When innocent people are killed by a police officer, we tend to get very upset, angry and in some cases retaliate against the police department. Many families in the United States alone have been unfortunate in this matter and left to bury a loved one due to this the careless behavior of a police officer. In the eyes of the community, the police department is looked to be its protector. They are viewed as those who take an oath, put their lives on the line and do what need to be done to save lives and keep criminals off the street. There is no such thing as a perfect policeman or woman but there are about 75% who take the job serious and try to do it right daily. The other 25% start out with great intentions in mind but allow power to take over. Being a police officer has it advantages and disadvantages like many jobs, but learning to work the job with dignity and respect for everyone is a whole different ball game.
Police officers who take the law into their own hands and choose not to handle each case with care are putting themselves in the characteristic of the 25%. These are the times when the unlawful activities start to take a rise. Victims of police brutality come in a wide range of methods. Many times the police are not made to take responsibility for these actions because these cases are often hid from the public eye. In a few cases, the victim is willing to bring a case forth but tend to back off when they fear retaliation. While other cases, the victim does nothing because they feel that nothing will be in the first place. One prominent example of this is Betty Shelby. She is a white female police officer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was on duty one day when she came in contact with Terence Crutcher. Long story short, she called him “a bad guy” and fatally shot him even though his hands were in the air, and he was obeying her command. This incident is just one of the many cases were people have lost their lives due to a police officer being trigger happy. These incidents have brought about the feeling of fear, insecurity and hatred towards an office that was designed to protect us. The first known case of police brutality was the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, California in 1992. This case made national headlines when the police involved in his beating were not found guilty of their acts even when the beating was caught on tape. King, an African American man was ordered to get out his car. He complied with the orders of the officers and deliberately beaten and kicked just because of the color of his skin. Police brutality has taken many different shapes since this time but the fact still remains the same. Many people are losing their lives for absolutely no reason and the saga continues.
The violence among the U.S. citizens prompts the violation of human rights. This is a national and institutional problem because police are protected by the United States with the use of guns, beating their victims, using techniques of choking along with the use of brutal pressure. For example, a man was stopped and beaten by the police. According to (3) “police body cameras show Johnnie Rush being beaten, choked and stunned with a taser”. The acts of these police were very cold-hearted and only make up a small portion of the force they represent. In some cases police brutality is not always a physical act. There are many forms of police brutality such as, false arrest, verbal abuse, psychological intimidation, sexual abuse, racial profiling, political repression and improper use of pepper spray. Many victims choose to avoid the drama that comes with making accusations because they feel that it is only going to add more problems to their life. People feel that in most cases they are going to be fighting a losing battle. They don’t want to subject their families to all the scrutiny, news reporters and people in the community who don’t agree with them. Many don’t feel that it is important enough to go through all of the back and forth to get nothing done. Other keep quiet out of fear that they will be attacked again which has happened in some cases. According to some other reading, one guy has disappeared and his family believes that the city police kidnapped him and killed him to keep him from ruining their careers.
Police violence in the United States has become a hazardous pattern. Many may wonder and speculate but no will every truly understand the negative attitudes these police officers have developed. It has been noted that these officers react towards specific races, genders, and religion. The Civil Rights Movement is just one of the many aspects of history that still causes many in the police force to act bitterly towards minorities. Even though it seems so small it still plays a major part in the general public today. Statistics show that in 2019, 992 people were shot and killed by police officers. Whereas in 2017, 980 people were shot and killed, and the number is constantly growing. African American and Hispanics have endured more brutal vitality from law enforcement than any other race. There is no logical explanation for this but it happens more than many actually report. The genre that is affected most are men. There have been some reports of women getting into altercations with police officers but not many wrongful deaths have been reported.
Many police officers got over and beyond the call of duty to make sure the things they have done related to police brutality are covered up. In most cases, these incidents are revealed through video surveillance, online activist, civil right advocates and protest. Regardless of how it is revealed, it brings closure to the victim’s families and brings an end to corrupt policing. Many cases are handled this way while others are able to escape punishment, hide behind their units and get away with some very heinous crimes. Racial and sexual abuse has been a major subject of police violence for a very long time. 1% of complaints about police using this type of force have been recently reported in Central New Jersey. According to the News Tribune and Courier News the departments have put in place programs that are designed to make sure that police brutality becomes history. Policies should be put in place such as trainings to let officer know that if they engage in such crimes, they will be held accountable. Trainings such as these will show police how to de-escalate situations instead of fuel them. These trainings will also show the police how to engage and become a part of the community in which they are patrolling. They should include cultural diversity, mental illness training, youth development, biases and racism. To totally understand the people they serve, they have to take the time to get to know them first. It takes a special officer to go into the community, stop at the local basketball court, shoot some hoops with the youth and find out about them. A community is as strong as its leaders and some police officers have forgotten that they are leaders due to the power that has clouded their brains. The misuse of power can be a dangerous thing and many people in high position forget this.
In conclusion, regardless of what the law requires of officers, police brutality and wrongful deaths have to change and drastically come to an end. The developing numbers of casualties is on a rise and very disturbing. Disturbing to know that police feel they have to right to take a life or beat a person just because they know they can justify it by covering up the truth. This is unjust, not right and need to be stop with haste. Human rights are being violated every time an officer commit these crimes and get away with it. It is up to the people to stand on what they believe, march and make their voice heard when injustice surfaces. Justice starts with the people and the people are the ones who will have to do everything in their power to make sure the law if followed by everyone included law enforcement. Overall, the saying “if you do the crime be willing to do the time” goes for everyone.