Police Brutality against Black Communities
Throughout the years, the issue of police brutality against black communities has been a major problem affecting many countries in the United States. Unjustified killings have taken place in the black community, which has clearly led to a national outcry for justice and equality. The issue has become particularly notable in recent years thanks to the numerous murders of young black people that have been committed by police officers. Research shows that young black men were nine times more likely to be murdered by police than other Americans in 2015, with a total death toll 1,134 at the hands of law enforcement authorities ( Swaine et.al., 2015). In today’s society, social inequality has become worse with all the cases of horrible acts, and I believe that there needs to be a change in the way our justice system addresses and handles such situations.
Brutality in the police is not a new phenomenon. More than a dozen police departments in major cities across the United States have investigated allegations of racial discrimination or police brutality in the Department of Justice ( DOJ) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) (Gabbidon and Greene 2013). The black community was deprived of the fact that black lives does not matter. Society needs a proper reality check we need to have a clear understanding of the definition of Community policy, responsibility, accountability, and commitments. The federal government must deal with police brutality because it inaugurates a deeply-rooted structural complication that has caused indescribable amounts of sorrow and rage, as those in command have been overlooked for way too long and demands to act before more lives are lost.
Black communities fear for their lives every day and if law enforcement does not take responsibility for injustice, a nation that demands freedom, fairness, and serenity will never have true justice and serenity. In my essay, I will be providing examples of police brutality against black communities and how police brutality affects the health of the people subjected to this sort of torture. As well as, the methods of solving this serious problem with efficiency of the police. Therefore, it demonstrates not only the systematic problem that the police have with the use of deadly force, but also the implicit racial bias that the system continues to perpetuate as people of color are the victims.
Standard operating procedures have played an important role in incidents of police brutality, as they are almost always referred to as the main reason why officers should not be sentenced because they “act” or “obey” according to the law. But Theresa A, the author of the Racial Profiling Symposium. Martinez believes this was only a racial profiling excuse. Race profiling can be defined in different ways in Martinez’s article the use of race as a key factor in police decision-making to stop and interrogate citizens, the use of race as a criterion in the decision-making process during discretionary traffic and field interrogation and race profiling is a crime-fighting strategy a government policy that treats African Americans, Latinos and members of other minority groups as criminal suspects, assuming that catching criminals increases the chances of doing so.”” (Martinez, 2004). I have therefore provided incidents that illustrate precisely why this problem needs to be brought to light in order to prevent further injury or death. These incidents demonstrate a clear disparity between racial profiling and public safety because too many victims have been claimed in cases where police officers only comply with their instructions.
On 16 July 2009, a professor at Harvard University, Henry Louis Gates, had some difficulty getting into his home (the front door of the house was closed), so he had to force the door open, but an elderly woman caught him in action as a break- in ( Wilkes, 2010). Gates was arrested by the Sgt. James P. Crowley, a Cambridge police officer, on the front porch of his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Wilkes, 2010). Gates’ police mugs and a photograph of him in handcuffs on his porch, surrounded by armed police officers, have become viral, and a message has been sent to the black community that the police can do whatever they want (Wilkes, 2010). Because of this story, people realized that until today there had been racial profiling against black people. Blacks deal with excessive strength, abuse and persecution when unnecessary due to their skin color ( Carboda, 2016).
On 1 January 2009, a group of young men returning from New Year’s revelry were pulled out of a train car by Bay Area Rapid Transit ( BART) police officers at a crowded Oakland, California subway station (McLaughlin et al. 2009). The officers handcuffed most of the young men in response to reports of alleged altercation (McLaughlin et al. 2009). In the resulting confusion, Grant was seized and pressed face down on the platform, where officer Johannes Mehserle stood above Grant and shot a single shot at his back (McLaughlin et al., 2009). The ballot pulled off the solid platform and punctured Grant’s lung seven hours later ( McLaughlin et al., 2009). The event was recorded by passengers on the train with their cell phones ( Stannard and Bulwa, 2009) and in a few days, multiple videos of the incident were uploaded to the Internet from different angles. The incident sparked widespread protests and riots among Oakland residents, leading to comparisons with a black motorist, Rodney King, who was also captured on camera in 1991 ( Egelko, 2009).
