Every day in the United States, police candidates receive training and are given guidelines on using force prior to their employment. However, even the best training won’t change the core personalities that some officers have and the repercussion of this is the engagement in brutal behavior that injures and cause the death of suspects. These brutal behaviors come from police officers frequent use of excessive force even when suspects do not demonstrate that they need it to control them. The term “excessive force” has yet to be 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.”
According to Mapping Police Violence, a research collaborative website that contains information on police killings nationwide, the estimated number of people killed in the United States in 2014 due to police brutality was 1,149 and so far in 2015, 1,046 cases has been reported according to the Guardian. These statistics demonstrate that our law enforcement cannot handle most suspects and are abusing their authority as they resort to using excessive force that leads to suspects being badly beaten or dead.
When people think of police brutality they never seem to focus on the impacts of it and how dangerous they are. When our police officers continue to engage in these brutal behaviors they aren’t only injuring and killing suspects but they degrade and dehumanize them as well. According to No Bullying, an online forum aimed at educating and advising to stop bullying, “When an officer dehumanizes their victim, it helps them to avoid feelings of guilt when it comes to using violence.” No Bullying also states that when they avoid the feelings of guilt, they convince themselves that the object of their actions are less than human. This results in officers feeling better about hurting suspects when they are beating, choking and killing them. Never do they take full responsibility for their actions, instead they might make a remark like “They deserved it!”
Police brutality continues throughout the United States and shows how our police officers don’t use what they have learned from training, beat, kill and dehumanize victims and in most cases direct the brutality towards minorities. Often when the topic of police brutality is discussed, many find it impractical to avoid the topic of race and how the legal system is bias towards minority cases of brutality. Unfortunately, many cases prove this bias such as Eric Garner who was placed in a choke-hold and killed, Michael Brown who was shot and killed and the infamous Rodney King who was severely beaten. All these cases of brutality were done by white officers on unarmed African-American men. Although racism isn’t the only factor in many cases of police brutality, the outcome has a serious impact on the African-American community and all who have to witness it.
Overall, it is extremely important for police officers to know when excessive force should be used and even more crucial for them to recognize the damage it causes. Also, extremely evident that our law enforcement lacks using their training but even more evident that they find no accountability in injuring, killing and dehumanizing victims and targeting certain minority groups. Police brutality can cause long-term effects of psychological disorders derived from the violence, angering the African-American community and as well as murdering hundreds of citizens per year. As this violence continues to go on more people are hostile towards police officers, even ones who haven’t committed such crimes are still considered to be the enemy. These hostile attitudes allow new officers to enter the field anxious as they over-react to anything that can be interpreted as a threat which drive them to use excessive force.
“Excessive Force Law & Legal Definition.” Excessive Force Law & Legal Definition. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
“The Counted: People Killed By Police in the US.” The Guardian. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.
“One Troubling Statistic Shows Just How Racist America’s Police Brutality Problem Is.”Mic. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
“Police Brutality: 5 Things You Didn’t Know|NoBullying|.” NoBullyingBullying CyberBullying Resources. 30 Jan. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.
“25 Shocking Facts About the Epidemic of Police Brutality in America.” Mic. Web. 13 Nov. 2015