Police Brutality In Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

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Civil disobedience techniques are commonly used as passive forms of protest. These demonstrations have the intention of existing in peace; however, they ultimately invite chaos. Due to the resentment of “abuse of power” present in society, police officials are presented with a challenge. It’s disheartening that society has been exposed to the issue of police brutality routinely. Law enforcement officials are regularly facing charges due to their excessive force on innocent civilians, especially those of color. While this raises many concerns, racial profiling is perhaps the most prominent issue. Although most police officers take their duty seriously, there will always be a small percentage that will take advantage of and abuse their …show more content…
He asserts that, “the government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it” (Thoreau 1). Thoreau explains that even though it is the people who choose officials to dictate their will, a corrupt governmental system ultimately prevails. The greed and desires of those in high positions can decide for the people, who put their trust in these officials to do their duty honorably. Thoreau states that law enforcement officials may, in fact, be “marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences” (3) only because it is their legal responsibility. However, this is irrational because a job, even one of such high position, should never encroach upon one’s ideology and good …show more content…
Much race based police brutality originates from preconceived assumptions of a person. For example, in the Eric Garner case, Officer Daniel Pantaleo presumes that Garner was illegally selling loose cigarettes. Garner insists that “[he] didn’t sell anything”, but the officer isn’t convinced. Garner pushes further, asking who the officer believed he sold cigarettes to, and Pantaleo was unable to provide him a specific answer. This event completely defies one of the most sacred principles of the American criminal justice system, that one is “innocent until proven

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