Essay on Police Brutality Controversial Issues

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Peter Moskos in “You Can’t Blame The Police” (The New York Times: Young, Black, and Male in America, June 3rd, 2015) believes that although police should work more sensitively in minority communities he strongly believes that most of the harm being done to these minorities are self-inflicted and the police should not be blamed. He furthers his argument by providing statistics that support his beliefs and in fact, point out the hostile nature of many minority communities. He makes it clear that he does believe that there are cases where corrupt officers need to be addressed and dealt with but in order to persuade his audience to place the majority of the blame on minorities and their communities he goes on to analyze the crime done by whites and their neighborhoods in comparison to colored and theirs. “It’s not politically correct to say so, but the reality isn't politically correct. Over 90 percent of New York City's 536 murder victims last year were black or Hispanic. Just 48 victims were white or Asian”; this is a quote I choose from Moskos’s article to reflect that not everyone believes training police is the solution but rather understanding that the community needs to change in order for law enforcement to.

Stevenson Reynolds, author of “Protesting the Police” ( Social Movement Studies: School of Sociology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Jan 2018, Vol. 17 Issue 1, 48-63) reports that officers are more responsive to active Police brutality protest more so than any other mass protest. Reynolds believes this to be true based on his own proven research and the proclamation he believes to be true stating that police see these protests as potential threats and can lead to city riots. The author is attempting to reflect the mindset of law enforcement and how they are sensitive and paranoid in order to get his point across about how protest is only delaying police brutality reform. Reynolds goes on to say “While police serve as intermediaries for political elites' interests, they are also guided by their own interests and goals as a profession”, this is an important quote because it's a reminder that not only does training need to be reformed but mindsets as well.

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Curtis Gilbert, writer of “Most States Neglect Ordering Police to Learn De-Escalation Tactics to Avoid Shootings.”( Not Trained to Not Kill: APM Reports, 5 May 2017) reports that Police department training is left to local agencies and that many agency chiefs are dismissing the importance of de-escalating tactics. Gilbert’s report mentions a variety of different cases and situations that suggest that training in certain department areas is beneficial more than others. In order for Gilbert to fully express these reports, he provides details in regards to the “Ask, Tell, Make” procedure used by officers and how different regions receiving different levels of training compare to each other; this is vital data for a report like mine.

Leonard Moore in “Police Brutality in the United States” ( Encyclopædia Britannica: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., July 9th, 2016) believes that all races have been subjected to police brutality but puts emphasis on ethnics groups and minorities due to stereotypes and profiling.“Forms of police brutality have ranged from assault and battery (e.g., beatings) to mayhem, torture, and murder”, this direct quote explains the different ways officers are capable of abusing their power and causing more harm than help. Moore’s article is an informative one, meant to convey important information and detail on why police brutality is as prevalent; in order to do this. Moore writes about events predating those of today even addressing the great migration and segregation and 9/11 with the purpose of hoping they will help the reader understand the daunting importance of these unfortunate commonalities

Deborah C. England, author of “Police Brutality” ( Nolo: legal encyclopedia, Dec 3rd, 2013) argues that police officers are government agents and any injustice committed by government officials is in violation of citizen rights and viable for a lawsuit. The author is trying to get the point across that if police officers are not willing to change or reform there are legal ways to fight back. It is clear that England did her research with this following Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 provides for a private civil action for damages by any person deprived of his or her civil rights by anyone acting under “color” of law. In order to make a statement, England truly believes that legally pursuing justice is the next step in taking further police training and reform.

Sanjana Karanth, author of “Julián Castro Says Tackling Gun Violence Must Include Police Brutality” (HuffPost: HuffPost, 16 Oct. 2019) reports how “Castro is one of the only candidates whose plans to address gun violence also include addressing police brutality”. She is making a case for his election towards her intended audience of future and current voters. In order to get a message across she includes a video of Castro's presidential debate and makes it known that Castro's awareness of the negatives that plague many minorities is on his to-do list. This is relevant to my report because it shows a potential sign of progress, knowing that a politician is willing to help reform the law enforcement system allows people to believe that at least on this topic their voices and shouts for change and better training will be heard.

Amy Novotney in “Preventing police misconduct” (Monitor on Psychology: American Psychological Association) stated that the New Orleans Police Department has undergone a huge reform in training on how to restrain from being heated and overreacting. Novotney says that “The city is already seeing some positive effects: Since the NOPD launched EPIC last year, the department has seen fewer complaints against police officers,'' Novotney is trying to make it known that training can work when done right and should be practiced throughout the country. In order to spread her message, she needs a genuine sense of progress and to be infectious to her audience. This is important for my own report because it reflects how my viewpoint can be a possible solution against police brutality.

