Racism and Police brutality are two key components that affect the lives of young men in America. A number of Black and Hispanic males have been victims of police brutality for many years because they are primary targets due to racism and racially biased law enforcement. The main question is why does police brutality against these specific races occur so frequently? According to Chaney, “Racism is an ideology, or belief system, designed to justify and rationalize racial and ethnic inequality” and “discrimination, most basically, is behavior aimed at denying members of particular ethnic groups’ equal access to societal rewards. Defining both of these concepts from the onset is important for they provide the lens through which our focus on the racist and discriminatory practices of law enforcement can occur” (481).
Under some difficult situations, police officers would have to make quick decisions based on the assumptions from their past experience and historical crime data. The conservative supporters believed that police officers were not engaging in racial profiling, but merely focusing on the race with high crime rates. For the case of George Zimmerman, supporters pointed out that “Trayvon was not killed because he was black. He was shot in self-defense because he repeatedly punched and smashed Mr. Zimmerman’s head on the pavement” (Kuhner). These cases regarding police brutality and racial profiling have made the front page of many news articles and news channels.
Today police officers are trained to kill. Steven Rosenfeld, a journalist in civil liberties for Alternet said, “The militarization of local police has been growing...They face few consequences for making mistakes, such as maiming or killing people” (Rosenfeld). This shows that the local police officers are trained with military tactics and receive no penalty for their wrong actions. Not only is there an increase in police brutality, it seems as if they are targeting specific nationalities. Tony Brown, a writer for Raw Story agrees by saying “young black males in recent years were at far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts”(Brown).
This is a result of many believing and not simply just African Americans that black lives are being targeted more than any other race. In certain situations this is true according to The Washington Post “unarmed black men are 7 times more likely to die by police gunfire”. This would make a person who’s advocating for Black Lives Matter have a point to get upset about phrases like white lives matter or all lives matter. Race appears to forever become an element once it involves police brutality. When an African American is killed by a white police officer it almost always seems as it gets additional attention then when a Caucasian is killed.
There also seems to be a stereotype within a stereotype. Besides the stereotype of police officers profiling young black men, is the stereotype that all young black men are thugs, especially if they’re in neighborhoods known for gang and drug activity. “Our country 's history, culture and social divide feed a subconscious attachment to stereotypes, even in the minds of people with no measurable racial bias.”
Lastly, police brutality against African Americans is legitimized as ideologies of Blacks are reproduced through the media which results in reproducing social and racial inequalities and leading to more cases where officers oppress African Americans. To conclude, the analytical concept of ideology is important as it helps us understand why certain inequalities exist in society. From analyzing police brutality through the analytical lens of ideology it became clear that police brutality against African Americans is legitimized as stereotypical ideologies which are perpetuated by the media, results in victim blaming and therefore reproduces racial inequalities. The concept of ideology can also aid in understanding where certain beliefs that may seem ‘natural’ come from and ultimately how they influence individual actions and beliefs in society. Furthermore, from exploring the ideologies which legitimize police brutality against African Americans, I have determined that Blacks are being depicted as criminals, this idea may seem ‘natural’ as the media portrays them in this light.
All Americans have heard stories about police planting drugs on black people and charging them with a crime they did not commit. To make matters worse, due to the aforementioned issues of higher conviction rates, longer sentences, and catastrophic bail policies, those who can not afford a lawyer to represent them have little chance of convincing anyone of their innocence. To many Americans, this may sound outlandish, the kind of thing that only happens on television, however, this is a very real and legitimate fear within black communities. And indeed, many former police officers have admitted the practice of planting drugs does happen. For instance, in nearby Dothan, AL, anonymous active police officers leaked documents that provide "irrefutable evidence of criminal activity at the highest levels of the Dothan Police Department" (Innocence).
In this research paper, readers will understand when a police officer who uses force when it is not called for, or who uses excessive force to perform his or her job, have crossed the line into police brutality. Police brutality remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United State. Police brutality is a common term used to describe the use by a police officer of more force than is necessary in making an arrest or to control a person. “The word “brutality” has several
However, the main activity that is wrong is police brutality, it is not something that should be accepted and or tolerated. 6. Two black males were killed due to the amount of force used by a police officer and another one assaulted, these three events all occurred at different times and in different areas. Matthew Desmond, a researcher, has been analyzing the amount of 911 calls before and after these events, and others that are similar, have taken place. The evidence is that the more police brutality situations that occur in regards to black males, the less citizens are reporting crimes and calling 911, resulting in an influx of
The excessive force used by the police specifically towards African Americans is continuous; with the justice system doing close to nothing to change that. This is one of the reasons they continue to kill and harass African Americans. According to Propublica, young black males are about twenty times more likely to be shot and killed by the police than their white peers are. Murderers are walking free, and innocent lives are being taken. Over the past couple of years, thousands of people have been killed on the hands of the police, both black and white.