Composition I Essay On Police Stereotypes.

943 words - 4 pages

Police StereotypeThe events of the last decade have caused many changes in law enforcement. The perceptions of what a police officer does, or should do, have mutated. As a law enforcement officer, I have had to listen to hundreds of caustic remarks about what I do. The remarks that cops are always so nasty when they pull a person over do not recognize the courteous and professional officer. The prevailing attitude that the cops were wrong when responding to a riot does not acknowledge our duty to protect life and property. The public has a common misperception. The police officer must have done something wrong if a criminal is injured while resisting arrest or by assaulting the officer. This only feeds the cynicism felt by most law enforcement officers toward the public.New York City--the Million Youth March--were the police to blame? It is too easy to answer yes. However, what about the other side of the story? Khallid Abdul Muhammad has a reputation for strong rhetoric against Jews, Whites, Pope John Paul II, and South African President Nelson Mandela. It is alleged that Muhammad made inflammatory remarks to which the police responded. The media, of course, did what was expected and attacked the police. Was each one of the three thousand cops at the rally wrong? Was Khallid Abdul Muhammad wrong for advocating violence? Was the public provided enough information to determine who was actually at fault? No. Public consensus is however, blaming "The Police". However, who are "The Police"? They are an element of society similar to Hispanics, Jews, Blacks and Whites. Law enforcement officers suffer the consequences of the knee jerk reaction that faults the police in any given situation.In some incidents, individual cops are wrong. We all remember Rodney King and the New York City plunger incident, but these are rare cases. Every element of society has undesirables. The police community has it's own as well. These cases often mislead the public which has no idea what occurs in a physical confrontation. Most law-abiding citizens have no experience in physical altercations and have never had to deal with the people the police frequently encounter. Police officers operate under conditions that the average citizen would not even consider. They engage in confrontations that are much more violent than any imagined by John Q. Public. The perception is that the officer must have done something wrong when a violent criminal is injured. It is absurd to expect police officers to apprehend criminals who are violently assaulting them and/or violently resisting arrest without there being an injury. The task would be impossible. The fact that a physical confrontation can cause injuries and sometimes death is not a choice, it is not an option, it is just the way it is. Police officers do not force...

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