The Justification For The Police Essay

The Justification For The Police Essay

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The justification for the use of force by police officers has long been a standing debate. It is not a question of whether the police should be able to protect themselves, it is a question of whether they can, at times, go too far in injuring criminals, dangerous or not. In light of the shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri, and other events that have occurred, it can only be asked if racism provokes greater police force. This essay seeks to show that racism is directly related to instances of police brutality by analyzing cases of excess police aggression, racial profiling which occurs, and the antagonistic mindset of some police officers towards minority groups.
In some instances, the force used by police does not agree with the crime committed, so it is important to discuss police brutality in this context. Excessive aggression was broadcast on the national news in the form of the beating of Rodney King. In 1991, King was pulled over for driving intoxicated and speeding. He and his passengers were ordered out of the car, and though the two passengers complied, King refused to get out of the car and acted obscenely towards the officers. The police were ordered to swarm King and take him into custody, however King fought against this. After the officers finally got him to the ground, they proceeded to beat him with their batons repeatedly. King was then dragged to the side of the road to await emergency medical rescue.
The intense aggression of these officers was recorded on camera for the public to see. The four police officers responsible for the beating of King were put on trial and found not guilty. The verdict sparked riots in the streets of Los Angeles. In response to the local and national outcry, the L...

... middle of paper ... norms on law enforcement, the UN recommended that the U.S. government should “step up its efforts to prevent the excessive use of force by law enforcement officers by ensuring compliance with the 1990 UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officers” and “ensure that reported cases of excessive use of force are effectively investigated, alleged perpetrators are prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with appropriate sanctions” (Buchanan, Fessenden, Park, Parlapiano, Wallace).
Many of the police officers that have displayed excessive use of force and put on trial have been acquitted. Between 2003 and 2012, in the city of St. Louis alone, thirty-nine people were fatally shot by police officers and only one officer was indicted (Lee). That officer was acquitted—epitomizing America’s continued support of police who use excessive force.

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