A father purchased a toy gun as a birthday gift for his young son. His son went outside to play and and encountered a police officer who shot him seven times. This incident occurred in Sonoma County in October 2013. A similar incident occurred in November 2014 when Cleveland police killed a 12-year-old boy carrying a toy gun. Use of excessive force by police is common in impoverished "black" or "brown" communities.
The website, uslegal.com, defines police brutality as:
Police brutality is a civil rights violation that occurs when a police officer acts with excessive force by using an amount of force with regards to a civilian that is more than necessary. Excessive force by law enforcement officers is a violation of a person's rights. Excessive force is not subject to a precise definition, but it is generally beyond the force a reasonable and prudent law enforcement officer would use under the circumstances (“Police Brutality Law & Legal Definition”,2013).
Cases of brutality from people, who are supposed to protect against it, have existed even when the United States was a fairly new country. The oppression by people in power, even the U.S. Constitution excludes “Illegal persons” as three fifths of a person, which includes slaves, immigrants, and Native Americans. Another example of oppression by individuals in power would be during the Indian Removal Act of 1830, millions of native peoples were removed from lands that they had been living on and cultivating for generations. Although many tribes had tried to fight this removal, the Cherokee tribe had fought this act through the court system, which had granted them to stay on their land. The United States President, Andrew Jackson, disregarded the court's decision to grant the Cherokee people their land. He removed them by force causing one out of every four people to die. This act of aggression was known as the Trail of Tears (Garrison, 2004). Between 1877 through 1965 Jim Crow Laws were put in place in order to separate “colored” people from “whites.” More often than not, under segregation, African Americans had to use inferior facilities in comparison to Caucasians. Public schools, benches, drinking fountains, stores, restrooms, transportation, restaurants, and even the military were places where African Americans and Caucasians were unable to share (Encyclopedia of Britannica, n.d.).
In April 2007, New York Times published an article about corruption in the Atlanta Police Department. Court documents claimed that police officers regularly lied to obtain search warrants and fabricated documents of drug purchases. In court “Narcotics officers admitted to planting marijuana in Ms. Johnston’s home after her death. Submitting as evidence cocaine they had falsely claimed had been bought at her house” (Dewan & Goodman, 2007). Two of the three officers, Gregg Junnier and Jason R. Smith pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, as well as conspiracy to violate Ms. Johnson's Civil...