What Is Police Brutality? Essay
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The cases of police brutality appear in the United States everywhere and pretty often, that evidently make the citizens ask themselves whether they are safe in their own country and can they trust their law enforcement system. Thus, it means that the state doesn’t carry out enough the responsibility for its citizens. For the avoidance of people’s doubts in their safety, police brutality should be precluded by attentive control of law enforcement officers by using of body cameras.
First of all, it is important to define the cases that can be called police brutality, as any legal measures can be formed based only on a certain definition of violation of a law it is supposed to prevent. Thus, according to the Law Dictionary police brutality is defined as “the use of excessive and/or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians” (www.thelawdictionary.org). “Excessive force” means the force that isn’t necessary while dealing with certain situation that could be handled without applying some extreme brutal measures. Police brutality can be different but the most common form of police brutality is physical abuse like usage of nerve gas, batons, pepper spray, and guns aiming to hurt or humiliate civilians by intention. Another ways of police aggressive treatment of people are: false arrests, verbal abuse, psychological intimidation, sexual abuse, police corruption, racial profiling, political repression and the improper use of Tasers (n.pag).
As far as the cases of police brutality are frequently judged in differently from the cases of the same abuse but made by civilians, the juridical base that frees officers from blame must be reconsidered and changed. Obviously, the cases are judged differently because if the police cases were judged the same way and policemen who exceed their authority were punished the same way, it would mean that the prevailing authorities couldn’t be trusted. The fact that authorities often deny the victims of police brutality was issued long time ago. Sociological researches describe a lot of cases when the fact of abuse of a victim by policeman is obvious but courts make judicial decisions based on absolution of the police litigator of the process (Miller 150). In order to keep the police brutality cases far from public observance, in 1994 the U.S. Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Law which was suppose to take violent crimes under restricted control (150). Concerning police brutality cases the act asserted that they can be handled within local police departments. This in fact means that guilty policemen can be never punished for their abuse of authority, as long as the only people who punish them are their bosses.
Still this controversy of judicial background of the police brutality cases doesn’t mean that everybody is in danger, as there are several categories of people who can be at risk to be abused by police. Some social work researches argue that mostly the victims of police aggressive treatment are several social classes and groups of people that can be detected by some features like: race, nationality, and financial situation of the people (Ellis 511). The cases of police brutality were noticed first in 1920s when under the covering of fight policemen killed black people. That’s how white people stayed unpunished liquidating blacks in inner cities. Some statistics shows that 50 of black people died from policemen’s abuse (Ellis 511). Even though democracy and liberal values have developed since those times, these discriminating tendencies still exist. The problem is that those people who are from the lower, poorer social classes usually get such an afflicting treatment (Pradesh 719). For instance, in 1997 the case of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant to the United States caused scandal social reaction. The point was that NYPD policemen took the men to one of the New York police department, beaten him, and sodomized in a very brutal way (Miller 149). The most problematic thing here is that such people as immigrants, ethnic minorities, different races, and simply poor people are the most unprotected social levels, which means that nobody can protect them but police. As long as police is the one that offends them, then who is going to protect them?
The problem of discrimination by race, nationality, and financial status made the abused people start looking for the instances that would have enough influence to protect them on legal level. First of all, as far as the acts of brutality from police are the straight violation of human rights (Sail 4590), it is logical that these cases should be considered in international courts. But the following question that arises is how we can prove the fact of violation by policeman if all the evidences are hidden by police and local courts ignore them? Obviously it is important to remember that both authorities and police would hide any evidences and try to close the case without any public interruption. Thus it means that the measures that should be taken can’t be legal as in fact when we fight police brutality we fight with institution that is supposed to protect people from violation of law. That’s why the measures that control policemen’s behavior should be factual. A good way of law enforcement control is body cameras which would be functional in many situations.
