Police Brutality Against Minorities Essay Help

We trust our law enforcement to make sounds judgments for the sake of our protection. However it is alarming to see the high rates of police’s use of excessive force in needless situations. Even more alarming is the distinction in treatment of white and non-white people. Many people of color have an image of police as the representation of white supremacy and oppression (Walker, 593). Another perception of police officers is that they cannot be trusted. This is likely due to the commonality of instances of police brutality. The police do have the right to use force on a criminal suspect, but it is only under certain circumstances and they must follow specific guidelines (Walker, 592). In certain instances of police’s use of excessive force, the sole factor contributing to the hostility between the police and minority communities was race (Walker, 588). The reality of one person is subjective and based solely on that one individual’s experiences. One person of color’s perception of law enforcement could be completely different from another, especially if they are of two differing minorities. For some, police are seen as courageous men and women who endanger their lives to ensure the community’s wellbeing. That is, after all, what their title entails. However, many have been the targets of racial profiling. Terms such as “DWB,” driving while black, describe the situation in which people of color are pulled over for supposed traffic violations in order for to further investigate suspicions of criminal activity (Walker, 595).

Senseless violence creates a stigma toward police. This stigma makes the public fear the police, and almost everyone has an account or series of anecdotes that show how much they fear the police. For example, a group of college kids are walking around late at night in the city, and they hear police sirens down the street. They will instantly get afraid, even if those kids aren’t doing anything wrong. A large amount of complaints that drive this fear were made in the latest Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey in 2007.  Surveyed state and local law enforcement agencies, representing 5% of agencies and 59% of officers, received a total of 26,556 citizen complaints about police use of force. A third of all these force complaints were not sustained (34%). Twenty-five percent were unfounded, 23% resulted in officers being released of the charges, and 8% were sustained. The sustained force complaints became an indicator of excessive force. Results show an estimate of about 2,000 incidents of police using excessive force among large agencies.

A majority of officers are let “off the hook” from being charged with crimes against the public. In the case of David Sal Silva of Kern County in California that took place last year, police used excessive force on Silva and he died at the scene. The beating was contributory to his death but neither the Kern County sheriff’s deputies nor the California Highway Patrol officers were convicted of any crime (Marcum). Although the incident was highly publicized, it eventually faded away. There are many overlooked instances, however instances of targeted police brutality are becoming a normal recurrence, such as in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The police in Albuquerque were scrutinized and the United States Justice Department began an investigation of the police department and discovered that officers “too often used deadly force in an unconstitutional manner,” and of the 20 fatal police shootings since 2009, most were not constitutional (McLaughlin). The issue of police brutality has a long history. Not only in Albuquerque but across the nation.  The Department of Justice, along with the Community Relations Service, published a handbook: “Police Use of Excessive Force: A Conciliation Handbook for the Police and the Community” to address the use of excessive force in the United States’ police departments across the country.  The Department of Justice (D.O.J) originally published this in 1999 and was last updated in 2002. The handbook argues that the key is to create a culture that looks down upon an unconstitutional amount of force within the individual departments across the country. “Community policing creates a positive atmosphere…A department can set objectives (reduce complaints, police shootings, and injuries to civilians) and then set out to shift the culture to accomplish these objectives by developing policies and procedures, training it officers and monitoring them for compliance”. The goal is to create an atmosphere or culture that looks down upon acts of violence that are done by police, so that the occurrences are rare and the police are held accountable for their actions.

Many people don’t believe that police officers racially profile. They tend to say, “They are just protecting us.” When in reality officers do and it has gotten to the point where when a person hears a police siren they jump and feel scared because they may be the one getting in trouble. Should people have to feel scared every time they see a police officer? Law enforcement officials are supposed to make us feel safe from danger, not the opposite. People of color are usually the ones that are targeted the most and most people just watch and do not say anything about it. Some officers take extreme measures and end up injuring a citizen when it is not needed. In an extreme example, Gabrielle Calhoun was beaten unconscious by a police officer. Calhoun is a black teenage girl that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There were girls fighting and police broke up the fight and allowed the girls to go into the restaurant bathrooms to clean up. They proceeded to  fight again in the restaurant. A woman police officer went in to the restaurant and approached Calhoun’s table and grabbed her male friend. Calhoun followed after them and the female police officer had turned around and knocked her unconscious with her nightstick. The police officer started to choke Calhoun and when Calhoun started to gasp for air telling the officer she had asthma the officer replied, “I don’t care if you have asthma. You were hitting my officer” (BYP 1). An officer’s job is not to kill the person instigating a fight, especially if the citizen did not cross an officer.

