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Everything You Should Know About Police Brutality Essay: From Structure to Examples

07 Jun 2019

Police brutality essay requires hard work, preparation, and explanations. Typically, roles of these forces are maintaining public order, ensure public safety, enforce laws, and prevent, detect and investigate crimes. While on duty, officers may use force. Police brutality is a blanket term used to describe when police officers overstep their mandate by employing excessive or unnecessary force against civilians.

Policemen brutality cases date back to the formation of the policemen departments in the United States in the 1800s. But until recently, the public was silent about the issue. Such abuses include physical and psychological. Examples include misuse of firearms hurt or threaten civilians, clobbering using batons, unnecessary nerve gas and pepper spray employment, false arrests, sexual abuse, extortion, racial profiling, and political repression.

How to Write a Winning Essay about Police

Essays on police brutality are often argumentative. Professors expect students to persuade audience to adopt their opinion despite existence of contradicting opinion. That is why students must choose a side and provide sufficient evidence in support of this opinion. Essays may address different audience that determines language, tone and proof burden. Convincing an informed audience is much harder since they already have personal biases on the subject. By contrast, people who do not have prior opinion would readily welcome new ideas. On rare occasions, lecturers may demand analytical, informational, or creative essays on policemen brutality to evaluate the students’ research and creative skills.

1) Pre-writing

Before starting to write a persuasive essay on police brutality, authors think and organize relevant ideas. Students define goals and collect necessary material for the essay. For organizing ideas, high school students often use webs, plans, or idea maps, while universities use outlines to cluster ideas.

2) Brainstorming is an idea generation process

Brainstorming is not serious activity. If possible, students should invite their colleagues to assist in idea creation. It usually follows 4 rules: all ideas are valid, do not judge, expound on other ideas, and focus on quantity rather than quality.

3) Idea visualization

Mind mapping is common idea organization tool. When ideas are not written down, they quickly vanish. Maps allow writers to arrange random ideas by collecting similar ideas into clusters. Writers also weigh idea strengths, arranging them from most relevant while eliminating most irrelevant points. Design of maps is left to writer's discretion. However, it is preferable to exhausts all ideas before mapping starts. Nevertheless, authors may add new ideas they come across at any time.

4) Research

Collect facts and opinions about the topic. Facts are statements that have been verified. They do not change. For example, United States gained independence on July 4, 1776. Extensive reading scholarly articles and non-scholarly materials enable students to accumulate facts and strong opinions. If possible, writers should interview officers and victims of policemen brutality to capture personal experiences.

5) Find statistics

Numbers don’t lie, students must consider obtaining brutality data governmental and non-governmental organizations’ databases. Major American media houses often track brutality cases. For instance, Washington Post maintains a database of policemen shootings. Students should search databases by year, victim’s name and state among other criteria to view details about particular cases including name, race, gender, state, and weapon possessed by civilians if any. From data, writers draw various graphs that help persuade readers.

6) Outline is a map of the essay

Typically, 5 paragraph persuasive essays will have five main sections. Parts represent paragraph. Every paragraph carries at least three points but not more than five. Sub points should have objectives. Introduction should have a proposed thesis while conclusion should have recommendations. As a help, use strong thesis statement generator by EduBirdie.

Basic Structure of the Essay

Whether it is an essay or police brutality research paper, the structure will be relatively the same. The paper should have introduction, main body and conclusion.

Essay Introduction

Introduction contains background information about essay’s subject. Students should define brutality, history, and relevance of the subject. Last or last two sentences of introduction is thesis statement. It clearly states student’s position on the topic. Thesis should be narrow to make it researchable.

Main body of the Essay

Argumentative essays have at least 3 body paragraphs. The first two paragraphs contain evidence that supports thesis. Students must have multiple points favoring their position, then select 3 best points starting from the strongest. Lastly, students should address opinions that oppose thesis. Contradicting opinion serve various purposes. First, they show that students have conducted sufficient research and understand the issue before writing the police brutality essay. Secondly, they boost credibility of the author by portraying them as fair. Finally, it allows audience to understand why the author disposed of contradictory opinions in favor of the thesis.

Paragraphs have only one idea either supporting or opposing the thesis statement. Strat paragraph of the essay with topic sentence that introduces main idea. Continue with explanation of topic sentence and explains idea in details. Follow by evidence that are at least 2 sentences, often statistics, observation, quotes, and research findings from journal article to support idea. Finally, conclusion sentence wraps up paragraph and provides transition to the next thought.

Essay Conclusion

Last paragraph of policemen brutality argumentative essay is usually the conclusion. It summarizes the entire argument. Conclusion recaps the supporting and opposing arguments. Finally, it tells audiences why they should accept author’s position author while dismissing contradicting opinions.