First of all, body cameras would provide police with multiple ways of controlling their workers. The research on this issue showed that wearing body cameras would definitely prevent police authority violation as policemen would know that somebody’s watching them (Stross n.pag.). In addition, such camera services can define who is right in a confrontation between a policeman and a lawbreaker. Finally, if there are some contradictions in analysis of any case when police is included, videotaping will be helpful in figuring out the details of the case. Evidently, this would prevent a lot of situations where discrimination takes place. Also, body cameras would be helpful in finding some of the other lawbreaking of police workers like corruption, networking with bandits, documental falsification, and simple avoiding of official duties. But there are some difficulties concerning body cameras usage (n.pag). Firstly, it is a kind of violation of privacy on the workplace. This can cause a lot of mental problems and human factor can once play its role. Secondly, the obligatory usage of body cameras requires special addition positions in police departments for people who will actually watch these videos as if the videos are used only in contradictory cases to check who is wrong and who is right, then a lot of their functions are lost. Still even if at least one function of the cameras was used, it would be much more helpful than without the cameras at all. Thus, in order to make body cameras obligatory there must be some judicial background to force policemen to wear the cameras. Though people often fight for privacy because they realize how important it is and how it influences on their effectiveness on a workplace. But if dealing with violation of law and human rights, when there are a lot of real victims of authority abuse, then obviously privacy of policemen becomes the least important matter. As far as policemen are the workers of law enforcement, they can sacrifice their privacy in favor of the highest priority which is human life and its safety.
Police brutality has always been a common problem of authority abuse. The reason is clear, as it often happens that people start overusing their power when they get it. That’s why in order to prevent violation on civilians it is crucially important to provide factual measures like body cameras which could become evidences in contradictory cases like police brutality or fatal accidents with police’s participation. To make such methods of control work they must be legally supported and financed by government, which duty is to protect people from violence.
Danilina, S. “What is Police Brutaity?”. The Law Dictionary. 29 Oct. 2014. http://thelawdictionary.org/article/what-is-police-brutality/
Miller, Marshall. “Police Brutality”. Yale Law & Policy Review. 17(1998): 149-200.
Sail, Rajendra K. “Kinship Studies and Gender. Police Brutality”. Economic and Political Weekly. 35(2001): 4590.
Pradesh, Andra. “People’s Protest against Police Brutality”. Economic and Political Weekly. 13(1978): 719-720.
Ellis, Arthur L. “Where Is Social Work? Police Brutality and the Inner City”. Social Work. 26(1981): 511-514.
Stross, Randall. “Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera”. New York Times. April 7, 2013.
Aaron, you have chosen an interesting topic for your research paper and make some good points. However, the development of ideas throughout your paper is unclear because your essay lacks a clear thesis and body paragraphs lack clear topic sentences. Let’s first look at your thesis statement: That’s the reason why the exceeding police authority must be explored and some important measures must be taken.
The thesis statement in an essay must be specific enough that, if a person read only this sentence and absolutely nothing else, he/she would still understand what your essay is about. Your thesis is not yet specific enough. First, you state “that is the reason why.” However, it is unclear what the reason is. Instead of using the pronoun “that,” state the specific reason why police authority must be explored. Also, the phrase “exceeding police authority” is unclear because the word “exceeding” is being used as an adjective describing police authority. It is unclear what is “the exceeding police authority.” How else can you describe this idea, perhaps using a different adjective form of the verb “exceeding?”
The other part of your thesis that should be made more specific is the second part where you state “some important measure must be taken.” What are these important measures and who must take them? This must be stated in an argumentative research thesis. The thesis statement for the ENG105 argumentative research paper should include three parts: who (an individual, group, or organization), what (action should be taken), and why (the benefit or result of purposed action). It must state what “should, must, or need” in order to imply a best course of action that will be backed up with expert opinion and hard date. Here is an example of a thesis for an argumentative research paper: Large cities should plant a colorful mix of perennial flowers in all road medians and on sidewalks in order to combat the increasing dilemma of road rage.
Notice the specificity here. It states the who (large cities), the what (should plant a colorful mix of perennial flowers in all road medians and on sidewalks), and the why (to combat the increasing dilemma of road rage). Take what you have in your current thesis and specify it more so that your meaning is clear.
Because your essay lacks a clear thesis, the development of ideas in the essay – what you are trying to prove – is unclear. Writing a clear thesis statement will help with the essay’s overall clarity. In addition to a good thesis, strong topic sentences are needed. If the thesis is the heart of the assignment, then the topic sentences are the bones, or structure, of the essay. The topic sentence (first sentence of the paragraph) should connect to the thesis statement and give the main point of the supporting paragraph. A specific topic sentence will help you to focus your supporting paragraphs. Without it, it is unclear how the details in a body paragraph tie together and how the body paragraph connects to the thesis.