Racial profiling does not only happen with the police. It is common to see women move to the other side of the street if they spot a man of color approaching. This is primarily due to the fact that they media play a significant role in vilifying men of color. They also vilify other races. In airplanes, people are more cautious around Arabic people because of 9/11. The media reinforces the stereotypes perceived by the general public. Racial profiling happens everyday on T.V. shows and people just laugh at the idea and it is seen as a joke rather than a serious matter. In the movie “Non-Stop” an air-marshal starts getting bomb threats from a random telephone number. When he announces that there is a bomb on board everyone looks to the Arabic passenger like he was the person sending threats. He ended up being a doctor and helps save some passengers. When people watch these shows and laugh at the funny things they say on these shows, it reinforces and approves the message that was sent by the media.

The American people count on law enforcement officials to look out for the general wellbeing of the public. The perception of police officers among communities of color is that rather than protect them, police officers are only interested in pursuing them to discover a crime of some sort. With many reform programs being implemented in police departments across the country, there is hope that a new culture will be born among law enforcement officials. One of fairness and free of stereotypes and senseless brutality against people that are tired of being succumbed by the negative stereotypes and misconceptions reinforced by the media and approved of by the general public.


Breakdown of NYPD stops based on race, followed by a breakdown of the races in New York City.


Breakdown of instances where police’s use of excessive force led to the death of African Americans from the Malcolm X Grassroots Organization.


Works Cited

BYP. “Gabrielle Calhoun Beaten Unconscious by Police.” Black Youth Project. N.p., 11 July 2013. Web. 26 April 2014.

Hickman, Matthew. “Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Citizen Complaints about Police Use of Force.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Citizen Complaints about Police Use of Force. Department of Justice, 26 June 2006. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Marcum April 11, Diana. “No Criminal Charges in Death of Man Beaten by Kern County Deputies.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

McLaughlin, Eliott C., John Newsome, Shawn Nottingham, and Ashley Fantz. “Albuquerque Police Have ‘pattern’ of Excessive, Deadly Force, Report Says.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Non-Stop. Dir. Jaume Collet-Serra. Perf. Liam Neeson, Juliane Moore, and Scoot McNairy. Universal Pictures. 2014. Film.

“POLICE USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE.” DOJ:CRS:. Department of Justice, June 1999. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Walker, April. “Racial Profiling-Separate And Unequal Keeping The Minorities In Line-The Role Of Law Enforcement In America.” St. Thomas Law Review 23.4 (2011): 576-619. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 30 Apr. 2014.


Argumentative Essay on Police Brutality - Sample Essay

The police serve an integral part in society as its protectors. The profession of a policeman is considered noble as they save lives, catch criminals and are concerned with the preservation of order. The ideal policeman does not always correspond to reality. In addition to few good policemen who save lives and are always ready to help, there is always a bad cop, not noticed by the superiors. Sometimes people, obsessed with power, who did not have the opportunity to realize their desire, fall into the ranks of policemen.

Law enforcement officials like all people have drawbacks, and the situations they face are frequently dangerous and require a rapid response. The price of illegal police actions is very high. It is expressed in undermining respect for law enforcement agencies, which generates – in ethnic minority communities in particular – a split between police and society.

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Law enforcement officials like all people have drawbacks, and the situations they face are frequently dangerous and require a rapid response. The price of illegal police actions is very high. It is expressed in undermining respect for law enforcement agencies, which generates – in ethnic minority communities in particular – a split between police and society.

Victims of police violence have many different ways of complaining about police brutality. But the chances of seeing their abusers in the dock are really low. Some victims file a civil claim, but their chances of success vary from city to city and, as a rule, financial responsibility in such cases is borne by the municipality, and not by the guilty police officer. Victims are frightened by the prospect of filing a complaint with the Police Internal Investigations Department. In addition, the police department’s secrecy regime in practice means that the victim learns nothing about whether any disciplinary action has been taken against the guilty employee. With regard to the initiation of criminal proceedings at the federal or local level, most victims rightly believe that such an option is unlikely, except the cases that have been widely publicized. As a result, the damage caused by police violence is aggravated by the feelings of resentment and feebleness of the victims. Since it is common knowledge that police abuse control procedures are not effective enough, many victims of excessive violence do not even try to complain. All of the above factors lead to the fact that the guilty policemen remain in the positions held.