50 Relevant Police Brutality Topics for Students

Here are examples of police brutality research questions you may use for inspiration if you need help with essays. Copy the topic you like or narrow it down to be more unique:

  1. How justifiable is police brutality?
  2. Should stop-and-frisk tactic be banned because it disproportionately affects minorities thus violating their constitutional rights?
  3. Impact of current political climate on policemen brutality towards Arabs and Mexicans living in United States?
  4. Do social media use by police in criminal investigations violate civilian privacy?
  5. Should legislature pass tough laws to prevent policemen from gaining accessing information that is not related to the crime they are involved in?
  6. What role do mayors play in minimizing police brutality at local level?
  7. Why do policemen brutality victims have been silent until recently?
  8. Should policemen have oftener performance appraisal?
  9. How should policeman leadership measure performance of officers?
  10. How effective is fighting against corruption in your county?
  11. Should policeman in urban and rural areas have similar equipment?
  12. Should the policeman have the right to search anyone’s car if a drug-sniffing dog signals for drugs in it?
  13. Is racial representation in police service contributing factor in police brutality?
  14. Should minorities be encouraged to join police force?
  15. How effective is body cameras in reducing policemen brutality in the US?
  16. Can body cameras solve rampant police brutality?
  17. When should juvenile life sentence be permissible?
  18. Should police reserve the right to check legal status of suspected civilians?
  19. Is class a factor nowadays in police brutality?
  20. Will more females in policemen reduce cases of sexual abuse by police?
  21. Will marijuana legalization reduce racial profiling of Black Americans in the US?
  22. Are officers in rural America at greater risk that police serving in urban regions?
  23. Are women discriminated during police recruitment?
  24. Should off-duty officers respond to crimes within their surrounding?
  25. Does corruption impact career development of officers?
  26. What caused steady increase in police brutality?
  27. Is police brutality higher in the recent decade or more victims are simply reporting abuse than before?
  28. Based on past cases, is the justice system lenient on officers accused of brutality?
  29. Link between police history in Southern states and current racial profiling.
  30. Is sexism a factor in police brutality?
  31. Should schools teach pupils police brutality signs?
  32. What are the worst forms of police brutality?
  33. Do women disproportionately experience policemen brutality in comparison to men?
  34. Can special training reduce curb policemen cruelty?
  35. What crimes have the highest policemen violence rates?
  36. Impacts of police brutality on crime detection and prevention.
  37. Will police integration into society solve the issue brutality?
  38. Are corruption and extortion policemen brutality?
  39. Why do officers abuse innocent people?
  40. Is brutal force justifiable during riots?
  41. How effective are internal affairs departments at investing policemen brutality?
  42. How do police change public perception?
  43. How should policemen respond to anti-police brutality demonstrations in major cities?
  44. Does public perception affect police ability to attract officers with good morals?
  45. Does police force recruit rogue officers or they change while in service?
  46. Can better remuneration discourage policemen involvement in corruption and gang activities?
  47. Does current performance measurement strategies favor rogue officers while suppressing good officers?
  48. Should policeman carry weapons when arresting suspects for non-violent crimes?
  49. Will civilian involvement in policemen operations increase transparency within the force?
  50. Can police independence from politics reduce political interference with their operations?

Sample Police Brutality Argumentative Essay

Should police officers respond to crime while off duty?

At just 16.6 officers per 10,000, USA ranks low in “police to civilian ratio”. In urban areas, the proportion is even much smaller. Consequently, moral ethics and department policies often demand officers in their jurisdiction to act on crimes while off duty to help the overstretched police service. In some cases, officers may be required to be armed at all time. However, lack of accountability during off-duty operations increase chances of police brutality.

Primarily, officers do not wear body cameras while off-duty. Following increasing reports on policemen brutality, cameras were designed to record officers’ conducts while carrying out their responsibilities, hence ensuring policemen follow best practices instilled during training. Without cameras, supervisors are unable to evaluate policemen behavior on streets. Therefore, if allowed to act while off-duty, officers are more likely to engage in corruption, intimidation, or physical abuse against civilians.  

But officers may argue that off-duty officer responds act on crimes occurring in their presence, then issue written or oral report to supervisors. For instance, a policeman narrated how he witnessed a suspected thief trying to steal expensive rim cover from cars at a mall. The off duty officer felt obliged to draw his gun, pull out his badge, and introduce himself and arrest. Such heroic acts may just off-duty actions.  

However, reports indicate that cases of unintended shooting of innocent civilians occur when officers panic. If the suspect above had reached for something in his pocket, the policemen would have shot him. To reduce unintended shootings, off-duty policemen roles should be reduced to alerting the nearest department of the crime and letting on-duty officers act. Based on the nature of the crime, the supervisor will dispatch sufficient officers with the right resources to contain the crime.

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Clearly, risks of involving off-duty officers in active policing surpass benefits. Public safety should always take precedence over individual officers’ desire for heroic display. Instead of relying on off-duty officers, departments should direct more resources towards recruiting more officers within their jurisdiction. Meanwhile, while off duty, officers should conduct themselves as private citizens.

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