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Police Brutality: Analysis of the Problem

Police brutality is one of the problems faced by police agencies and the native population. Police brutality involves physical force and mental pressure used against potential criminals. Police brutality is characterized as misconduct and punishment by administrative agencies. A widely shared attitude that individual police officers are virtually free to enforce the law according to their personal whims and desires can have disastrous implications for the political system. Thesis Police brutality is directed towards racial minorities and poor immigrants who cannot protect their rights in the courtroom and have no money to file a law case against police officers.

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Racial profiling is one of the main factors which lead police to misconduct. Recent studies of police/community relations, conducted by various state advisory committees to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, found deeply held differences of opinion about how the law is enforced. Native Americans perceived that local law enforcement decisions were influenced by racism and class considerations, and these perceptions influenced the Native American citizens’ attitudes toward the police as well as toward local government generally (Steinberg, p. 230). Native Americans are influenced by racial; profiling based on their unique culture and identity. Many Native Americans are considered by police as alcoholics and criminals unable to earn for living. Their unique appearance becomes the main cause to arrest or stop on the street Native American people. The examples of racial profiling are unauthorized arrests of African-American people and accusations in minor traffic violations (“driving while black” policies), searching for contraband, and illegal drugs on the basis of a person’s race or ethnicity. Today, the color of the skin becomes a cause of suspect and is likely to be stopped by police (Steinberg, p. 238). Many black people are accused of murders and burglary because of their race and low social position in society. For many of them, it is difficult to prove their innocence and pay for a professional layer. This situation leads to an increased number of African-American youth under investigation or imprisoned (Steinberg, p. 230).

Police brutality is directed towards immigrants who have no legal rights and are not protected by the state legislature. For example, the argument is often made that the police do not have sufficient authority to develop guidelines to control arrest decisions. The claim is that neither statutory law, court decisions, nor the political structure of the American government provides support for official efforts to control selective enforcement of the law. The police, as enforcers of the law, is obviously the most important institution in deciding which laws will be enforced. For instance, many immigrants are accused of burglary and theft because of low income and illegal positions in society. But even assuming it is clear that they have sufficient political and constitutional authority to undertake rulemaking, there is no assurance that they will do so. Examples of racial profiling are traffic stops, arrests, searches, and property seizures (Zalman and Smith, p. 872). Their lack of action to control the exercise of arrest discretion is clear, and one must not be overly sanguine about any immediate change (Zalman and Smith, p. 872). Thus, it is important to see if there are other ways to bring police decision-making under control. state legislatures are constitutionally charged to enact the criminal statutes the police enforce; prosecutorial offices have the political as well as legal responsibility to determine whether arrests made by the police will be prosecuted; state courts review arrest decisions of the police to assess their conformance to statutory law and constitutional principles; and local governing bodies have direct political control of the police (Steinberg, p. 230).

In sum, police brutality is institutionalized by inadequate laws and a lack of control over the police officers. Action by police departments to establish limits on their discretion would require that police officials deal openly with such thorny issues as full enforcement and resource allocation–issues that most police executives would prefer to avoid. However, rather than admit that the failure to act is due to a strong desire to maintain the principles of police arrest decisions, support for the failure to act is frequently articulated in another way

Works Cited

  1. Steinberg, A. Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City. Journal of Social History, 41 (2007), 230.
  2. Zalman, M., Smith, B.W. The Attitudes of Police Executives toward Miranda and Interrogation Policies. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 97 (2007), 872.

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