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Best Practice to Ensure Police Accountability in the Case of Michael Brown

Essay by   •  April 4, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  2,368 Words (10 Pages)  •  581 Views

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Best Practice to Ensure Police Accountability in the case of Michael Brown.

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Introduction

Corruption within a broken system has been going on for years. Law enforcement officials and agencies should be held accountable for their wrongful actions especially when it leads to a serious physical injury or a case of death. Police departments and officers violate their role in the community and abuse their power by engaging in acts of police brutality, racial profiling, false arrest and excessive force. Law enforcement officials are more interested in scoring political points than saving lives or fixing a broken system. It is the principal for law enforcement agencies to establish accountability within their organizations. While additional levels of liability may prevent negative press attention, there is a more valuable motivation for compliance. Enforcing your policies and procedures through police officer accountability casts a wide safety net in your agency and community. This paper will examine the best practices that ensure police accountability throughout law enforcement agencies. These include the Receipt and Investigation of Referrals and Complaints, use of force simulation police training, early warning that indicates a possible or impending danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation, a policy and procedure manual, and rational principle of supervision, control and command. In the case of Michael Brown, this paper will also examine the excessive use of force by police officers, police brutality, deadly physical force, & dehumanization.

The Case

        Michael Brown was a 18 yr old dark man who was shot and executed by cop Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014. Michael had intensions to head off to college with no past criminal foundation history. The demise of Brown started consequent occasions in Ferguson and turned into a national contention addressing significantly bigger national issues of race, equity, and police savagery. This event grew even more national attention when police reacted to prosecutors, even those acting peacefully, with military grade equipment such as armored vehicles, fear gas, rubber bullets, and sound cannons. Ties between local residents and their government arose again when heard the investigation into the shooting, inherently secretive grand jury proceedings and subsequent reactions, which controlled by mostly with politician despite Ferguson’s majority black population. One of the main reasons this shooting grew national attention was the fear commonly held by many parents is that black lives matter less, particularly in the face of increasingly heavily armed police who carry tremendous legal freedom.

Excessive Use of Force in the Case of Michael Brown

        There is no line that separates reasonable force from excessive force on the part of police. But it is likely that an unarmed man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, would be alive today if Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson had followed generally accepted practices. The Ferguson case raises broader issues about race and justice: the officer is white, the suspect black. However, primarily, it’s a case about the excessive use of force by police, and a reminder why police departments must engage in police accountability best practices and train officers in appropriate procedures. Police are not perfect. They sometimes misinterpret the movements of suspects and miscalculate the severity of threats. That is why most police departments adopt a “continuum of force” policy to maximize the likelihood that an officer’s response will be commensurate with a suspect’s actions. Policies differ slightly among departments. But the typical sequence used by police to gain control of a suspect is as follows: voice commands, use of hands, chemical agents, baton, canine, less-than-lethal projectiles, deadly force.

Police Brutality in the Case of Michael Brown

        Police Brutality is the use of any force exceeding that which is reasonably necessary to accomplish a lawful police purpose. Michael Brown shooting led to protests against racially motivated police brutality protests that engulfed Ferguson for weeks. Several weeks after Michael Brown was killed, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that the Ferguson grand jury decided not to indict Officer Wilson. Queue another surge of protests. The death of Michael Brown may have been shocking, but it was not surprising. Similar tragedies have plagued the United States in its recent past the names of the victims and the killers may have been different, but the outcome in each case was the same. Fatality at the hands of police brutality has become so prevalent in today’s society that one could argue it has become a societal norm. Today, we live in an age where police are perceived as a threat. Long gone are the days when police were seen exclusively as peacekeepers. The destructive impacts of police brutality reach a long ways past the physical and mental wounds of casualties they additionally stretch out into the court. The part of police declaration is basic in trials arraigning cops for viciousness and severity against minorities. Often, a judge will instruct the jury to take the police testimony at face value that is, to accept police testimony without weighing its evidentiary value. This instruction has the devastating effect of preventing juries from questioning or challenging police findings.

Police Stimulation Training

        Police training is an important factor involving police accountability best practices. It has been has been said to serve three broad purposes to enhance productivity and effectiveness, to prepare officers to act appropriately in a broad spectrum of situations, and to foster cooperation and unity of purpose within a department. According to John Fox, Since the 1970s, every state has mandated some preservice training for police; about 85 percent of departments in cities with populations of at least 250,000 operate their own academies (Fox 2013). Police Training in addition to best practices to ensure police accountability should require police officers to receive both preservice and field training and that officers will thereafter receive annual in-service training. Training should also teach officers to reduce the frequency and level of forceful police actions, it must address the reason or reasons why officers sometimes use excessive force. This is a matter of how to hold police officers and agencies accountable to the public they are sworn to serve has been a perennial issue since local police departments first formed in the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century. During the first phases of the police professionalism movement in the early twentieth century, training came to be viewed as a promising means to develop more responsible officers and agencies (Fox 2013). Training on the rules about police responsibility and how to apply them in the field should be on-going if it is going to prevent the inappropriate application of force by officers who do not get it. One evidence that training can have a positive effect on behavior of officers on patrol is the the New York City Police Department (NYPD). It introduced a new shooting policy in the early 1970s that restricted the circumstances in which officers could use deadly force against citizens and trained officers on the new policy. A time series analysis indicated that the use of deadly force by NYPD officers dropped notably in the months after the policy change, which suggests NYPD officers did learn to bring their actions into conformance with the new policy in which they were trained. All law enforcement should enforce training within all officers and ensure that they understand the level of accountability in such misconduct in the job.  

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