Prevalent Background Information Over the recent years, police have been one of the organizations to be associated with the largest cases of misconduct. Police brutality can be termed as the process of misuse and abuse of authority by the police. The rising cases of police brutality are causing more harm to the public, compared to the actions perpetrated by real criminals. Although police claim that it’s sometimes necessary to curb crime, the process is illegal and police officers should be charged Just like any other criminal offender.
It should be the responsibility of the Justice system to establish effective travesties to deal with the rolling Illegal stateless In order to restore public trust In the law enforcement authorities. The police, the group with the responsibility of protecting citizens, commit illegal activities. Individuals engaged in law enforcement activities can define police brutality as the process of using excessive force.
In addition to the abuse of power by the police force, the term is also used to illustrate the misuse of power by Individuals in the municipal, correctional facilities and other faceless subjected to reforming and retaining criminals. In a case reported In the ear 2011, SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team, killed a 31 year old man In a mistaken identity (Roberts 1). It is evident that several law enforcement individuals have been conducting careless investigations.
It is evident that these cases are rarely reported either because the victims are uninformed of their rights, or the victim is afraid that same police who committed the misconduct in the first place will also be involved In Investigating the abuse cases. By the year 2011, there were over 470, 000 reported cases of police brutality, that could be easily located on the Internet Roberts 1). Although people are gradually being encouraged to report abuse cases, the numbers have not decreased.
Compared to the level of crime and the reported criminal activities, it shows that the public is usually at risk of being attacked by a police officer than a real criminal (Johnson 365). This means that police are becoming some of the individuals highly involved in criminal activities. Various Forms of Police Brutality The longstanding perception Is that police brutality Involves only physical assaults. However, the term can also mean psychological assault, abuse and other forms of issue of power.
Some of the remarkable forms of police brutality involve false arrests and accusing the wrong person. In addition, intimidation and police profiling can also be considered police brutality, since it involves intrusion into the rights and the property of individuals. Physical brutality is one of the most widespread, and in most cases, Individuals are subjected to torture and other physical harm. Ordinarily, people do not consider the various harsh treatments, being hit with police batons and being pressed by the police shield as part of police brutality.
In most cases, people sustain very bad injuries from some activities of the police. Psychological brutality is mostly brought about by verbal abuses and subjecting the public to inappropriate conditions. Psychological intimidation may also occur in situations where the police are holding a suspect and they subject him or her to threats on temporary psychological breakdown. In most cases, the reported cases are only those involving physical assaults, mostly because there is usually enough evidence to charge the involved personnel.
Causes of brutality One of the main causes of police brutality is the authority vested in the police officers y their superiors, to ensure that law is enforced when necessary. When police officers are given the option to chose when to, and when not to, use excessive force, they end up abusing the power of choice by making the wrong decisions even when dealing with petty crimes. In addition, police may gradually develop some dislike for lawbreakers, especially in situations where the surroundings are full of criminals.
Police officers in a crime prone region and in areas with extreme rowdy criminal behavior may develop some degree of dislike for the law breakers and their approach to dealing with the criminals may be brutal. In such situations, the police officers enforcing law and order act based on their emotions rather than their professional expectations. The gradual dislike leads the police officers to always contemplate on ending the rising crime and in the end; they find themselves using excessive force, even in situations where force was not needed.
The SWAT team is one response unit that is trained and psychologically prepared to deal with tough and resisting criminals. In addition, the response team is issued with specific orders to use excessive force when necessary; especially if they note that, the criminals are ungenerous and may harm others. The above reasons police have also been known to use excessive force is because they think that they are above the law. Due to the power vested in the police to deal with all types of crimes and to carry weapons, they soon develop the notion that they are above the law and end up misusing their powers instead of protecting the public.
In addition to the feeling of being above the law, there are no practical and effective internal accountability mechanisms to regulate the excessive use of force by the police officers. Many police officers take advantage of the fact that many member of the public are uninformed of their rights and they therefore subject themselves to harm, on the basis that they are above the law. Lack of internal investigation procedures, especially due to solidarity, makes the police force lack effective internal investigative structures to check the misuse of powers by the police officers.
In most cases, police may feel mandated by the blue codes to protect fellow police officers in case they are involved in criminal activities (Isoclinic 7). Blue codes is a code of silence amongst police officers. In such instances, the criminal is always perceived to be wrong and any action taken by the police is justified based on the existing police cultures. In most cases, police departments are established under tight and strong hierarchical models that make it hard to implement ethical decision processes (Owens and Prefer 7).
This means that the decisions to engage, or not to engage, in brutal activities when dealing with the public are not clear, In addition to the faults in the system, the other issues that lead to police brutality may include psychological and behavioral backgrounds of the law enforcement officers. In most cases, police are left to deal with criminals, while still suffering from psychological and sociological disengagement. Some of the reasons committed. In addition, some officers claim that they act under authority of the senior police officers.
Although these reasons can be possible, they do not Justify the actions on the public, who trust the police officers for protection. Civil rights Some of the legislations protecting the public against police brutality include the Fourth Amendment that protects citizens against unwarranted searches and seizures ND if an individual feels that the rights have been violated, they should immediately report to the relevant authorities. In addition to the fourth amendment, the Civil Rights Act 1871 protects the public from being harassed or mistreated in anyway whatsoever by the police.
The law, which was enacted to protect the minority groups fighting for their rights, however exempts the public from making claims on brutality in section 42 of the 1983, edition (Civil Rights Division 1). The other legislation protecting the public against police brutality is the fourteenth amendment that establishes equality irrespective of responsibility vested by the law. Citizens have the right to have a fair trial and the police should not take it upon themselves to pass judgment and incriminate a suspect without going through the appropriate Justice process.
The above legislations protect the public from police brutality by stating the rights of an individual, even when they perpetrate a crime. In case an individual is armed, it should be the responsibility of the police officer to disarm the criminal with minimal possible injury. This civil rights establish the boundaries and ensures that Alice act within their vested powers. In case of any brutality, individuals are encouraged to report the incident like any other crime in order to get the required support.
Solutions to police brutality One of the groups that have come forth to protect the public against police brutality is the Amnesty International. This organization has been vibrant in identifying the rampant cases and in pressuring the government to establish internal strategies to deal with the ever-rising police brutality. The organization also identifies and releases reports indicating the prevailing police brutality in different regions. The external agencies notwithstanding, it should be the responsibility of each member of the public to ensure that they understand their rights and to report abuse cases as soon as they occur.
In addition, the societal based cop-watch group should also ensure that the crimes are reported and conduct a follow up on the reported cases to ensure that Justice is served. The police departments should also establish flexible and effective accountability strategies that incriminates any police officers abusing power, and ethical guidelines should be enacted to prevent the police officers from purporting their own based on the existing cultures (Civil Rights Division 1). The justice system should also be strengthened to ensure that police law breakers are not left unpunished.
The investigators of police brutality should be from independent bodies to avoid biasness during investigations. Since it has been a common trend for police officers to support their fellow officers over the criminals, the Justice system should set up an independent body to evaluate the operations of required. The government should also start an awareness campaign to educate the public about their rights and to explain about the appropriate channels for airing grievances associated with police brutality.