Cases Of Police Brutality

1657 Words 7 Pages
Andrew Faubel
Final Project
English 1520
24 August 2015
Police Brutality in the United States Imagine that you are driving down the highway, probably on your way back home from a long day at work. There aren’t many cars on the road, so you decide to speed up in order to get home faster. While speeding, you’re also most likely on the lookout for police officers, making sure they don’t catch you breaking the law. I feel that this is a fairly common occurrence for many Americans. Speeding isn’t that harsh of a crime, everyone does it, but you are still worried of possibly being pulled over and given a ticket. Now unless you were committing a much harsher crime than speeding, you might not have any reason to fear the police. Their job is to protect
…show more content…
In the past few years, however, public opinion has shifted, and people are curious as to if they can trust their police force. Cases of police brutality are not new in America. According to a study found in the Journal of African American Studies, between April 2009 and June 2010, there were 5,986 cases of misconduct, and 382 fatalities linked to that misconduct. Although the victims of police brutality are all kinds of citizens, it seems the majority of the victims are African-American. Because of this, racism has begun to factor into the issue. One of the first major cases of police brutality came in 1992, in the city of Los Angeles, where four officers were acquitted of using excessive force on a black male named Rodney King, despite there being video evidence of their guilt. Riots erupted in the city, thousands were injured, dozens were killed, and different branches of the military had to be called in in order to stop the madness. More recently, in November of 2014, a town in Missouri experienced similar events. A white police officer in Ferguson was acquitted of the death of Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager who had robbed a convenience store with his friend. Once police arrived, an altercation ensued, and Mike was fatally shot. Although he was committing a crime, many argued that Mike had his hands up in surrender, …show more content…
Despite how far we have come as a country, and the laws that we have passed that guarantee equality for all, racism still exists today. A majority of incidents of police brutality occur in the south, a notoriously racist part of the country. No police officer is going to admit that they have prejudices against a certain race, but when they interact with people they dislike, there is more the chance of the altercation becoming violent. What I think the problem currently is that news networks and the media seem to make each incident of police brutality on a person of color into a hate crime. Because of the way the media reports these incidents, it causes uproar in those communities, and in return, creates an overall strong dislike for the police. The African-American community feels that they are a target, and that they must do something in order to protect themselves, because they cannot count on the police to do it for them. Police brutality happens no matter what race is involved, but the media seems to exclusively report on incidents that they know will cause uproar. After Ferguson, a movement started in the country called “Black Lives Matter.” They have organized in many cities and peacefully protested their anger towards the police. In my mind, however, this is taking a step back from the issue. Racism is not the issue at hand, it is the constant abuse of power and excessive force used by individuals not fit to wear a police

Related Documents