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The Factors of Police Brutality in America

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Imagine selling CDs on the sidewalk in front of the corner store, to then be pressed by multiple police officers asking for you to empty everything from your pockets. To refuse, would mean to give up your life. Consequently, you are thrown to the ground by four New York City police officers then place you in a chokehold, as you utter the words “I can’t breathe’ while gasping for air. This is what happened to Eric Garner. His refusal to empty his pockets meant the difference between life and death. Police brutality makes life difficult for people that looks like me because it mainly impacts African American men and women.

Police brutality and mass incarceration are one of the biggest problems in the United States. Police brutality is demonstrated when a police officer approaches an individual and they have to think about if they are going to live another day. It is a persistent problem in America that must be stopped. Police brutality is legal in this country. It is! It is functionally legal for police to brutalize people in America. Most media outlets don’t even report the vast majority of instances because it is legal. I believe the model of police brutality is not limited to police officers physically harming us, but also them harassing us. Black and brown people are being arrested for things that don’t necessitate an arrest. The people that are appointed to be our protectors often mistreat, intimidate, brutalize, arrest, and detain us for seemingly insignificant complaints and suspicion.

Reports of police brutality have been noted for more than 146 years (Shaun King, 2019). If this is true police brutality has been going on for an extremely dreadful century. The word “police brutality” first showed up in America in 1872. The Chicago Tribune reported the beating of a guy arrested at the Harrison Street Police Station. From 1872, when an officer beat a man that was under arrest, until 2019 when a female police officer walks inside of another man’s apartment and shoots him multiple times; the accusations have only mushroomed. If you allow me to accelerate the hands of time to September 23, 2019, I would share the story of two 6-year-old children who were arrested at an elementary school in Orlando, Florida. One of the girls’ names was Kaia; she had a tantrum as a result of a sleep disorder that prevented her from a restful night on the day before this incident. School staff members grabbed her wrists to stop the tantrum, which is not an illegal offense. Kaia resisted and began to kick at the staff, as young children often do. Later, the resource officer at the school was called in for assistance and proceeded to arrest her. The school principal said specifically “I want her arrested.” Their brains have barely developed. It confuses me how children are arrested for minor behavior issues. There is not much information about the second child but we know that these kids are being arrested for minor behavioral tantrums, while those in authority demonstrated a grave misuse of power. The various forms of police brutality do not have to replicate physical assault, but it can be as devastating as the arrest of a child that has not even reached double digits.

Police brutality impacts all races and ethnicities, but I believe it is unjustifiably imposed in Black and Latino communities, primarily. This has become an epidemic that allows civil servants that work for the citizens to use their authority to inflict emotional and physical pain and suffering on American citizens. This 2010-2016 graph illustrates the annual rate of police shootings per 100,000 people by race. in the United States of America at the hands of humanity.

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Over the past 10 years alone over 10,000 men, women, and children have been killed by American police. American police on average kill at least 3 people a day. Sometimes it is many more, sometimes it’s 12 or 13 people a day. But the bottom line is none of the officers who kill these people are never held accountable for their repeated crimes against humanity Two court cases, Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Conner have effectively legalized police brutality, and police brutality will continue to remain fully legal until it is fully confronted head-on.

October,3,1974 15 year old Edward Garner was accused of stealing a wallet with 10 dollars in it. When Memphis police officer Elton Heiman had seen Edward crawling up the fence trying to get away the officer shot him in the head killing him. Knowing he had not had possession of a gun. Edward was in fact unarmed, the officer had no reason to believe that Edward was a physical threat to anyone. Going back to Tennessee during slavery in 1858 as did 20 other states which had a law that was fully legal for an officer to shoot at a fleeing suspect in order to effect an arrest. The use of deadly force against Edward was not just excessive but extreme. A full nine years later The sixth circuit court of appeals a federal body, sided with Edwards dad and ruled that the 120-year-old law that allowed an officer to shoot and kill Edward should be struck down immediately because it violated the fourth amendment protection against unreasonable seizures. Tennessee v. Garner is a big court case that explains why police brutality is wrong. But, in the middle of the court case is a “poison pill” -Sean King. The poison pill is really just one word that would change the course of what police would say to justify their decision for killing civilians, again primarily black people. “ where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm either to the officer or others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force.” Police officers just have to say the phrase “I believe” in order to be excused from the crime that they committed. This is why I claim that police brutality is legal in the United States.police brutality will continue to remain fully legal until it is fully confronted head-on. I would go on to continue the second court case, but I didn’t only want to talk about court cases. Here is a story about a boy named Anthony Heild, he was an African American male who had a mental disorder. One day Anthony walked out of the house with no clothes on having a mental breakdown. The neighbors had seen Anthony but they weren’t afraid of Anthony they were felt bad for Anthony instead. Soon the police arrive pointing their guns at a kid with a mental disability, looks at Anthony’s book bag that is not on him and the police officer says he has a gun on him and the officer shoots at Anthony. The crazy thing about this is the trained officer points a firearm at someone not committing a crime and that’s bothering. The other thing I don’t get is Anthony had a disability so why does this give police the right to get to shoot anyone they want just because of the fact that they have a weapon on them. Police brutality is an issue and I believe there should be a change.

Let me hit a quick point about guns in America.America is one of the few countries that says it is constitutionally legal to bear arms. I am not saying we should not have the right to bear arms it’s just in America police use the advantage of having that weapon to shoot to kill. The United States of America is the only country that has more guns than people. The only country. And to allow officers to carry that weapon and protect is not what occurs in the United States. Police brutality will continue to remain fully legal until it is fully confronted head-on.

As a result of my research, I have come to the understanding that police brutality is an issue that is generally impacting the African American community. Police officers that are appointed to be our protectors often mistreat, intimidate, brutalize, arrest, and detain us for seemingly insignificant complaints and suspicion. Police brutality is a crisis that is nationwide and it must be stopped. It is applicable to stop police brutality but based on the legality of the law that lets the officers harm us, which is far from okay. The reasons we start movements like black lives matter is because of police. The black community does not trust the police because they constantly target us when they are not committing a crime. African Americans are being shot while unarmed, Justice is never served, which is allowing police to keep their jobs and keep living their daily lives as if they never did anything wrong. Police officers should be held accountable for their actions. But, Police brutality will continue to remain fully legal until it is fully confronted head-on.

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The Factors of Police Brutality in America. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“The Factors of Police Brutality in America.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
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The Factors of Police Brutality in America [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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