The Use Of Excessive Force When Dealing With A Civilian Essay

The Use Of Excessive Force When Dealing With A Civilian Essay

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Children in the United States of America are exposed to the concept of “Colorblindness” from the very start. They are taught to only see people, not the color of their skin; even the acknowledgement of race can be disapproved of and uncomfortable. Recently, however, police brutality has been subject to much scrutiny and it is evident that the disparity between black and white is still significant. According to The Law Dictionary, police brutality is the “use of excessive force when dealing with a civilian”. The public lens shifted its focus to police brutality following the death of Michael Brown, an 18 year old black male. Brown was unarmed when he was shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the predominantly black city of Ferguson. Wilson was not indicted by the grand jury and protests sprung up not only in Ferguson, but across all of America (What Happened in Ferguson?). Many more unwarranted fatal police shootings have taken place since Michael Brown’s death; from January to May 2015, over 385 fatal police shootings occurred. Even more disturbing, African Americans were found to be killed at a rate three times higher than that of whites and other minorities (Wong). With recent Black Lives Matter protests turning violent, the origin of police brutality against African Americans is becoming an increasingly large issue. The plethora of intersecting factors such as history, institutionalized racism, socioeconomic status, and media portrayal have played an integral role in the development of racial discrimination within police brutality.

Looking way back into America’s history, the institution of slavery started the tension that we now see between the police and African Americans. When chattel slavery was still comple...

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...Trayvon Martin (Ferguson). It began primarily as a political project and hashtag on social media before it gained national recognition following the Michael Brown case. Protests, for the most part, have been peaceful. Protesters have blockaded court houses, streets, and even the mansions of higher up officials. Recently, however, protests have turned more violent. In a protest in St. Paul, protesters turned violent as they began throwing concrete, bricks, and Molotov cocktails at the police. The police responded by throwing flashbang grenades into the crowd and 100 protesters were arrested while 20 police officers were injured. In a more extreme example, five Dallas police officers were killed by a gunman while several others were injured. The protests have had mixed results; some police officers step down from their positions while others simply continue as normal.

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