Police Brutality In Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Moreover, other articles provided more broad explanation of the factors that induce law enforcement officers use this force. Social environment of some disadvantaged areas, failure to understand the minorities, stereotypes, exaggeration by the media and inadequate training were introduced as the main predictors of police violence. Lastly, Chaney and Robertson (2013, p.499) examined comments written by different people on the NPMSRP site. The results showed that most of them accused the police departments of promoting and constantly exercising violence against harmless citizens. In other words, the society does not support these acts of violence and demands changes.…

    • 1039 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Search and seizure laws have been around since the beginning of the United States of America, and have a very controversial history.Many deem the way the laws are practiced unconstitutional, and oppressive to minorities, while others think they are just and need to be carried out to stop crime. Police officers have found many missing persons and have also brought down many drug dealers all while staying in the lines of legal search and seizure. Many people fear officers can overstep their boundaries and think that search and seizure laws are the underlying cause of mass incarceration, which Michelle Alexander examines in her book The New Jim…

    • 1234 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The case of Rodney, King and Amadou Diallo had a profound effect on the society concerning the powers bestowed on police officers. “The police officers freighted many for the unnecessary, excessive use of force used to make an arrest” (Nelson). The abuse of power has created many doubts and lack of trust in between the law enforcement and the American residents. As a result, many citizens will not cooperate with the police because of their dangerous perception they have of officers. The case of police brutality has the basis on the rise for a while now, as it started with the ethnic profiling used by law enforcers officers and the abusive power toward the perpetrator.…

    • 1595 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    No matter what race, ethnicity, and color, every human live matters. We live in a society where people rights, are often times violated. Police brutality has become a major reason for people of color to protest, riot and loot. Black people are often times hold accountable for their actions in response to police brutality. They try to protest peacefully, but the way they are treated converts them into a mob of angry protestors.…

    • 877 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The job of a police officer is to protect and serve the people and to preserve the peace within the country. However, there have been certain incidences where people felt as if the law enforcement officers have taken advantage of their power. Due to the fact that many people are beginning to generate these specific feelings towards the police, creates tension between the people and the law enforcement officers, especially individuals of color. Others agree that individuals of color intimidate law enforcement officers, causing them to act with necessary force. Has police brutality become recently more excessive due to power hungry officers or intimidation by people of color?…

    • 831 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Be that as it may, both writers have a contradiction on police brutality which involves on how widespread the issue is (if any). Michael P Auerbach has a strong belief that, “Police brutality, however, is not as widespread a problem as such activists allege.” (Ezproxy.Mvc) in contrast to what Tracey M.Dilascio who states,”Certainly when there is an allegation of widespread and consistent abuse of power. . .”(Ezproxy.Mvc). What Michael is saying, is that many groups and activist everywhere take a couple of incidents where police are using strong force to detain a suspect and are quick to broadcast it everywhere stating “police brutality”.…

    • 1319 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Police Brutality Problem

    • 1288 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Is Police Brutality Becoming A Problem? We are no longer looking at police as heroes, but as deceitful criminals. Police brutality has always been around in the nation and now it is happening prevalently. When witnessing a police officer abusing his or her power that incites anger in citizens. When we are an actual victim of police brutality we become afraid.…

    • 1288 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I plan to use the credible information to farther support my argument and provide a little insight on this growing debate. Pro argument – police brutality: Allegations of police brutality are often overblown and ignorant to the fact that police officers face many perils and often have to make hasty decisions in a spilt second to protect everyone in the situation. (“Police” 8) Con argument – police brutality: People feel as if the police use unnecessary excessive force when dealing with the public, especially minorities. They feel as if the reported incidence are a miniscule sample of the authentic amount of misconduct that actually occurs. (“Police…

    • 455 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Police Brutality

    • 1189 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Police brutality and unfair treatment towards the citizens of color is a problem everywhere. Police unreasonably assume that due to the color of the person's skin, they are dangerous. They either believe that citizens of color are dangerous, or decide to regard the stereotypes of people of color resulting in unfair circumstances to occur. This could include physical violence such as the excessive use of gas, batons, guns, false arrests, and pepper spray; nonphysical brutality, such as emotional and mental abuse, racial slurs, and racial profiling are also extremely common, yet are reported considerably less than physical brutality(“Ferguson”). All of these actions support the fact that police brutality is influenced by the racial stereotypes that some officers choose to believe and let influence them in their day to day jobs.…

    • 1189 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    With that being said, it is also unfair that the Police who are doing their job risking their life for us every day, get criticized due to the poor decisions of other officers. Have you ever seen someone get an unreasonable punishment for a crime they commit? And then see a police officer use extreme force and get little to no punishment for his actions? Well, this happens quite often. In the article “Police Misconduct Needs 'Broken…

    • 1105 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays