Tangles Within Police Brutality and the African American Community
When the topic of police brutality comes to mind, many come to terms of it being justified or needed in the occasion of the crime. Where do people’s minds go to when the topic of police brutality in African American communities come up? Minds revert to it being justified because these individuals are seen as criminals, which creates the relationship of these two adamantine and difficult to speak about. Many years have gone by and nothing has really changed with the way that police treat the African American communities, if anything it has gotten a lot more strident and brutal, to a point where many believe these actions to be organized.
Overall police brutality is seen to be targeted towards all monitories but as more cases are looked at, it is seen that African American communities have more cases or these assaults.
These acts are still happening in today’s society, along with the amount of discrimination and racism that is still very much so alive in African American communities. Police brutality coming from law enforcement officers create a source of hatred, fear, and the absence of trust from the African American community. Instead of protecting and serving all communities as if they are equal, police are embedding fear and hurt that is becoming norm to the ways that all law enforcement see these individuals. Protection of those in need, serve those who deserve justice and to maintain peace is what the law enforcement police officers were created for, but instead of playing the role of heroes, these officers are becoming the villain in the time of weakness and need. This is being done by targeting minorities, cruel tactics, and the horrifying back story that law enforcement has when coming encounter with the African American community.
In order to create change for the famous perspective of what these individuals have on law enforcement in today’s society, along with alleviating the number of cases that have to deal with police brutality incidents, law enforcement must make a change to the polices that are writing in the handbooks that re given to the officers when joining the police academy. These handbooks provide ways to deal with hostile situations, as well how to properly punish those who are acting out. The way that officers are to deal with these contentious events do not need to be handled with violence or obsessive force, they need to be handled accordingly and with respect. Officers who decided to partake in these acts of police brutality should be punished accordingly, with the reactions of these officers’ actions will start a change of view towards law enforcement from the African American community. By changing the ways of corrective treatment officers get will build the trust that is missing between law enforcement and African American’s, which leads to making the stance of police more adequate in society.
The understanding of police brutality is very complex, in order to fully grasp these events that brutality was part of, there needs to be a step back which will give room to examine the timeline of these events that have taken place in our country. According to peoplejustice.org, NYPD was established in 1845, on January 1st, not to long after the Civil War started, in which the NYPD took a part of. The beatings, lynching’s, raping and other forms of harassment, the NYPD took part of towards civilians. On January 13 of 1874, the Tomkins Square Riot took place and police officers had a helping hand in attacking the immigrant protestors, this event was known as the first attack by police officers that had to do with the children, women and men of this community. This was not the first incident and it was very far from being the last that police officers had the helping hand in, the Selma to Montgomery Marches and the Civil Rights Movements was the very next number of incidents these helping hand would help bring tragedies to the African American community.
Police attacked many of African Americans, whether it was by using bully clubs, tear gas, or their bare hands. By the 1990’s, police brutality had taken a huge increase all over, which fueled the fire for many riots and protests that were held to boycott law enforcement. Followed by these events, the lack of appropriate punishment to an officer that had fault in 1991’s death of Rodney King, the inadequacy of charges that was given to the officer created flames to arise in Los Angeles by the African American community. The 1st National CopWatch conference was held in 2007, for the number of police brutality cases that had took place (2008-2013 People’s Justice for Community Control and Police Accountability). Many have noticed the police brutality was mainly taking place in African American’s and terminated the relationship that law enforcement and African Americans had. History shows that since law enforcement was formed, there will always be a source of police brutality, which means that no Minority is safe especially the African American community.
The Law Dictionary, defines police brutality as, “the use of excessive and/or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians” (Law Dictionary Staff). This definition is very crucial to creating a change, there is a need to demonstrate and define the problem at hand. The issue of police brutality is not something that has just came out of nowhere, this has been an ongoing issue for decades for the African American community. Since police systems were created, police brutality has been a part of the way situations have been handled. The Civil Right Movement showed the major problem with police brutality, the rates sky rocketed for the amount if deaths that were subjected to the use of excessive force by officers towards African Americans who would peacefully protest for equal rights. Cases from Rodney King to Sandra Bland, all law enforcement officers lost all credibility, trust, and sense of protection from the African American community. According to copcrisis.com, a nonprofit site that was created to spread awareness about police brutality, “every 7 hours’ cops kill an African American citizen” (copcrisis.com). When it comes to statistics that clearly state that many lives are lost a day, it creates a barrier for police officers to be seen as the good guys to the African American community, since most cases that have to deal with police brutality are mainly done within the community. Majority of African Americans have a source of hate toward officers, which creates the question of what can be done to rebuild the trust between law enforcement and the African American community?
