Role Of Police Officers

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If you ask most people the role of a police officer, they would probably tell you that it is to serve and protect their families and communities. However, when that question is posed to most members of the African American community the answer is dramatically different. As opposed to protecting and serving, many members of the African American community feel that police are a powerful occupying force and threat to the lives of their families and community members. In order to understand the feelings that African American’s have towards police officers, one would have to look at the facts. One reason is that African American communities are constantly targeted by police. They are constantly being watched in their communities and schools then…show more content…
During this time the enslavement of Africans Americans was in effect. As the big cities grew, especially the ones in the south, the police force expanded simultaneously. According to Eastern Kentucky University Professor Dr. Gary Potter, originally the role of the police officers in the south was to hunt down African American slaves and return them to their “owners,” keeping disciplined slaves. In Dr. Garry Potter’s article, The History of Policing in the United States, Part 1, another duty of the police officers in the 1800s, was “to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolt” (Potter). They did this to stop them from any revolts. Today, that fear is still in motion through the lack of trust between the African American community and the police force. As simple as it sounds, that gut feeling when being pulled over for a broken headlight or not stopping at a stop sign for the whole five seconds, are the result of the fear enforced in the 1800s. Looking through the lenses of a large percent of African American communities in major cities, the relationship between the police officers and the citizens are…show more content…
Police officers take advantage of the economic disadvantages African American community have as a whole. By targeting some of the poverty communities that are mostly colored people, police officers break the trust between them and the people. When looking at cities such as Philadelphia, New York, etc. African American people make up majoring of the communities that live in poverty. Since the Africans were brought over as slaves in the 1600s, African Americans’ social status has been the lowest compared to other races. When a group of people are lacking economically as a whole, this means that they are not getting the same economic opportunities as others groups of people; keeping them in the same economic state they start in. Without giving these African American communities the sources to grow as a group, they stay living in poverty and being the main target of the police force. The State of Working America is an online data base that keeps up with the economic growth in America. According to their facts, African Americans have the highest poverty rate in America. In America, “27.4 percent” of African Americans live in poverty (State of working America). When going into the city of Philadelphia and observing the African American communities, notice how they are constantly being observed by the Philadelphia police department. When visiting the block of 18th

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