Over society and debt nationwide. In theOver society and debt nationwide. In the

Over the years,
the United States has faced many cases of police brutality. Officers are faced
with many threatening situations everyday forcing them to make split-second
decisions expecting the worse, but hoping for the best. Therefore, police
brutality severely violates human rights in the United States. Police officers
have one of the hardest jobs America has to offer. They have to maintain public
order, prevent, and identify crime. Throughout history, the police community
has been exposed by violence in some way or another. Police officers have been suspects
in dangerous shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and unnecessary
killings. The history of police brutality is repeated, going through stages of
violence, corruption, and improvement. Many people think of corruption when
they hear the word police. Adults who have watched the news will remember when
they heard of the Rodney King massacre, or how the evidence of the OJ Simpson case
had been interfered with. Now, many people try to “police” the police because
the cops can’t be trusted, and people might start seeing a decline in police
brutality. Police brutality will lead to a lack of trust between society and
debt nationwide.

In the past,
police brutality occurred a lot. Many cases caught the attention of many
people, but with these cases receiving so much news exposure, there has been
legal “evidence” that has been “worked out”. The term “police deviance” is a
meaningful word that embraces brutality, judgement, sexual harassment,
intimidation and forbidden use of weapons (Barker and Carter, 1986). Another
definition of police brutality or police deviance is when police officers break
rules such as the usual operating procedures, and rules of police and other
public service groups, and criminal and civil laws (Linch and Diamond, 1983).

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On July 6,
2002, a California police officer was caught on camera slamming a sixteen-year
old boy on the trunk of a police vehicle and hitting him in the face even
though the kid was cuffed. A year after the Rodney King massacre occurred, two
white under cover Detroit police officers beat Malice Green to death with their
flashlights ripping off part of his scalp. Three years later, 5’5ft 145lb
Johnny Gammage was pulled over while driving through a mostly white Pittsburgh
neighborhood, and was choked and beaten to death apparently after attacking
five white police officers. In 1997, a New York City police officer shoved a
stick six inches into the rectum of a guy named Abner Louima cracking his
intestines (Troutt 6). To make things even worse the officer stuck the stick
into the victim’s mouth afterwards. Two years later, Amadou Diallo and an old
professional football player Demetrius DuBose were killed by the NYPD and SDPD
purposely. Diallo was shot by four white undercover officers while standing on
the porch of his own apartment building. According to the officers, when they
approached the building Diallo went back into his apartment to hide. When
Diallo went into his pocket the officers shot him 19 times shooting off 41
shots. The police mistakened his wallet for a gun (Jeffries,2001). That summer,
DuBose, who was the former football player both of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and
New York Jets was shot by two white San Diego police officers. The officers
were investigating a robbery when that happened to the multi-millionaire football
player and Notre Dame graduate. An investigation by the family’s lawyer found
out that DuBose was cooperating with the officers’ investigation until they
began to “harass and intimidate” him (Amnesty International 1999a). The
officers stated that DuBose attacked them with a pair of nunchakus sticks, a
martial arts weapon that he supposedly wrestled away from one of them. Several
witnesses said DuBose was shot in the back (Perry A3). After the shooting, the
officers stood over his body for more than ten minutes before calling an
ambulance (Amnesty International 1999c). An autopsy report said that DuBose was
shot twelve times, six in the back (Perry A3). When asked to explain how a
young man of DuBose’s build could end up being killed in that way, San Diego’s
police chief called it an isolated incident an aberration (Jeffries, 2001)

According to
Ms. Cheng, who was a member of the alliance says that more than 2000 deaths
have been caused because of police brutality as of 1990. In over thirty cases
suspects have been shot, killed or injured by NYC police officers in rough
situations in the 1900s. There are serious doubts about whether the suspects
had attacked with an instant threat to life when they were shot, even though
NYPD officers may fire their guns only as a last resort to protect life. Most
of the victims including several teenagers were unarmed at the time they were
shot. On March 24, 1995, Yong Xin Huang, who was a 16-year old boy from China
and some friends were seen playing in a garden with a BB gun rifle in Brooklyn.
The neighbor saw them and called the police, then a police officer arrived and
shot the young boy right in the back of his head. On March 1996, the city ended
up paying $400,000 in damages to the family; the officer was not disciplined or
charged with a crime. On January 12, 1996, Frankie Arzuega, who was an unarmed
15-year old Puerto Rican boy, and was in the back seat of a stolen car. He was
shot dead by a police officer after the driver tried to drive off while being
interrogated (Amnesty International,1996).

In 1996 the New
York City Police Dept. paid out 27.3 million dollars for damages caused upon
citizens in claims of misconduct, and a rise from 19.5 million in the previous
year. Although this is not an admission of guilt, most experts agree that it is
a civil acceptance of some wrong doing (Sotang and Barry, 1997). Statistics
have been hard to gather and authorize given that often reports of disciplinary
action are not public records. Most of the time, citizens are hesitant to come
forward and report police misconduct because of fear of vengeance from fellow
officers. In a 1991 Gallup Poll participants were asked “Have you ever been
mistreated or abused by the police?” Five percent of respondents said they had,
9% of non-whites said they had been victims, and 20 % said they knew someone
who was a victim of police abuse. In a study done in Chicago of 861 officers
these facts were gathered: With regard to the questions about use of force,
21.1% said that in the last year they had seen an officer use more force than
was necessary to apprehend a suspect, 5.7% said they had seen an officer cover
up excessive force, and 8.5% reported knowledge of an officer failing to report
excessive force. It should be noted that these statistics do not translate into
the rate of abuses per officer, or the incidence of excessive force per arrest
(Martin, Bessinger, Baker,1994).

Lack of trust is very common especially when
it comes to a police officer. Statistics show that not all police officers are
trust worthy. Trusting a cop is very uncommon now-a-days because now many
people believe that police officers show racial discrimination, and don’t do
their jobs correctly. Americans are divided when it comes to their
opinions about police and violence, with significant differences in attitudes
based on race and ethnicity. Thirty-two percent of adults say police violence
against the public in the United States is an extremely or very serious
problem, 35 percent report it is moderately serious, and 33 percent say it is
not at all or not too serious a problem. Blacks are more likely to say police
violence against the public in the United States is a very or extremely serious
problem (73 percent) than are whites (20 percent). Just about half, 51 percent,
of Hispanics describe police violence as a very or extremely serious problem (Apnorc
2).

 

In conclusion,
Police brutality can lead to a variety of unnecessary deaths. In some cases,
the victim being beaten by the cops ends up being killed. Almost every law
enforcement individual carry items that can do serious damage such as mace,
baton, gun, and a taser. With new programs such as the Christopher Commission
Report (an inter departmental statistics gathering project), and the Miami-Dade
Early Identification System (initiative to weed out problematic police
officers), and the Civilian Complaint Review Board hopefully there will soon be
an end to all the countless deaths that are attributed to police brutality.