Police have a duty to protect us and serve people but, unfortunately, like in cases with any other people who have a great deal of authority, their powers can be sometimes abused. Nowadays, police brutality commonly occurs around the world, and it is often combined with other different examples of police misconduct.
Police brutality is one of the forms of police misconduct which means the abuse of authority and undue violence by police officers when performing their official duties. Usually, this term is applied when we speak about the physical harm but it may also mean psychological harm done through intimidation tactics. Police brutality is not only unjustified excessive physical force that might result in the possible death of the victim, and it also means emotional and verbal intimidation and assault of the victim.
Research reveals that police brutality has serious health consequences for victims and that people who live in disproportionately policed communities usually have poor health regardless of the fact if they have been victims of police brutality themselves or not. But, as it usually happens, we pay more attention to the facts of police brutality when somebody dies directly from police intervention and when the videos depicting such crimes go viral.
Police brutality against brown and black people in the USA is a serious issue and it continues in spite of the massive public outcry. This happens because the society does little or nothing to prevent such issues. Of course, there is the movement Black Lives Matter but reviewing videos or setting civil rights cases will not prevent deaths of black people. We should address the root of the issue of police brutality and use a preventive strategy that will have more positive effects on the American society.
The problem of police brutality against black people reveals serious problems in the American society as a whole connected with racial discrimination that has roots in the past. This problem should be regarded as a structural racism and a problem of white supremacy.
Police brutality represents one of the ways in which the system and its institutions discriminate some groups and provide opportunities to others based on the race. This is what happens within the educational system where some children have an access to high-quality education in school districts that have rich resources and other children don’t get such education because of the color of their skin. Police brutality has much in common with the systems of criminal justice and law enforcement where having a black color of the skin means being more likely arrested and charged with a crime than your white peer.
There are a number of ways which can help prevent police brutality. Using these ways, every person can contribute to improving the well-being of color communities and creating the equal fair society. First, we can help documenting police related deaths so that they could be monitored by health departments. Next, we should also support criminal justice reform and decriminalization of minor traffic violations as well as ending of stop-and-frisk. Then, we can also support and join different movements like Black Lives Matter that expose structural racism. And, finally, it’s our duty to remember the names of the people who were killed by police.
Using excessive force by police officers leads to the numerous deaths and injuries of people many of whom are unarmed. We need to take measures to ensure drastic changes in common approach to public safety. Excessive force by police is especially disturbing when we take into account its disproportionate impact on the people of the black and brown color. Recent events of countless incidents of police brutality against minorities have provoked highly charged protests.
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