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Abuse Of Power Essay

1925 words - 8 pages

In recent years, the actions of law enforcement officers, particularly police abuse in the United States, has come into the public eye. While citizens worry about protecting themselves from criminals, it has now been revealed that they must also keep a watchful eye on those who are supposed to protect and serve. Police officers are often seen as a thin blue line of protection between criminals and law-abiding citizens, but when they use excessive force, they cross the line and become criminals. An officer who uses more force than needed is said to have used excessive force and may be guilty of police brutality (Harmon). The definition of “excessive use of force” is generally taken to mean ...view middle of the document...

Under one set of circumstances, a particular action might be considered justified, but under other circumstances, the same action might be considered brutality (Harmon).
It seems reasonable to understand that sometimes the police are put into situations where excessive force may be needed. But, because some officers use these extreme measures in situations when it is not, police brutality should be addressed and looked into by both the police and the public. In fact, according to fellow retired police officers Zakir Gul, Hakan Hekim, and Ramazan Terkesil many of the complaints about excessive use of force by police officers are not investigated, and if they are, the finding is usually that the police officer acted appropriately. Only rarely are police subjected to disciplinary action as a result. Many people believe that there are good cops, but there are also some bad cops out there too. The fact is that cops are simply humans in uniform, they are every bit as part of the human problem as they are part of its solution.
A cop defending himself is one thing but police brutality is another, the police are supposed to use reasonable force, and not be brutal. Gratefully, there are many precautions in place to protect individuals from abuse by police officers, such as the Miranda Rights, which prevent officers from illegally obtaining information from the suspect during an arrest; the Fourth Amendment, which protects the individual from illegal search and seizure and use of unlawful force; justification protects public from police abuse by limiting the times an officer is able to use force; and the Fourteenth Amendment protects an individual’s rights to due process (Chaney).
Researchers and investigators have suggested that the failure to prevent and act upon reports of brutality is probably occurring because the police are authorized and expected to use force whenever necessary. Since situations on the street can change rapidly and are difficult to control; some investigators find it difficult to fault an officer for acting aggressively in a policing situation, making it easy to justify a use of force that might seem excessive. However, some police forces now routinely record all interactions with civilians so that these records can be reviewed in the event of an investigation.
Civilians’ injuries and citizens’ complaints are two important indicators of measuring the use of excessive force by the police. As scrutiny persists, one of the goals of police officers should be to prevent or lessen the improper use of force and decrease the number of complaints and injuries (Gul). Truthfully, such a goal will never be accomplished 100 percent of the time, but ideally, the police should work hard to minimize the use of excessive force as much as possible.
Police brutality is an act that often goes unheard by the vast majority of the public. This is the intentional use of excessive force by an authority figure, which oftentimes ends with bruises, broken...

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