, violent crime decreases one-sixth of a percent.
Numerous disputes against allowing unjustified use of force by police, considering this cruel mien has harmful consequences for the public. In addition to the weakened faith in the police on the social level and the confrontational consequences for police officers, police brutality also destructively affects the victim, who will probably undergo physical injuries and psychological effects from the event. The cause and implication of these injuries is reliant on the kind of force used against the suspect; injury could vary from bruises on the minor level, to eternal physical disfigurement, emotional damage, or death on the severe level.
All wounds from excessive use of force have led to reduce faith in police officers. Other concerns could lead to the victims of brutality, with increased discrimination and revengeful offending because of a restraint to call the police. When the police use excessive force on a suspect even when a suspect is not resisting, the public’s level of skepticism against the police is amplified. If people trust an authority is genuine, they will willingly comply with the guidelines, choices, and social measures of the authority.
Excessive force by police can inflame powerful community responses, predominantly when it is unjustified or has the form of being unjustified. For example, there was a strong negative reaction in the aftermath of the shooting of Oscar Grant in Oakland (2009) and the shooting of Shawn Bell in New York City (2006), and riots occurred after. Communities regularly react negatively to police brutality; urban communities nearly constantly respond negatively to police assaults of minorities. These actions hurt police-community dealings and can weaken citizens’ perceived respect for police authority. In some cases, the community also experiences the impact of police brutality on its victims.
Citizens acquire majority of their info regarding police activity from the media. The media often present a slanted picture of the role of police to the public. When police brutality arises, it often appears in the media, receiving attention to the problem and inspiring reform. Eliminating police brutality from society is an apparently impossible mission, particularly if society gives police officers authority and discretion. Mass Media has a massive effect on police brutality; the types of actions that are brought on by police brutality brings negative media attention, further damaging the reputation of the police within society. An example of the power of the media exposure with police use of force can be seen in the “Don’t Taser Me Bro!” incident from the University of Florida in 2004. Student Andrew Meyer was arrested during a forum with visiting U.S. Senator John Kerry, after he demanded access to a closed microphone, confronted the senator with questions, and then forcefully resisted officers who attempted to remove him. After the officers’ decision to use a Taser gun on Meyer, controversy and media attention exploded.
In addition to negative consequences for police officers, there could be negative penalties for individual officers, with civil liability suits, criminal prosecution, and job loss. The media often feature widespread instances or patterns of misconduct by officers or by entire police administrations; it has steered to greater police liability and administrative change. Mass media has the influence to spread anywhere and when an event similar to Andrew Meyer occurs it’s one of those cases. Moreover mass media doesn’t just have impact for just the officers; it marks the victims in the sense that they need to live with public knowledge of the tragedy that impacted there life at that certain point in time. Mass media also has role in altering public confidence in police officers. After media exposure of police misconduct, blue ribbon panels, or commissions, have been given the task of investigating the nature and degree of the misconduct, corruption, or brutality to introduce reform.
In Conclusion, I feel that police brutality has immense impact on the world, just because you don’t see it in front of your eyes doesn’t mean it’s not happening. There are police brutality cases and events that happen that are unknown to people. Perhaps no issue can impact on the personal and professional career of a law enforcement officer more than a lawsuit alleging excessive use of force. Most officers will use non-deadly force far more frequently than they will use deadly force. The constitutional standard for using any force, whether deadly or not is the Fourth Amendment standard ” objective reasonableness.”
In Graham V. Connor; Based on totality of circumstances the reasonableness of particular use of force must judge from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene rather than the 20/20 vision of hindsight. There is no perfect answer when using force. In the eyes of the media or public, use of force is always going to be unjustifiable, until the public and the media, are educated on the standards that the court uses to determine if the use of force was justifiable. I don’t think police brutality will go away that easily, but I think in time cases of police brutality will be reduced.
Frost A. Natasha “NEWS MEDIA AND POLICE.” _Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement._ Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005. _Credo Reference_. Web. 14 February 2013.
Boggess, Lyndsay N., Christopher Donner, and Jonathan Maskaly. “Police Brutality.” Key Issues in Crime and Punishment: Police and Law Enforcement. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2011. Credo Reference. Web. 12 February 2013.
Chevigny, Paul G. “Police Brutality.” Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict. Oxford: Elsevier Science & Technology, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 12 February 2013.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Legal Division Handbook “USE OF FORCE”
Homeland Security: Publications, 2010