Every day in the United States, police officers receive training and are given guidelines on using force when they are employed. However, most of these police officers can’t distinguish between appropriate force and excessive force and when the two should be used. Today in our society, police brutality has been an ongoing issue that has resulted from the constant use of excessive force when in most cases it isn’t necessary. Another result of this is the amount of African-American males who have been targeted and killed because police officers don’t know when it is appropriate to use a certain level of force on a “suspect”.
The term “excessive force” hasn’t been exactly defined but according to an article from U.S. Legal, “Excessive force is the use of force greater than that which a reasonable and prudent law enforcement would use under the circumstances is generally considered to be excessive.” In most cases police officers aren’t very sensible nor reasonable if most are quick to put suspects in a choke-hold or beat them to death before accusing them of an illegal act. U.S. Legal has proved that excessive force is a violation of a person’s constitutional rights. After all, if you beat someone to death they can’t explain their side of the story.
Also, it has been proven by a numerous amount of statistics that excessive force has been mainly used upon African-American males. Unarmed African-American males. Very counterintuitive. The findings of USA Today stated “White officers kill black suspects twice a week in the United States, or an average of 96 times a year.” Also, “18 percent of the black suspects were under the age of 21 when killed by the police, as opposed to to just 8.7% of white suspects.” This demonstrates a result of when excessive force has gone too far, after all most police officers should be cautious when applying force to a human being but it is evident police officers don’t know how much force should be applied.
Overall, it is extremely important for police officers to establish the difference between appropriate force and excessive force. Especially when an officer is in the process of arresting a suspect, if the suspect isn’t armed or attacking the officer back excessive force certainly does not need to be used. Once officers can distinguish the difference in levels of force there will be less males killed due to police brutality. In most cases, less African-American males killed since they have been the troubling result of police brutality for the last few years.
“Excessive Force Law & Legal Definition.” Excessive Force Law & Legal Definition. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
Garcia, Pablo, and O. Wallace. WiseGeek. Conjecture, 26 Sept. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
“One Troubling Statistic Shows Just How Racist America’s Police Brutality Problem Is.” Mic. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.