The Social Dynamics of the Police Use of Force Essay examples

The Social Dynamics of the Police Use of Force Essay examples

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When it comes to the criminal justice system, legal rulings only provide a systematic method of dealing with the problem of crime and, especially, the problem surrounding the police use of force. In Graham vs. Conner, for example, the courts established the four-factor test to evaluate police use of excessive force but left other, underlying social and moral dilemmas untouched. Furthermore, the influence money has in negotiating punishment via lawyers and bail, have made the courts a perfect playing field for the political and social elite to rule. Both have contributed to the inability for the legal dealings of coercive force to address some of the moral and social implications the use of force contains. To understand and tackle these other issues inherent in the use of coercive force, we must examine the police institution itself. The eroding and almost nonexistent social relationship between the police and the community contributes most to the problem surrounding the police use of force. In order for a better relationship to develop, the public perception of the police as a legitimate source of authority needs to be established. The loss of police legitimacy makes the increasing use of force inevitable since citizens are less willing to voluntary comply. Considering the amount of power and discretion they have, the first step to establishing legitimacy is turning to the officer selection process. When it comes to almost anything, even education, selection is more competitive as the expectations of that job increases. The qualifications and standards for entering a community college vastly differ than those required for a prestigious university. Since the police are entrusted with a great amount of power and a tremendous job tha...


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...olitical game the courts can subliminally promote concerning lawyers and bail. We must turn to the police in bettering their interaction with citizens to promote voluntary cooperation, which can only be done by increasing its legitimacy. I turn to the police selection process in addressing the issue of legitimacy in choosing officers beyond for reason of “crime-fighters”. This, of course, is not an easy thing to do. Rectifying the police selection process to be more particular in choosing officers is difficult especially since, oftentimes, there are few exceptional worthy candidates to choose from. This sort of change would be a long-term aspiration that would take much time and effort in order to be accomplished. Until then, training on current officers should be changed where the Constitution and building community relationships should be of primary importance.

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