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Police Brutality Should Be Addressed

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Police Brutality

Police work is dangerous. Sometimes police put in situations that

excessive force is needed. But, because some officers use these extreme

measures in situations when it is not, police brutality should be addressed.

The use of excessive force may or may not be large problem, but it should be

looked into by both the police and the public.

For those people who feel racism is not a factor in causing the use of

excessive force, here is a startling fact. In Tampa Bay, Florida, five men died

while in the custody of the Tampa Bay police Department (C.C. 27). The thing is,

the Tampa Bay Police Department is made up of mostly white officers, but of the

five men who died, none where white. Four of the five men that died where

African Americans, and the other man was a Mexican National.

If the incident in Tampa Bay does not show a person racism, this event

might. In New York City, an average of seven Latin Americans were killed a year

between 1986 to 1989, but in 1990, that number increased greatly. In that year,

twenty-three Latin Americans were killed by police gunfire.

When asked how he felt about racism being involved in police brutality,

Yussuf Naimkly of the University of Regina commented:

"Excessive police force against blacks has always been tolerated, because as a

formally enslaved minority African Americans are trapped in a cultural context

specifically designed to inhibit their development and thus minimize their

threat to white hegemony" (C.C. 72)

Executive Director of Police Misconduct Lawyers Referral Service Karol Heppe

commented, "Brutality against minorities is a daily occurrence in Los Angeles,"

she says. "The difference this time is someone videotaped it (C.C. 36).

Another shocking incident of police brutality occurred in Reynoldsberg,

Ohio. A group of offices named themselves "S.N.A.T." squad. This acronym stood

for "Special Nigger Arrest Team" and they made it a point to harass African

Americans whenever.

"The number of people killed by police has gone down from the middle

1970's to the middle 1980's in major cities," says Patrick V. Murphy, former

head of police commissions in Detroit, New York, and Washington, D.C. (C.C. 17).

Also, in Kansas City, Missouri, a police department there has 1,110

officers. Amazingly, the only received approximately 108 complaints from the

public about those 1,100 officers.

Adding to the belief that police brutality isn't a very big problem,

most legal authorities and officials agree that the use of excessive force by

police officers is going down. In fact, they say that they see brutality

declining from twenty years ago (C.C. 57).

Police brutality is defined as involving the unnecessary and unjustified

use of force be that either physical or verbal. Gerald Williams, president of

the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) commented, "Let me assure you we are

committed to a professional level of policing with an emphasis on fairness,




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