The Problem of Police Brutality Persuasive Essay by Nicky

The Problem of Police Brutality
A discussion on the why police brutality is such a problem today.
# 148712 | 991 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 03, 2011 in Criminology (Public and Crime) , Criminology (General)

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The paper discusses how because police brutality is difficult to define, and therefore difficult to prosecute, and because it has a racist element, police brutality is an incredible problem in the United States. The paper contends that a more rigid definition of police brutality and accountability system is needed to ensure the safety of all citizens.

From the Paper:

"Because police work is much different than other types of work, it is more difficult to understand when a policeman is being violent and when he or she is simply doing his or her job. In fact, Adams writes, "In attempting to define excessive force there are a number of difficulties" (52). These include the fact that whether or not an incident used "excessive force" cannot be "scientifically verified" (Adams 52). Although the Supreme Court has issued a definition of extreme force, that definition takes into account many of the extenuating circumstances inherent with police work, including "whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others" and the type of crime (Adams 53). The definitions and classifications are so varied that researchers and experts estimate completely different numbers of police brutality cases (Adams 53). In other words, determining what is actually considered violence comes down to a debate among witnesses, police officers, courts, and scholars. While this evidence can be used to argue that incidents of reported police violence are actually incidents where no violence occurred, it can also be used to argue that incidents labeled non-violent had violent elements. Further, this evidence suggests that even after inquiries and hearings, one can never definitively say whether police brutality was used in an incident, as the definitions are ultimately subjective."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adams, Kenneth. "Measuring the Prevalence of Police Abuse of Force." Police Violence. Eds. William A. Geller and Hans Toch. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. 23-51.
  • Holmes, Malcom D. and Smith, Brad W. Race and Police Brutality. New York: State University of New York Press, 2008.
  • Locke, Hubert G. "The Color of Law and the Issue of Color." Continuing the Struggle for Justice. Eds. Barry Krisberg, Susan Marchionna, and Christopher Baird. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2007. 223-236.

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