Police Here lately we have been seeing more and more cases of police brutality in the news. Sadly, this phenomenon seems to be sweeping the nation, and we aren’t exactly sure why there has been an increase, or how to make these cases stop.
The police force is meant to protect us from those who break the law. They are supposed to uphold the law, and unfortunately, lately, we have heard more and more that the police have been abusing their power and mistreating the people they are supposed to be protecting. This is most unsettling because we rely on them to keep us safe from harm, but now we have reason to fear them.
Police misconduct is the umbrella term that brutality falls under, which includes false imprisonment, false arrest, and racial profiling. There have always been those who when they find themselves in places of power that choose to abuse their power. Even in countries that prosecute offenders of police misconduct you still find those who choose to not uphold their duties that they swore to uphold.
Police are allowed, legally, to use force in the line of duty. The public and even their bosses expect them to do so. But there is a line that has been crossed, and we find that it happens more often in times of major social and political movements. Even the UN committee against torture has condemned the use of excessive violence, in particular by the police force.
But in some cases, the police who are supposed to uphold the law begin to feel that they are above the law. This is because they spend so much time working largely with people who break the law, and they begin to feel a sense of authority over the general public.
The easy way out is to blame the use of excessive force on the “bad apples” of the group. This allows us to place blame on individuals instead of looking at the way they are trained and how they are taught to deal with the pressures of the job. Instead of continued training and counseling, we shun those who have had to use legitimate force in the line of duty and do not teach them how to deal with the stresses of the job.
If you mix these feelings of being above the law with the fact that they are not being provided the proper training on how to deal with the stresses of the job, you create a volatile mix. Add to this the feelings of social unrest that the country is currently going through, and it is no surprise that police brutality is on the rise. You have officers who feel they are above the law and not provided the proper training to deal with the violence they see on a day to day basis.
Regardless of what their reasonings may be behind why they have done, it does not excuse the fact that they are in positions of power and abusing it. There is no legitimate reason to engage in police brutality.
We must find ways to stop police violence and engage in training that puts our police back in a light of respect.