Police brutality is one of the major global issues today. This is because, in many instances, people have created the image that the police are a representation of white supremacy especially to the minority races, and that their authority cannot be trusted. In America, for instance, the frequent occurrence of the issue has often questioned the extent to which the police have the right to use excessive force on a criminal suspect. Some acts appear to be more evident than most especially when it comes to issues relating to traffic such as the cases of racial profiling (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2012). However, what would it take to reduce these forms of occurrences to ensure the sustenance of justice and fairness to all races? An in-depth study is required to study the contributing factors of hostility between police and the minority communities to understand the possible solutions that would be beneficial to both the police and the citizens.
This topic is one of many that show a strong indicator of the existence of racial segregation and discrimination today. Many instances demonstrate this conclusion considering the fact that the perception of one person of color is very different from another when law enforcement is concerned. The matter that gravely aggravates this disagreement is the continued effort by the police and the media to portray the African American or Latina population as lawbreakers (Walker et al., 2012). This brings racial profiling out to the public to the extent that there are instances of women crossing the streets to walk away from a man of color. The American people have acquired the perception that the police live only among the people of color to protect the rest of them, while in the real sense they are out to discover or create a crime of some sort so that the police can appear functional.
The senseless violence by the police, therefore, ends up causing fear and discomfort instead of trust and authority on the part of the law enforcement. This fear keeps everyone in a state of uncertainty. This was demonstrated in a survey carried out in 2007 by the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) that showed there were very many complaints about the police. With this kind of mentality, the real perpetrators of crime will escape unscathed as the discriminatory craze continues to disrupt the process. In addition to the issue of stigma, if the police are aware that the minority races are having difficulty believing that the police are protecting them as well. Consequently, the department should make an effort to ensure that this is rectified. This means that they should not choose one member of a case outrightly, and use the person as an example of the case involving Gabriella Calhoun demonstrated (Dorling, 2012). The case involved a black teenage girl who tried to defend an innocent friend, and the police officer’s partner tried to prevent her from breathing despite the fact that she struggled to explain that she suffered from Asthma. This is a real example of segregation and brutal treatment that did not need to happen to exert authority in the first place.
Positively, however, many people have taken
note of this form of behavior, consequently leading to riots, demonstrations,
and protests. In other cases, there are reform programs that have been implemented with the hope of developing a better culture among law
enforcements that will get rid of stereotypes and misconceptions (Dorling,
2012). It might be more challenging to rid a community of racial discrimination
entirely, but once the government and the
police set a good path to follow and help the public develop trust in each other, the issue will pass. The many
cases in court today should be an indication that all lives matter and that the
law enforcement body itself is not above the law.
Dorling, D. (2012). Fair play: A Daniel Dorling reader on social justice. Bristol: Policy Press.
Walker, S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2012). The Color of justice: Race, ethnicity, and crime in America. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.