Alan Neuhauser in “Can Training Really Stop Police Bias?”(U.S. News & World Report: U.S. News & World Report)Insisting that the dieters program be treated and practiced all throughout the U.S. Neuhauser expressed how the training to combat all levels of stress is believed to prepare officers during all actions within their field of work. In order for Dieter's program to work Believes needs to gain popularity and be funded. Without a doubt, I agree it should be funded and it’s only a matter of time before some nationwide training is put in place.

Synthesis:

There are a lot of current systems in place in desperate need of reform Law Enforcements training being one of them. There have been too many cases of officers abusing their power and police brutality crippling a neighborhood. Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro said this when addressing the connection between police brutality and gun violence in America today 'I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door-to-door in certain communities because police violence is also gun violence and we need to address that.'' Certain politicians like Castro see that there is a problem that needs fixing here. Events that can occur can even weaken the trust of the community as seen in Deborah England’s article from Nolo.com. She brings up points regarding the unreasonable searching and detaining of non-lethal civilians and suspects and how officers violate rights and in extreme cases overreact and respond in an unethical and unacceptable manner. (England, Deborah C. “Police Brutality.” Www.nolo.com, Nolo, 3 Dec. 2013, www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/police-brutality.) *(Karanth, Sanjana. “Julián Castro Says Tackling Gun Violence Must Include Police Brutality.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 16 Oct. 2019, ww.huffpost.com/entry/julian-castro-gun-violence -police-brutality-democratic-debate)

Police brutality is not anything new; the threat of corrupt law officials has plagued the United States for generations, however in a world like today where society relies on social media and everyone has a camera on them at all times has brought the issue of police corruption front and center to the public eye. Certain reforms like the body cam were a huge step in the right direction in regulating the cop’s behavior by allowing him/her to know that they are always under surveillance and any abuse of power would be documented. But reform cannot stop there. By no means do I believe that law enforcement should receive 100% blame for many of the unfortunate cases that have occurred but I do believe it starts with the police and their training. Law enforcement trainer Duane Dieter believes we can teach de-escalation by exposing officers to all levels of stress during training. He has his own program intended to decrease the risk for both officers and civilians in an approach to help the officer anticipate a sign of potential danger more accurately. Dieter believes he can help both parties and is actually actively willing to partake as opposed to Peter Moskos who essentially blames minorities for not wanting to help themselves. The Dieter program could be the next big help similar to the body cams and I believe it can be the foundation of many law enforcement pieces of training. (“Can Training Really Stop Police Bias?” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2016-12-29/can-training-really-stop-police-bias).

Postscript:

There will always be a minimum of two-sided to any and every story. This is because perspective is relative to an individual and everyone will not share the same point of view, especially not on such a controversial topic as Police Brutality. I knew that I needed to find a variety of sources over a range of subtopics within the realm of police brutality reform. I found that I was more willing to read and write about an article that shared an opposite view from my own view. I also took into account when writing my synthesis that my audience would be those in charge of police training and reform against police brutality. Because of the issues in regards to my topic, I was able to focus longer and this led to an easier writing experience.

Fortunately, I have been blessed to not have any personal experience when it pertains to police brutality, however, I have been unjustifiably profiled by law enforcement and have been made fully aware of what is at stake whenever I am approached by an officer. This is because when I was very young I was told that my color to will be seen as a threat and or as a target. I was taught that not all cops were just or fair and it was instilled in me that if I was ever confronted by an officer my only goal was to make it back home. Because of passed down knowledge, media, and personal experiences, I already had a particular outlook on this matter. Before my research, I believed wholeheartedly that law enforcement needed to be trained better, equipped accordingly, and most importantly deployed strategically. Then I started doing research and reading more and more articles. I soon found myself conflicted and overthinking. I somewhat changed my perspective and take on the matter. I realized the same way I feel that I have to make it home every day no matter what is the same way they feel. I started to sympathize with officers in inner-city communities and how they put their life in potential danger every day, and when I look at it from that perspective I can try to understand the pressure and paranoia that they face and how it is similar to what I myself faced growing up. After realizing all of that humanizing law enforcement unlike how I did before I can see how my ignorance did not allow me to see this issue from both sides. With that being said I’m not exactly sure what is the best course of action but I do know it's going to take effort from both the law officers and civilians.

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