Police Brutality: When Is Deadly Force Justified?

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Police Brutality: When is Deadly Force Justified? On February 4th, 1999 at 12:44 AM an unarmed black man, Amadou Diallo, found himself in a storm of bullets coming from four white New York City police officers. In total, forty-one shots were fired and twenty-one of those found their mark, as the twenty-two year old stood on the balcony of his apartment building. The four police officers never wore uniforms and drove through neighborhoods in unmarked cars looking for occurring crimes or people carrying guns. On this particular night, February 4th, the police were specifically looking for a rape suspect. According to the officers Diallo looked suspicious, but according to his neighbors and those who knew him, Diallo could be described as “a young shy man who worked hard as a street peddler and sent much of his money to his mother in Guinea. He was a devout Muslim” (Fireside 8). While the case was being detected, the officers took an “administrative leave,” however still earning full pay. Of the four police officers, three had been involved in shootings before, while one of them had not. Ninety percent of New York City police officers never …show more content…
Does this deserve forty-one bullets? In Diallo’s case the jury found the police officers not guilty, stating that “They made a tragic mistake ... they’re human beings who make human mistakes. They’re not criminals” (qtd. in Fireside 26). How many times will police officers be allowed to ‘make mistakes’ before something is done about it? The National Government should oversee major cases making sure judges are not biased in the final ruling, imply and enforce a law mandating mental background checks and tests on police to make sure they are stable as well as prohibiting police officers from using deadly force unless the criminal has shown signs of a deadly threat to themselves or others, in order to reduce the number of innocent victims dying by police

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