Police Brutality Debate

Subject: Law
Pages: 4
Words: 837
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Some analysts observe that black Americans have never enjoyed their rights and freedoms in the United States because they have been historically experienced unprecedented police brutally, which takes the form of harassment, unwarranted arrest, incarceration, and convictions that raises their death rates.

The brutality is perhaps systematic and intentional on the blacks carried out by the criminal justice system in the country. The trend is ongoing and is not expected to end any time soon because of the social structure and the culture that does not value the contributions of minorities and people of color.

Labeling is the biggest problem that affects the blacks in the country because they are associated with all forms of crimes, such as mugging, drug-trafficking, kidnapping, raping, money laundering, banditry, smuggling of weapons, and car-jacking (Blau 530). The recent incident in which an eighteen old boy, Michael Brown, was shot in Ferguson, Missouri is an example of police brutality that has always been meted out to innocent Americans.

The entire nation rose up to condemn the killing terming it unacceptable and highly regrettable, but analysts claim that it only exposed the problems that blacks have encouraged since independence. The Ferguson town is no zone an ordinary citizen because of the heavy presence of police who are deployed to keep an eye on the activities of the black people.

The officers are armed with sophisticated weapons and armored vehicles, which suggest that the blacks are suspected of causing mayhem in the city any time following the shooting of the schoolboy. A recent report released by the FBI following a study conducted between 2005 and 2012 confirm that a white police officer have used force against a black person at least twice a week.

The number of blacks killed in the country is ever-increasing, with casualties being those under the age of twenty-one. Unfortunately, only 8.7% of those killed annually by the police are whites aged twenty-one years and below.

The number of blacks killed annually is not accurate because the police self-report it meaning many blacks have lost their lives at the hands of the trigger happy police officers (Tolnay 221). A study conducted by the University of South Carolina professor, Geoff Alpert, suggested that the country does not have a national record on the number of unarmed civilians that the police kill.

The violence and brutality going on in the account at police stations and city streets are based on racial lines because the majority of those suffering are blacks. Brown was the fifth unarmed black person to be killed by the police within a month. Among those killed in the month include Eric Garner of Staten Island, Ezell Ford of Los Angeles, Dante Parker of California, and John Crawford of Ohio. Since the killings have been reported in over three different states, it means that blacks in the entire country are affected.

In a different study commissioned in 2007 by the ColorLines and Chicago Reporter, it was established that police killings were present in at least the ten largest cities in the country (Eltis 67). Unfortunately, those targeted were the blacks, with New York, San Diego, and Las Vegas being the most affected.

In earlier report released by the department of justice in 2008 titled police public contact survey, over seventy percent of blacks reported to have been harassed by police. In Ferguson alone, the number of blacks arrested was three times that of other races in the first four months of the year.

For some analysts, black Americans have historically faced unprecedented brutality. However, that is not the case today. To them, black Americans are not currently experiencing unprecedented brutality, such as harassment, arrest, incarceration, and conviction because criminality affects the entire community and the role of the police is to bring it down.

Any government has to ensure that life and property is protected hence the police should patrol the streets frequently to ensure no person is injured by criminals. Unfortunately, blacks find themselves being arrested and convicted quite often, but the problem lies with the community in which they live in hence the security agencies should not be blamed.

The society influences the behavior of a child meaning in case the social structure is defective, the upbringing of the child is likely to be affected. Therefore, many blacks find themselves on the wrong side of the law because of a culture that does not support the family setting. Children are left to find for their survival at the tender age, something that forces them to indulge in criminal activities.

The reality of the matter is that blacks are often discriminated against when it comes to identifying criminals. They are often labeled as thugs and street muggers because the historical problems that they have faced over the years (Leonard 28). The police are tempted to believe that any young black American is a criminal because his or her father had a questionable record. The society should change its perception towards the blacks if the problem is to be solved.

Works Cited

Blau, Judith. “White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva”. Contemporary Sociology 31.5 (2002): 527-538.

Eltis, David (2008). Extending the Frontiers: Essays on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database. New York: Yale University Press, 2008. Print.

Leonard, Rebecca and Locke, Don. “Communication Stereotypes: Is Interracial Communication Possible?” Journal of Black Studies 23.3 (1993): 332-343. Print.

Tolnay, Stewart. “The African American ‘Great Migration’ and Beyond”. Annual Review of Sociology 29.1 (2003): 218–221. Print.