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Police Brutality as a Law Enforcement Challenge Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 4th, 2021

Introduction

Police brutality is a divisive and serious problem affecting many countries across the globe. The issue is usually against human rights and liberties. Police have been reported to have abused suspects unfairly. Supervisors in charge of violent officers fail to penalize or act decisively. The discussion below gives a detailed analysis of this problem.

Context of the Challenge

Alang, McAlpine, McCreedy, and Hardeman (2017) indicate that law enforcement officers engage in malpractices that amount to a violation of human rights. Such challenges are common in rural and urban regions in the country. These abuses are committed by federal agents, state police, and officers. According to Wahl (2014), many law enforcers engage in severe beatings and unjustified shootings. Some even treat specific suspects indecently. The problem has persisted due to the ineffectiveness of different leaders.

The history of this challenge has been informed by the social and economic issues revolving around race relations in this country. Police brutality was used against marginalized races from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Laborers who engaged in strikes were targeted by the police. They could be brutalized and arrested without a valid reason (Wahl, 2014). The problem continued during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Individuals from minority groups continue to face this challenge.

Several policy decisions have led to the present situation. Existing law enforcement laws guide the behavior and practice of officers. They also dictate how criminals can be identified, arrested, and prosecuted. However, such policy decisions have not compelled the police to act ethically and promote citizens’ rights (Alang et al., 2017). They are also not implemented in accordance with the dictates of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Addressing the Problem

Several reasons explain why this challenge should be addressed. The first one is that police brutality creates an ineffective environment for proper law enforcement. Secondly, it is associated with increased levels of racism. The issue also promotes stereotypes whereby minority groups are viewed as criminals (Alang et al., 2017). Dominant races in states affected by police brutality might continue to justify the malpractice. Finally, community policing cannot be implemented efficiently when malpractice still exists.

Internal and External Impacts

Police brutality has been observed to impact some individuals externally or internally. To begin with, officers who abuse different citizens find it hard to relate positively with workmates from minority races. Supervisors and leaders in different police departments never deliver positive results. Externally, the malpractice impacts the lives of many victims (Desmond, Papachristos, & Kirk, 2016). Members of the community also lose trust with different law enforcement agencies or departments. Individuals from minority groups are usually unable to achieve their potential due to malpractice.

Personal Opinion

I believe that this problem is yet to be resolved. The disparate treatment by different officers based on a person’s race explains why this is the case. Individuals who die in police-related shootings come from minority races such as African Americans. The number of unexplainable shootings, severe beatings, and mistreatments continues to be reported in the country. These malpractices have also been supported by the state’s ineffective and discriminatory criminal justice system (Desmond et al., 2016). It is also evident that some people from different racial groups might be unable to receive adequate support from law enforcers. Those who commit such offenses tend to be acquitted depending on their racial backgrounds. In conclusion, adequate measures and initiatives should be considered to deal with this problem and support all citizens equally.

References

Alang, S., McAlpine, D., McCreedy, E., & Hardeman, R. (2017). Police brutality and Black health: Setting the agenda for public health scholars. American Journal of Public Health, 107(5), 662-665. Web.

Desmond, M., Papachristos, A. V., & Kirk, D. S. (2016). Police violence and citizen crime reporting in the Black community. American Sociological Review, 81(5), 857-876. Web.

Wahl, R. (2014). Justice, context, and violence: Law enforcement officers on why they torture. Law and Society Review, 48(4), 807-836. Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Police Brutality as a Law Enforcement Challenge." July 4, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-brutality-as-a-law-enforcement-challenge/.


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IvyPanda. "Police Brutality as a Law Enforcement Challenge." July 4, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-brutality-as-a-law-enforcement-challenge/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Police Brutality as a Law Enforcement Challenge." July 4, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/police-brutality-as-a-law-enforcement-challenge/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Police Brutality as a Law Enforcement Challenge'. 4 July.

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