In addition, historical evidence of the public presence of black bodies by the police dates at least to the era of slavery, when the police controlled blacks and captured those escaping enslavement (Alang et.al., 2017). Blacks were viciously abused in most cases causing to either extreme injuries or death (Alang et.al., 2017). However, as others have said, brutality is greater than physical strength; emotional and sexual violence, verbal assault and psychological intimidation are involved (Alang et.al., 2017). The author argues in the article Police Brutality and Black Health that police brutality is a social determinant of health and that, today, little experiential work has linked police brutality to poor health among people who have been disproportionately involved in brutality (Alang et.al., 2017). In 2005, Dondi Johnson was arrested for public urination in Baltimore, Maryland and put in a police vehicle. Mr. Johnson entered the police vehicle in good health and left a quadriplegic vehicle and later died of vehicle injuries (Alang et al., 2017). Videos such as Eric Garner’s saying, “”I can’t breathe”” 11 times until he lost consciousness or Diamond Reynolds (Philando Castile ‘s girlfriend who was murdered by police in Falcon Heights, MN, 2016) told the police officer, “”You shot him with four bullets, sir. He was only licensed and registered, sir. ( Alang et.al., 2017). All these events demonstrate intelligibly that police brutality has a major impact on the health of blacks.
These are, after many studies, the intersection of police brutality mechanisms linked to excessive morbidity among blacks; (1) fatal injuries that increase population-specific mortality rates death is not immediate for some victims of police brutality, but results from repeated physical injury while in police custody ( Alang et.al., 2017). (2) Adverse physiological reactions that increase morbidity witnessing or encountering harassment, routine unjustified inspections and unpunished deaths send a message to the black community that their bodies are police property, disposable and undeserving of equity and dignity. (Chaney et.al., 2013). (3) Racist public relations that cause stress or anxiety arguing that victims were somehow responsible for their own premature murders ( dissecting the murdered people’s guilt or innocence versus understanding how White supremacy might have caused it) (Alang et.al., 2017). (4) Arrests, imprisonment and legal, medical and funeral bills that cause financial strain loss of jobs after imprisonment, brutality survivors may have to deal with disabilities resulting from the excessive use of force by the police (Alang et.al., 2017). In other words, disability decreases efficiency and the ability to build up financial resources. Financial strain and poverty affect black health by restricting access to healthy food, exposing families to environmental risks and poor housing conditions and making access to health services more difficult (Szanton et.al., 2010). Finally, (5) desegregated brutal structures leading to structured decommissioning unrestricted police forces and insufficient prosecution of perpetrators could give rise to a sense of impotence in the black community, reducing the recognition of gains made by movements of civil rights ( Alang et.al., 2017).
Despite all of that, there are certainly ways to prevent this problem and police efficiency, such as community policing, from what I have read, and to reduce the inherent fear of blacks by hiring more people of color who know the communities in which they work can alleviate the problem of police harassment or misbehavior ( Gee, 2004).(1) Increase the choice and diversity of the Police Commission by extending the Commission from five to seven members and dividing the appointment authority between the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors (Gee, 2004). (2) To increase the independence of the Police Commission by staggering the terms of the Commissioners and preventing their removal without the consent of the supervisors ( Gee, 2004). (3) Making visible that the Office of Citizen Complaints must have permission to manage its investigations with all necessary records and finally, (4) enabling the Citizen Complaints Offie to transmit cases to the Police Commission immediately, prohibiting cases from being disregarded (Gee, 2004). Hence, I believe that if all of these are taken into action, the rate of death in police brutality for the black community will decrease.