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Social Psychology: Police Brutality Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 28th, 2021

Solutions

The first group of solutions to the problem of police brutality includes technical measures, such as the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras. Such an approach would benefit police officers and civilians alike since it would facilitate decision-making based on accurate information. On the one hand, the recording can support justified complaints, and, on the other hand, it allows to “exonerate an officer who is… accused of wrongdoing” without due reason (Carter, 2017, p. 553). However, this solution would only function effectively if the recordings are “released as soon as possible” to prevent the accumulation of civil discontent in potentially dividing cases (Carter, 2017, p. 553). To ensure such a swift reaction, organizational changes in the police are also necessary.

An example of an organizational change that is essential for curbing or preventing police brutality is gradually undermining the police code of loyalty. The phrase refers to the organization-wide code of conduct stressing the obligation to support a fellow officer that passes own from one generation of the organization members to another (Masur & McAdams, 2018). Since such norms are mostly unsusceptible to change from within, it is necessary to assault them from outside.

To achieve that, police departments and prosecutors’ offices must investigate police misconduct uncompromisingly and also pursue “police officers who help to cover up misconduct” (Masur & McAdams, 2018, p. 153). A critical prerequisite of this solution is appointing special prosecutors for the cases of police brutality to eliminate potential bias rooted in the close cooperation between police departments and local prosecutors (Carter, 2017, p. 552). If investigations of police misconduct are not aggressive and independent at the same time, prosecution of the officers who use excessive force will remain impeded.

Finally, another potential solution to police brutality is the diversification of the police force. Carter (2017) points out that police departments that are “more reflective of the communities they patrol” decrease the risks or police brutality occurring (p. 553). Gender diversification of the police force is an especially promising measure in this respect. According to Bergman, Walker, and Jean (2016), who study the issue from the perspective of organizational psychology, female officers are “less likely to engage in extreme use of force” than their male counterparts (p. 591). Considering this observation, training and employing higher percentages of female police officers may reduce the potential for conflict and the likelihood of police brutality.

Conclusion

Police brutality is a global issue that occurs all over the world, affects many countries, including the United Arab Emirates, and demands corresponding solutions to reduce or eliminate. The majority of statistical data characterizing police brutality comes from America. In The United States, police officers engage in excessive use of force, especially against minorities, such as African Americans or Latinos. In Brazil, the problem of police brutality is even more acute in relative terms.

The studies based in these cases demonstrate that, apart from the purely physical effects, policy brutality also leaves a negative psychological impact on the disproportionally targeted communities be triggering a “fight or flight” response. Police brutality occurs in the United Arab Emirates as well, manifesting in beatings, denial of medical aid, threats of rape, and coercion. Possible solutions addressing the issue include body and dashboard cameras, the gradual undermining of the informal codes of loyalty, and diversification of the police departments.

References

Bergman, L. E., Walker, J. M., & Jean, V. A. (2016). A simple solution to policing problems: Women! Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 9(3), 590-597.

Carter, C.A. (2017). Police brutality, the law & today’s social justice movement: How the lack of police accountability has fueled #hashtag activism. City University of New York Law Review, 20(2), 521-557.

Masur, J., & McAdams, R. H. (2018). Police violence in The Wire. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 2018, 139-161.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Social Psychology: Police Brutality." June 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-psychology-police-brutality/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Social Psychology: Police Brutality'. 28 June.

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