Police work is a dangerous job, and police are more than likely to be put into situations when excessive force is needed. But, sometimes police use excessive force for their own personal reasons, such as, racism. The issue of police officers using excessive force may or may not be of great concern, but it should be looked into by both the police and the public. Because some officers use excessive force in situations when it is not needed, police brutality should be addressed. Some may feel as if excessive force is needed when dealing with the so-called criminal.
The majority of these people are stuck in the mindset that all police officers are here to help and the amount of force is based upon the victim. This is an example of what people on the opposing side have to say. Author Lan Loft stated on police brutality; “Policeman have a difficult but very important role within our society – to ‘serve and protect’. The very nature of their position at the front-line means they often find themselves in the most violent of situations. Such dangerous situations rely on instinct and even self-defense to keep situations from getting out of hand. (Loft). This statement may be partially true, but does self defense require an officer to take a situation to the extreme? Another opposing statement was made by author Summer Tyme. “Never having been a police officer, I can only go by what I have seen on the news, law enforcement shows and my own personal experience in my community. I think they are given a hard enough job without being accused of police brutality each time some criminal gets a bruise. ”(Tyme). This authors’ statement is a prime example of the mindset I explained earlier in this paragraph.
It also gives me all the more reason to express reasons for having views against police brutality. I am against police brutality and feel that excessive force is not always needed. For the people who are opposing of this topic, here is a startling fact. “In Tampa Bay, Florida, five men died while in the custody of the Tampa Bay police Department. ” (C. C. 27). At that time, the Tampa Bay Police Department was run by the majority of Caucasians; the men who died were not all African American. Four of the five men were African Americans, the other of Mexican nationality.
No, this does not state that the police were at fault, but neither does it state what actually occurred to these five men. Giving me reason to believe the police had something to do with the death of these men. In the online article What Arguments Are Against Police Brutality it states police brutality normally consists of three general topics; “1) the police job is to enforce the law and bring the perpetrator to justice… not to assume guilt or innocence. 2) The police look bad when they use police brutality. It is a poor role model for behavior.
People can think, well… if the police can beat people up, why can’t I? 3) Most important it sends a terrible message to others about the credibility (believability) of the system or state which allows police brutality to happen. Therefore, if police brutality becomes acceptable in a place, over time the public becomes aware of this and ends up ostracizing (avoiding) the state or area in which this occurs. Eventually the public trust in the legal system is undermined when police brutality is allowed to continue. In New York City, an average of seven Latin Americans were killed a year, between the years 1986 to 1989. In 1990 that number increased greatly. In that year, twenty-three Latin Americans were killed by police gunfire. When asked how he felt about racism being involved in police brutality, Yussuf Naimkly of the University of Regina commented: “Excessive police force against blacks has always been tolerated, because as a formally enslaved minority African Americans are trapped in a cultural context specifically designed to inhibit their development and thus minimize their threat to white hegemony” (C.
C. 72) Executive Director of Police Misconduct Lawyers Referral Service Karol Heppe commented, “Brutality against minorities is a daily occurrence in Los Angeles,” (C. C. 36) These are examples that show my opponents that police brutality is real and people are recognizing it. Whether or not a person believes police brutality is a serious problem, it must be stopped. In some cases, where more force is needed than in others, it is still there. Even in areas where police and the use of excessive force is not a huge problem, it must be decreased properly by both the police and the public.
Here an opponent argues that police officers are only human and lose their tempers. “Everyone agrees that the daily life of a cop is a difficult one. The worst scenario is that every time he/she leaves home, there’s the chance he/she will not live to come home again. Today’s cop, unlike those of previous generations, is trained thoroughly to use force only when there is danger of injury or death. This applies to protecting all civilians who may be in the path of dangerous persons or drivers, the cop’s own life, as well as the lives of people causing the danger. (Sherman). I agree with this statement but at the same time police officers are trained to keep their personal gestures and tempers under control while on the job. If not, how ca new trust a police officer to protect us or any other person for that matter. In conclusion, the opponent made some good points. All police officers do not use excessive force when dealing with a situation; but some officers do allow their tempers and personal issues to get the best of them and their jobs.
Works Cited Sumithomas-20. What arguments are aginst police brutality. <http://wiki. answers. com/Q/What_arguments_are_against_police brutality>. Berands, Neal, and Joanne Buggey. Brutality: Recognizing Sterotypes. Greenhaven Press, 1994. Tyme, Summer, and Lan Loft, and Ted Sherman. Understanding Opposing Viewpoints on Police Brutality (2002): 1-1. <http://www. helium. com/items/807164-understanding-opposing-viewpoints-on-police-brutality>.