Physical Use Of Force Violence: Martin Luther King Jr.

1517 Words 7 Pages
According to statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nationwide, there have been about 400 incidents of “justifiable homicide” by law enforcement officers each year. Of all 1,575 officers involved in reported excessive force complaints for the year 2010, 897 (56.9%) were involved in cases of physical use of force complaints which include fist strikes, throws, choke holds, baton strikes, and other physical attacks. 232 officers (14.7%) were involved in firearm-related excessive force complaints, 166 (10.6%) were involved in taser-related cases, and the remaining officers were involved in other cases involving a combination of force types (13.21%), use of police dogs (1.7%), police vehicles (0.4%), and chemical weapons (2.4%) …show more content…
famously once said in a speech, “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” This monumental statement embodies the Church’s view on violence, often perpetuated by instances of debated police brutality. Such is the case in Ferguson, Missouri where protests against the police brutality and killing of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, still march, even eight months after his death. The night after this event took place, “at least one person was shot, a police car was fired on and seven protesters were arrested for ‘failing to disperse.’ Two of those arrested were Ferguson residents, the rest were from nearby towns” (T. Lee and Sakuma). The controversy of whether or not Brown’s death due to police action was just or not sparked a fire of revolution in Ferguson. Protests, while usually well meant and initially peaceful, can cause police officers to get paranoid, defensive, and forceful if pushed in the right direction. This leads to more violence and insecurity within the community. The idea of self-perpetuating violence is a concept described in the Gospel of Matthew. The passage depicts a disciple (identified in the Gospel of John as Peter) drawing a sword to defend against the arrest of Jesus but being told to sheath his weapon: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword’” …show more content…
They claim that only rarely do officers use excessive force, though they must often make instant decisions in intense situations. They also argue that crime has only steadily declined over the last two decades because of the success of assertive policing. The Catholic Church never allows or condones violence, but in the act of self-defense, the magnitude of the sin of violence or killing is lessened due to the intention of protection. According to Catholic Just War doctrine, there are four requirements regarding a situation that can be classified as just violence: "(1) The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; (2) all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; (3) there must be serious prospects of success; (4) the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition" (CCC 2309). Those who argue to allow police aggression cry the plea of self-defense, and say that in some situations violence must be permissible in order to bring about greater peace. They claim that these are the only situations in which police brutality occurs. However, in June 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice released the results of a study of citizen complaints regarding the use of excessive

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