Police Brutality : Does It Actually Exist?

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Police Brutality: Does it Actually Exist? When hearing the phrase “police brutality,” many people imagine batons cracking skulls, tasers electrocuting bodies and bullets penetrating innocent teens. While police officers have been known to use violence, police brutality does not occur as often as many believe. In many situations, officers have to act on impulse and curiosity, despite the backlash the media may create. In many scenarios, police officers are not given enough time to make the rational decision between who lives and who dies. When a person’s survival is at risk, it is not uncommon for the body to enter fight or flight mode. Lindsey Betromen, author of the article “Responding with Fight or Flight” states, “The fight or flight syndrome or, 'fight or flight reflex ', happens when a person experiences drastic bodily changes when presented with a threat.” As it is taught within many psychology classes, there are parts of the body known as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of the brain that releases adrenaline into the bloodstream. This often causes the heart rate and blood pressure to increase, often causing the person to choose to fight rather than flee. When this takes place, the person can often make irrational decisions to increase their ability to survive, resulting in blackouts and moments of violence. A bystander witnessing this incident could mistaken the police officer’s attempt to use self defense as an act of violence, rather than an act of survival. In addition to fight or flight, police officers are encouraged to be curious. In the line of police force it is imperative to think outside of the box. Many people confuse a police officer’s curiosity... ... middle of paper ... ...and night, as deadly threats have driven the former Ferguson police officer into hiding…” This is a prime example that media can ruin the lives of officers, as well as put them in legitimate danger. Cases similar to Michael Brown’s have made many officers apprehensive with firing their weapons, due to the negative repercussions of what the media might say. Although many people may believe that police officers should not fire their weapons, this opens the door to many threats. If a police officer is in a situation where using their gun is necessary, and hesitates rather than acting immediately, they could lose their life. Police officers are potentially allowing criminals run free to avoid negative feedback, rather than using the weapons provide to them. Many people are unaware that police officers are allowed to use a weapon one degree higher than their assailant.
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