Police Brutality is a controversial subject that is talked about often in America. Often times race, or being of a certain minority has a big impact on this. We hear about racial issues all the time that occur between Police Officers, and a citizen who couldn’t help the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, or the religion they practice. Police Brutality is not indeed inevitable though. Things can be done to fix this, there could be better monitorization of the police officers. Technology also helps so that people can be held much more accountable. There have been certain acts of police brutality that have been caught and publicized. Shedding light on these issues, does everyone a huge justice. There are so many ways for fixing and/or improving police brutality . Activism is among the many important ways that issues like police brutality are resolved.
An example of activism that has been very important is the Black Lives Matter movement. According to an article from “Brookings.edu”, Black Lives matter protests as much more likely to happen in areas where police violence has been a significant issue. This shows that members of the community have tried to fight against issues with police in a nonviolent and civil manner. Although members of the community have worked hard to try and improve police brutality issues, it is hard to know whether Police forces are working hard for this also.
A program that has been a great advocate for the improvement of the relationship between police and citizens is called “Campaign Zero”. Campaign Zero introduces numerous solutions to improve police brutality. It also provides a lot of facts about police that many people are unaware of. A small example of something their website mentions is that Police can prohibit people from recording them. This seems unreasonable, and unsensible.
In a section of Campaign Zero’s website called “Fair Police Contracts”, they talk about many corrupt policies that are in place to protect police officers. Officers are given many privileges in the judicial system that citizens aren’t. Police officers can wait 48 hours after an incident without being interrogated, they can decide not to take a lie detector, and often times have a “statute of limitations” on complaints against them. This means that officers can’t be held accountable if an issue with them isn’t reported within 100 days of it happening.
Often times people would consider police brutality to be a result of things like racial profiling, and prejudice. Although this is true, police departments around the country are arguing they are trying to improve this. They claim that new policing techniques have allowed for an improved relationship between them and the community. According to Steve Erly from Yes Magazine, “More communities are now taking a closer look at what’s going on in their own police departments and whether it meets their needs, including on issues involving race and diversity,”. A major issue that we face here in Philadelphia is that Police officers are “Stopping and Frisking” people based on their appearance. In order to fix this, high-up law officials claim they are putting the proper policies in place in order to ensure patrol officers aren’t overstepping their boundaries.
In recent years, police have began to use new technology, and Body cams have become mainstream among police officers. Police officers often times feel that the Body cams provide them protection, and keep them safer. Other police officers don’t like the body cams, because they allow for constant watch and observation of them. In general it seems that police officers are held more accountable. There are some officers that will take advantage of the body cam, and use it as a method in order to intimidate members of the community in which they are interacting with. It seems that as time progresses, and the training in which police officers receive regulations will be much better. Body cams will provide security for citizens rights when it comes to dealing with authorities. This will lead to a much more comfortable environment for both Police officers and citizens.
It seems that a negative connotation has been formed around police officers especially in minority neighborhoods. It also seems like the role of police in these neighborhoods is made into something it shouldn’t be. The technical role of an officer is to maintain safety, and public order. Sometimes it seems like police officers are taking advantage of the authority they are given. In general there is a lot of responsibility given to a police officer. Many police officers are phenomenal, and typically have ‘the people’s’ best interests in mind. Their are a few that could get distracted from that at times. Their job’s require them to be ethical and uphold the law. In certain communities they have a terrible time connecting with the community. Especially in high crime, and low income areas.
In conclusion, it can be determined that there are multiple reasons communities have a tough time forming a relationship with the police. Police are often times not held accountable in necessary ways. It seems as if the law doesn’t apply to them entirely. Police forces in different places, and cities around the country are taking different approaches to try and fix this. Certain major confrontations between the police, and people in society could have been avoided.
Williamson, Vanessa, and Vanessa Williamson. “New Data Show That Police Violence Predicts Black Lives Matter Protests.” Brookings, Brookings, 17 May 2018, www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/05/17/new-data-show-that-police-violence-predicts-black-lives-matter-protests/.“Solutions.” Campaign Zero, Wetheprotestors, www.joincampaignzero.org/solutions#oversight.