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Economic Inequality Causes Police Brutality Essay

731 words - 3 pages


Economic inequality describes the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Individuals are given a socio- economic status based on their social class. Jacob and O’Brien (1998) concluded that police killings are more associated with the economic gaps between whites and blacks. As a result, cities with more African Americans are often targeted by police violence because of the poor urban condition and the economic inequality (Jacob and O’Brien 1998). These urban conditions include poor living lifestyle, low income, low employment, unsanitary environment, and dangerous crime related habits. Therefore, underprivileged minority communities are perceived as extremely unsafe and dangerous ...view middle of the document...

Due to the high level of suspicion of the economic gaps in the minority communties, police officers tend to commit excessive police violence. This idea by Smith and Holmes (2003) relates back to economic inequality of a given community because the police officer assumes that all people in underprivileged communities are more likely to deviate from social norms based on their economic condition.
Racial Profiling in Regards to Police Abuse
Police brutality often begins with the concept of racial profiling (Risse and Zeckhauser 2004). Many law enforcers closely monitor a specific race such as the African Americans due to high level of suspicion. Racial profiling is a form of racism and police officers assign certain stereotypes based on the ethnicity of the person (Risse and Zeckhauser 2004). In America, non- whites are commonly seen as the minority ethnicity which led to the increase focus on both African American and Hispanic, in regards to police brutality’s cases. For example, African Americans and Hispanics are at a higher risk of police violence because both ethnicity statistically cause the most crimes and have a higher rate of police encounters. Therefore, the stereotypes of committing the most crimes belong to both the African Americans and Hispanics. However, not all African Americans nor Hispanics are considered to be...

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