Police Brulity Essay, Research Paper
December 15, 1996
Thesis: But, because some officers use these extreme measures when it is not needed, police brutality should be addressed.
I. Police Brutality
A. Racism as a cause
II. Police Brutality is not a problem
A. Quotes from authorities
B. Statistics of Declining Brutality
III. Stopping Police Brutality
A. Police Stopping themselves
B. Public Stopping Police
A. Reword Thesis
Police work is dangerous. Sometimes police put in situations that excessive force is needed. But, because some officers use these extreme measures in situations when it is not, police brutality should be addressed. The use of excessive force may or may not be large problem, but it should be looked into by both the police and the public.
For those people who feel racism is not a factor in causing the use of excessive force, here is a startling fact. In Tampa Bay, Florida, five men died while in the custody of the Tampa Bay police Department (C.C. 27). The thing is, the Tampa Bay Police Department is made up of mostly white officers, but of the five men who died, none where white. Four of the five men that died where African Americans, and the other man was a Mexican National.
If the incident in Tampa Bay does not show a person racism, this event might. In New York City, an average of seven Latin Americans were killed a year between 1986 to 1989, but in 1990, that number increased
greatly. In that year, twenty-three Latin Americans were killed by police gunfire.
When asked how he felt about racism being involved in police brutality, Yussuf Naimkly of the University of Regina commented:
Excessive police force against blacks has always been tolerated, because as a formally enslaved minority African Americans are trapped in a cultural context specifically designed to inhibit their development and thus minimize their threat to white hegemony (C.C. 72)
Executive Director of Police Misconduct Lawyers Referral Service Karol Heppe commented, Brutality against minorities is a daily occurrence in Los Angeles, she says. The difference this time is someone videotaped it (C.C. 36).
Another shocking incident of police brutality occurred in Reynoldsberg, Ohio. A group of offices named themselves S.N.A.T. squad. This acronym stood for Special Nigger Arrest Team and they made it a point to harass African Americans whenever.
The number of people killed by police has gone down from the middle 1970 s to the middle 1980 s in major cities, says Patrick V. Murphy, former head of police commissions in Detroit, New York, and Washington, D.C. (C.C. 17).
Also, in Kansas City, Missouri, a police department there has 1,110 officers. Amazingly, the only received approximately 108 complaints from the public about those 1,100 officers.
Adding to the belief that police brutality isn t a very big problem, most legal authorities and officials agree that the use of excessive force by police officers is going down. In fact, they say that they see brutality declining from twenty years ago (C.C. 57).
Police brutality is defined as involving the unnecessary and unjustified use of force be that either physical or verbal. Gerald Williams, president of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) commented, Let me assure you we are committed to a professional level of policing with an emphasis on fairness, humanity, and integrity (C.C. 168).
Other than the police stopping brutality internally, the use of civilian review boards can be used. These boards must be able to receive all the evidence in a case, including the police audio tapes, in order to make fair judgment if excessive force was used or not. If excessive force is present in cases, these review boards must be able to punish the police or they are almost useless.
Whether or not a person believes police brutality is a serious problem, it must be stopped. In some cases, where more force is needed than in
others, it is still there. Even in areas where police and the use of excessive force is not a huge problem, it must be decreased properly by both the police and the public. Finally, there needs to be rules making sure it never happens again.
Berands, Neal. Police Brutality: Recognizing Stereotypes
Dudley, William. Police Brutality. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1991
Skalnick, Jerome H. and James J. Frye. Above the Law: Police and the use of Excessive Force
Suspects in Question Time. 5 April 1993:31