The Problem with Police Brutality

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Police brutality has been going for a very long time. “Numerous studies document stark racial disparities in police maltreatment, finding that black boys and men are disproportionately subject to excessive and sometimes deadly police force, even after accounting for situational factors of the encounter and officer characteristics” (Desmond, Papachristos & Kirk, 2016). Being black or African American is so hard growing up in America. The brutality on blacks must cease. In a case where a black father addresses that his two sons were falsely arrested and brutalized by the police and the criminal justice system. This man's son's education, innocence, good citizenship and occupants, made no different to racist police and a system on white supremacy” (Kennedy, 1996). Though it is understood that police are trained and authorized to use force, even deadly force when its needed to arrest or apprehend someone who has probably committed a crime (Skolnick, 2000).

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The situation that I will be addressing in this paper is how most police easily get off when incidents of police brutality occurs. According to Park, “many high-profile cases have ended up with no charges against the officers. Statistically black Americans are significantly more likely to die at the hands of police than white, Latino and Asian Americans (Kennedy, 2016). This brutality goes back to racism and it must stop. An investigation in Ferguson showed that police constantly violated peoples fourth amendment rights by stopping people without reasonable suspicion and arresting them without probable cause (Ferguson reports, 2015).

In America police brutality on blacks has been huge problem and police are being let off easy for taking lives. In an article Katie stated “a respected school nutritionist, castile was one of 233 African Americans shot and killed by police in 2016” (Nodjimbadem, 2017). Why are blacks targeted the most when it comes to police brutality? Too many of our black man and fathers are being taken away for nothing. According to the Washington post “blacks are 2.5 more likely to be killed by police officer (Nodjimbadem, 2017). Despite the evidence and recordings of these profile cases, these police have rarely been convicted (Park, 2018). You would think that the system is to protect us all and treat us fairly regardless of your race, though the system seems to fail a lot of people. Not many officers are convicted for killing and rarely face trial.

According to Park (2018), “Between 2005 and April 2017, 80 officers had been arrested on the murder or manslaughter for on duty shootings. During that 12-year time span, 35% of the police were convicted while the rest were pending or not convicted (Park, 2018). Out of the 80 officers that had been arrested only 28 of the 80 officers were arrested. It doesn’t sound as bad when saying 35% until you do the math.Recent Developments of Police BrutalityThere are a couple of recent developments on police brutality that I will address. These first case that I will be addressing the case of officer Mohammed Noor, 32, charged with the fatal shooting of unarmed Justine Damond last July, during a bail hearing (Hendry, Barajas & Segal, 2018).

The recent development on this case is that the Minneapolis changes the body camera policy as officers awaits trials for the 2017 fatal shooting (Hendry, Barajas & Segal). The problem within this case is that Noor and Harris, which is the other officer that arrived on the scene with Noor after the 911 call did not activate their body camera until Damond was wounded. According to Hendry, Barajas & Segal (2018), the first week of April, 2018, Noor turned himself in on several charges: 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter. The same week the city of Minneapolis announced a new body camera policy. This policy required the officers to start recording video footage at least two blocks before reaching a crime and also keeping their device on throughout their shift. This policy also singles out the use of cameras in the use of force situations, MPR notes saying if officers don’t comply they will face 40 days of suspension or termination (Hendry, Barajas & Segal, 2018).Additionally, there was a case on August 25 of 2017 where two white police approached a black male known as Johnnie Rush on his way home from work (Hendry, Barajas & Segal, 2018). When the body camera footage was released it revealed officer Hickman punching 33-year-old Rush in the head.

According to Hendry, Barajas & Segal (2018) “the footage also shows Rush being shocked by a stun gun and Hickman resigned in January”. The most recent development of this case is during the first week of April nine additional videos were released after the city of Asheville petitioned for a court order to make the footage public (Hendry, Barajas & Segal, 2018). One of the videos that stands out is the one where Sgt. Taube arrived. When she arrived Hickman then tells her the story, Taube then tells Rush that he was wrong for resisting arrest (Hendry, Barajas & Segal, 2018). According to Hendry, Barajas & Segal (2018) “City officials said Taube was disciplined for poor performance and received training as a result of this incident.Gap Between the Literature The Gap between the literature of police brutality that led to my study is the sociohistorical origins of policing and criminalizing black males.

According to Gilbert & Ray (2015) “there were three sociohistorical threats to black male identities following the civil war that speak to PHCRP principles of race consciousness, primary of racialization and ordinariness or racism. The convict lease system was created by the prison of industrial complex (Gilbert & Ray, 2015). This was another form of enslavement which involved arresting many of the recently freed men and women for minor violations. These people were punished with unreasonable fines, prison sentences and working in slave plantations (Gilbert & Ray). Lynching was another threat against black males and also deemed as justifiable. According to Gilbert and Ray (2015) between 1881 and 1968, over 70% were black males; in most these cases no person was brought to justice for these deaths. Now in 2018 we are still dealing with our blacks being killed and brutalized by police without receiving justice.


  1. Desmond, M., Papachristos, A., & Kirk, D. (2016). Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community. Retrieved from
  2. Gilbert, K., & Ray, R. (2015, December 10). Why Police Kill Black Males with Impunity: Applying Public Health Critical Race Praxis (PHCRP) to Address the Determinants of Policing Behaviors and "Justifiable" Homicides in the USA. Retrieved from
  3. Hendry, E., Barajas, J., & Segal, C. (2018, April 06). 4 police misconduct cases had new developments this week. Here's what happened. Retrieved from
  4. Kennedy, R. (2016). Excessive Use of Force by the Police against Black Americans in the United States. Retrieved from
  5. Kennedy, Joseph C. "Presumed guilty: to racist police, innocence is no defence." Washington Monthly, Mar. 1996, p. 19+. Criminal Justice Collection, Accessed 27 Sept. 2018.
  6. Nodjimbadem, K. (2017, July 27). The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S. Retrieved from
  7. Park, M. (2018, March 27). Police shootings: Trials, convictions are rare for officers. Retrieved from
  8. SKOLNICK, J. H. (2000, March 27). CODE BLUE. The American Prospect, 11(10), 49. Retrieved from

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