Factors Behind Police Brutality

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In the United States almost every week there are new articles about police brutality. Police brutality is a use of excessive force by the police when controlling a situation. Police officers are only allowed to use that amount of force necessary to complete their task or control a situation. One specific group that is targeted the most are minorities. The factors that contribute to police brutality are organizational factors, psychological factors, and racial profiling.

Different departments have different structures in place: whether the department rotates it workers, the supervision level or their formal or informal policies. Each structure contributes a different aspect to police brutality. For example, in the Rodney King case, the officers
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Racial profiling is targeting an individual based on their racial characteristics, minorities are affected the most by this. Most of the officers‘ excuse to police brutality is that the suspect fits the description or they thought the person had a gun. For example, in 1999, Amadou Diallo was shot 19 times by plain clothes police officers when was reaching for his wallet. Diallo was an unarmed man who had no criminal record. The officers believed that Diallo matched the description of an armed serial rapist. Even though he looked like a suspect there was no need to shoot so many times, and perhaps no need to shoot at all. The officers of this case were acquitted of all brutality charges. Another example that shows racial profiling is the “Rapid Deployment Unit, a unit designed to target drugs and potential riots, seemed to focus their efforts on the ‘urban ghetto,’ an area of Washington where 40 percent of the Black population lives below the poverty level” (Petrocelli, Piquero, Smith). Their focus was only on Black males, when there are other races that involve with drugs and participate in riots. Racial profiling can have a negative effect on the community and on the individual, and hugely increase the likelihood of
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