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Is Police Brutality Focused On Any One Group?

2215 words - 9 pages

Is Police Brutality Focused on Any One Group?

Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, & Conflict defines police brutality as the use of excessive or unnecessary force by police against the public. Excessive force is explained to be any behavior or force beyond what is reasonably necessary in order to control a situation. It is a common misnomer that people believe some police use excessive force more often than not. What’s more concerning is most of the time people believe that this excessive force is usually focused upon the African American men, women, and children. This misnomer is typically found to be found in city settings where the population consists of mostly African Americans. The population make up causes the common belief to seem more true than it may otherwise appear.

Americans know that some police are guilty of police brutality. Unfortunatly, this is simply reality. The real question however is do police tend to focus on any one group in particular or does external factors only make it appear that way? Do officers that are sworn to protect the public actually want to use excessive force against any specific group other than criminals? Or is it just the imagination, creating a vision of police brutality on a specific group due to circumstances outside of police control? Fitzgerald, S (2007) “Police Brutality”. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press

In S. Fitzgeralds book “Police Brutality” he discusses police brutality from both opposing viewpoints. Police have made great improvements in reducing crime and use of deadly force, but not without a cost. A decrease in the use of deadly force by police and reduction of crime in the community has been proven over time. However, unfortunately police misconduct is still a problem. The fact of 30 less people being shot and killed in New York in a single year is an improvement, but still shows police brutality is more common than it should be. However, the book proceeds to state that the behavior of a few continues to ruin the community relationship with the police for all. This brutality is not about race though. Both “black and white” police are guilty of police brutality. In 1997, black officers shooting black suspects were four times higher than that of white officers shooting blacks. In fact, 5.47 per 10,000 officers were of black suspects by black officers. This number outweighs the white officers shooting black suspects by a scale of almost four to one. Since the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, treatment of the races have became much more even. From 1882-1930 3,000 blacks were lynched and 53 percent of those executed from 1930-1996 were black. As many as 90 percent of 455 men were executed for raping a black woman in 1930-1976. Blacks have slightly less than half of the executions.

Another study showed when asked, 22 percent of the officers stated that they have been witness to a fellow officer using excessive force. Another 61 percent state they have never and would...

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