The police brutality in the United States leads to the most serious and systematic human rights violations. This problem is of a national and institutional nature. Police throughout the United States use firearms, beat detainees, use methods that make them choking, and use unreasonably brutal measures of physical pressure without sufficient justification. The systematically cruel police officers make up only a small part of the police force. They are subject to numerous complaints, but the silence of colleagues and the bias of internal police investigations hide them from responsibility. The victim, who seeks redress, faces obstacles at every stage of the process, from open intimidation to the unwillingness of the local and federal prosecutors to take cases against the illegal and excessive use of force by the police.

The police brutality in the USA has recently become a dangerous trend. Often police officers build up negative feelings towards certain races, sexes, or religions. The racial issue continues to play a central role in police abuses. Despite the progress made since the civil rights movement for the equality of the 1950s and 1960s, one area remains difficult to change: it is a police behavior with representatives of racial minorities. This still remains the big problem for the society. Policemen expose members of ethnic minorities to discriminatory treatment, unlawfully apply physical force to them and allow racist statements. Every new case of police brutality against African-Americans, Hispanics or other minorities – and especially cases covered in the media – further reinforces the current belief that some citizens are particularly abused and racially discriminated. 1146 and 1093 people were killed by the police in 2016 and 2015 in the USA respectively. Police have brutalized black and Latino people as a means of consolidating and advancing white supremacy.

In the United States, the cases when police use excessive force are very often revealed through good surveillance technologies and an active community of online activists and civil rights advocates. Although this creates problems among police officers, at the same time it allows disclosing cases of police brutality that might remain hidden. There is no effective system of bringing perpetrators to justice and informing citizens about such cases. Usually, the police do not investigate human rights violations, and the perpetrators escape punishment; there are obstacles to the implementation of justice.

Racial and sexual minorities had been victims of police brutality in the United States for many years. Just one percent of complaints about police using excessive force are acted upon in central New Jersey, according to an investigation by Courier News and the Home News Tribune. The government needs to make a serious structural reform, and recognize this. Law enforcement officers don’t get to interpret the law or decide what is excessive and what isn’t; rules should do that.

Rodney King beating – the first known case of brutality in the USA. The first and probably one of the most famous cases in America related to the police use excessive force occurred back in 1992 in Los Angeles when a video recording where five policemen beat an unarmed African American with batons was released. This incident became known due the fact that all five policemen were fully justified. The public confidence in the police has fallen greatly.

And then mass protests began, which turned into riots lasted for 3 days and lead to 53 people died, along with catastrophic levels of property damage and looting. This prompted the authorities to take action and, as a result, 4 out of 5 were brought to justice, and the Los Angeles Police Department undertook a series of reforms. After this incident, the police brutality stepped over the threshold. The cases when police use excessive force began to concern those on whom they were directly affected and also became widely covered in the press. Before Rodney King, only a few knew about such cases, and there were only a few such videos. But such videos will not lead to the disappearance of racist police brutality. The reports about the brutality against people are rarely shown on TV in the USA, and they focus on young, innocent victims. But still, such cases are becoming more and more well-known in society.

One of the most recent incidents where police exceed authority happened in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. The murder of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white policeman Darron Wilson caused a wave of mass protests, revealing the deep-seated problems of the American justice system that has not still eradicated racial contradictions.

For disobeying the demands to move to the pavement from the roadway of the street, Braun was shot by Wilson. The non-involvement of Wilson in criminal responsibility has exacerbated the situation. The unsuccessful attempt to introduce a state of emergency and curfew in Ferguson led to mass skirmishes of protesters with police and National Guard units, which were transferred to the city. The protests against police brutality began last year in dozens of US cities. Hundreds of people were arrested. In connection with the police using excessive force against the demonstrators, the US President was strongly criticized for the militarization of police. In response to criticism, a revision of federal programs began, in which the municipal police units were supplied with military equipment – military aircraft, grenade launchers, tactical vehicles equipped with weapons. This equipment was intended to be used by the US police force against its own people. US President Barack Obama and his Administration condemned the riots and assured that the murder of a teenager would be thoroughly investigated.

No matter what law enforcement officers do, including violence against children, they rarely face criminal charges, much less jail. And this fact must be changed. Due to growing number victims of police brutality, it is crucial to find the solution how to stop these actions. Serious human rights violations continue, numerous obstacles do not allow accountable police officers to be brought to justice, and this impunity allows them to continue the violence.


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