The ongoing problem of police brutality within the African American community can date back past the Civil Rights Movement, with the peaceful protesting that was done in hope of gaining respect for their existence and not to be discriminated for the color they are born with, law enforcement just did not care about the traumatizing tactics that they decided to use on this community. For example; fire hosing individuals down the street, setting police dogs to attack innocent bystanders. The acts of police brutality form the officers that were discriminatory, have not come to an end, in contrary it has only become a bigger issue in today’s society. Mappingpoliceviolence.org states, “Police killed at least 103 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week” (mappingpoliceviolence.org). This proves that unarmed African Americans are murdered five times more in result with police brutality than the white community. This creates an indisputable correlation intertwined with race and police brutality cases, this creates the thought is racism and discrimination bigger factor of deaths now compared to 1874? According to civilrights.org, the incidents the incidents are being driven by racial profiling, police officers are creating possible suspects of the crimes based on the individual’s color of their skin. With the attempt of creating the excuse that these officers that are racial profiling are not being racist, they are just following the handbook guidelines to finding the suspect for the said crime( civilrights.org). The belief of African Americans are the issue of most crimes is still a subject that is being tossed around within law enforcement, this gives the room for officers to partake on the act of police brutality. The analysis of the relationship among African Americans and law enforcement creates the belief that African Americans are being wrongfully targeted for crimes that anyone of any color, nationality, ethnicity could commit.
There have been many incidents that police commit towards African Americans that have a very close timeline, for example, a police brutality case that has risen a lot of conflict is the 2014 shooting of Mike Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. The young 18 year old who was unarmed, committed the crime of theft for steaking a back of cigarillos from the local gas station, listened to the officer when told to put his hands above his head, but the officer decided to take serious actions and fatally shoot Brown. Another example is in Montgomery, Alabama, Gregory Gunn a 58 year old man was shot to death in front of his house, because an officer was investigating a call that stated there was “suspicious activity” in the area. A minor traffic violation lead to Sandra Bland being arrested but later that night was found dead in her jail cell. These cases are just examples of the huge epidemic that is going on in the United States when it comes to police brutality. Even with all these wrongful deaths, there has not been a rightful change for the officers that took part in the incidents, many of the officers that part if the incidents receive the lowest charge possible or end up not getting charged at all and still maintain to have a job in the same department after the crime that they have just committed. The Huffington Post states, “there was a total of zero officer’s total in both 2014 and 2015 who were charged for fatally shooting a civilian” (Matt Ferner, Nick Wing, Huffington Post). The charges that do not seem to exist to the officers is such a disgracefully result to the innocent life that was just taken due to crime that was just committed in the eyes of the African American community. The results of punishment that is not given provides the flames to spark even higher in these communities because the life’s of the innocent lives have no received the justice that is deserved. Law enforcement lack to provide the adequate amount of punishment to the officers, which allows other officers to follow in the same steps and create the belief that police brutality is an actions that is “okay” to use.
According to blacklivesmatter.com, “an ideological and political intervention in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and out resilience in the face of deadly oppression” (blackivesmatter.com). The Black Lives Matter movement was formed from the multiple cases that resulted from police brutality in the past couple of years, there has been a lot of controversy created for the movement and what the background of the movement falls on. The overall goal of this movement is find justice for the innocent lives that have been lost for the fault of these officers, to create the respect that is demanded from the African American community from society, law enforcement, anyone who believes that they do not deserve the correct actions when being part of an incident. In the United States, racism is still very much alive and police brutality is a significant sign that there is no intention of overcoming it, only to create the forms. In 2013, 89% of law enforcement is made up of white people compared to a 3.1% of African Americans in law enforcement” (governing.com). Racial profiling’s going to be hard to overcome for the fact that mainly all police officers are white and hold the card to create the issues that create police brutality, African Americans are the in the middle of the discriminatory profiling that leads to police brutality and it’s clear that law enforcement and society is not going to change the views and believes that have been set as norms in 2019. More diversity is need in the law enforcement field, to create the equality representation for African Americans and to create a decrease in the police brutality rates.
Outraged is what African Americans describe their feelings to be when it comes to the countless amount of cases that police brutality has taken part in, even with efforts of “peacefully” protesting the incidents to overcome the problem at hand, it seems like all efforts are making no type of change. The shooting of Alton Sterling brought Chicago hundreds of protestors, to protest against police brutality, Revolution newspaper states, “it is very important that people rise up and refuse to accept the continual murder of people, practically Black people as well as Latinos, by police… because there is no solution to these outrages under this system” (Revolution Newspaper). There should be a stance in change, no one should sit around and stay quit e to actions that they do not agree with, especially when there is a powerful problem that society is dealing with.
Protesting has always been the way for many years whether they are peaceful or violent, they have yet to make a difference, so there needs to be a change in actions that is needed to be taken. For the fact that instead of making these officers think of what they do before hand, it creates the opposite reaction that is wanted, the reaction of fear is created for African American comminutes because there is now way of seeing what the police will now do. What creates a better understanding of what law enforcement wants to be seen as is when they show up to these protest in uniform that is made to deal with highly dangerous criminals, instead of coming in peace and realizing they are dealing with civilian’s that just want to be treated equally. These actions magnify the conflict at hand of the tangles within law enforcement and African American communities, instead of creating a treaty for peace, the ones that are supposed to protect are now taking their anger out and infuriates the community itself. There are very few that would say that there is now way of fixing this problem, but that is false, there are many ways to create change to get rid of the issues. The question is will anyone take a stance to make this change possible?
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Tangles within Police Brutality and the African American Community. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/tangles-within-police-brutality-and-the-african-american-community/