In a perfect world, civilians could rely on their local law enforcement to truly “serve and protect”. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Trust in police officers is not widespread in this country. Not everyone trusts the officials of law enforcement to hold the well-being of all its citizens with equal regard. Studies show that ethnic minorities have lower levels of confidence and trust in the police department in comparison with the White American population (Tyler 323). One reason for this is the startling amount of police brutality concentrated in communities of color. People of color, especially African American and Latino men, are the recipients of excessive police force (Chaney and Robertson 490). This country has a long history of violence against people of color. This is most evident in the context of slavery, segregation, and most recently, the string of murders brought to light by the media involving killings of African American men by white, male police officers. Police brutality is not an issue that can be eliminated with one fell swoop. There are a variety of steps that must be taken in order to ease the violence. However, one of the most important steps involves the refining of police academy requirements. Currently, most agencies only require a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED). The proposal is that higher education becomes a federal requirement for those aspiring to become a police officer in the United States.
“Police brutality is defined as, ‘the use of excessive physical force or verbal assault and psychological intimidation” (Chaney and Robertson 482). In other words, police brutality is not just the use of physical abuse. It can al...
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...nt of on the job training does not do much to deter such situations.
Overall, there are many steps that must be taken in order to curb police brutality. However, an important step involves educating police officers before they go into the field. Police officers should be required to have some college experience because it will expose them to diverse groups and provide them with knowledge and skills to have positive interactions with them. Some people don’t think higher education is necessary for police because on duty learning is good enough and education requirements will limit the amount of people that desire to go into that field. However, those with that argument do not take into account the seriousness of being a police officer. They also discredit college education. In reality, requiring cops to go to college would benefit the justice system more than harm it.
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