?Lucy Sanchez English 1302 Mr. Gonzalez 8 April 2009 Police Brutality Draft Who can forget the Los Angeles riots and the Rodney King beating in 1991? This case of police brutality was the most widely known. Over the years, it seems that police abuse remains one of the most serious human rights violations in the United States. It makes the people wonder if in fact police officers are doing their job and if they are here to protect us. Police officers get away with unjustified shootings, fatal choking, rough treatments, and severe beatings.
Police brutality needs to be addressed and there has to be harsher punishment to minimize the amount of police brutality that happens. A punishment that they can receive for their brutality is harsher sentencing and job dismissals. If such a case should go to court the judge and jurors should sentence the police officer. If the case was minor then the chief of police or someone in charge. There is not a day that goes by that somewhere in the United States that an innocent civilian gets beaten from a police officer for no apparent reason. Sometimes the reason is because a police officer is racist.
Racism, discrimination, and police brutality all go hand in hand because police officers usually do not go around beating civilians up for no reason. Usually the motive is because they are racist. The most major race that was affected by police brutality seems to be Caucasian people but according to the “NAACP, they say that between 1976 and 1987, officers killed about 1,800 blacks and 3,000 whites. Since blacks comprise approximately 12% of the general population, the data suggest that blacks are about three times more likely to be killed by officers than whites”.
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These appalling numbers are probably on the rise. It seems that there is no escape for police brutality because it can happen to anyone not just African Americans or Caucasians. Although, mostly Africans Americans are targeted it can happen to any other race. Police officers feel because they are the law they can do whatever they please. They feel that they are above the law. My father, who is now deceased, was a victim of police brutality. It was about eight years ago when the Garden Grove police department of California barged in my dad’s apartment around three in the morning with a warrant.
The first thing I remember was when he was slightly beaten with their hands to arrest him. My younger brother and I were watching the whole thing and the police new we were there. So how could they even think about doing this in front of us? I asked my father when I visited him in jail,” Why do cops treat people this way? ” He simply said,’’ they think they are above the law and they have no respect for Mexicans”. (Ruben Paz). When he told me this I never liked police officers no matter who they were. I hated them with a passion. I assumed they were racist.
This kind of police brutality may not have been that severe but the case with Rodney King it was without a doubt. One reason that this incident of police brutality is so famous is because it was captured on tape. Watching this tape may be hard to watch because it is obviously seen that Rodney is defenseless and has no weapon, yet he is surrounded by six or seven police officers that are beating him to death with their nightsticks. Many agree that this was no regular traffic stop. The police officers that took part in this brutality at first were not punished at all.
That is what caused the riots because people were very angry that those police officers could get away with such a crime, especially because it was caught on videotape. Later, according to Los Angeles Times, after taking a second look at the tape, two officers were sentenced to prison for violating Rodney King’s rights. The aftermath of this videotape was that people were not safe. African Americans were afraid of police officers and knew they were a target every time. While driving, walking, or even standing on a corner they are a target no matter where they go.
When a victim has evidence that a police officer had assaulted or beat them in some way, that is proof and all they need to convict the police officer. In many cases, when this is brought to court or police department the punishment they give the police officers for their brutality is verbal reprimands, reprimand letters, suspensions, or dismissals. These punishments should be harder depending on the severity of the case. For example, according to facts. com, a police officer was not charged for the brutality he caused on an innocent civilian.
His only punishment was a couple days suspension and he was back to work. Many police officers get this type if treatment. It is rare that an actual police officer gets convicted and sentenced to jail. Police officers should serve time behind bars to teach them a lesson. They should be treated just like the rest of the civilians. One right punishment an officer received for his brutality is eighteen months in jail and three years of probation. Michael Singleton, which was a police officer for Maywood police Department in California, rammed a civilian’s head against a wall.
The victim Jose Bernal was knocked unconscious, his nose was broken, and suffered temporary paralysis to one side of his face (Los Angeles Times). This type of punishment that Michael Singleton received is very rare because he was actually convicted. After so many cases reported of police brutality many cannot beat he system. Because police officers are above us in law we cannot win. We can if we have hard evidence o them, but sometimes even that cannot help us because of the corruption inside police departments.
In order to decrease the amount of brutalities we have to first define the barriers of what is brutality and what is their job as police officers. Another way can result in more constant training and better use of force training and policies. When people are in trouble and the only number they can call for help is 911 we sometimes think about it twice before we call. How can we be afraid to even call the police department? Has it in fact changed the way we think about police officers? They are supposedly here to serve and protect but how can we believe that when they are committing crimes themselves?
Police brutality is no joke. One question I have been asking myself for a very long time is, “Who can police the police? ” it may not make sense but to me it does. How can they be trusted when they are the law? They should not be above it but they act as if they are. Of course not all police officers are bad. Some are police officers because they are here to serve and protect those that cannot protect themselves. It is safe to say that there are some good cops but more sure that there are more bad cops. It is a sad thing but only my opinion based on the experiences I have encountered with them.
In the past I used to hate cops but I learned to know that some could be trusted. Even though, police brutality will never stop and that is a known fact, I will always keep my guard up. Works Cited Los Angeles Times. 18 October 2008.. "Police Brutality. " Issues & Controversies On File 3 Oct. 2003. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services. 9 Apr. 2009 . "Police Corruption. " Issues & Controversies On File 30 Apr. 2004. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services. 7 Apr. 2009 . Rodney King. 2007. video. 12 April 2009. .
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