Police Brutality toward African-American Males as the Contemporary Issue
- Violence among law reinforcement officers remains a topical issue nowadays;
- The African-American community is affected especially strongly;
- In 2015, 500 people were killed as a result of police brutality (Krieger, Chen, Waterman, Kiang, & Feldman, 2015);
- Therefore, immediate actions must be taken to address the lack of justice and prevent further instances of death.
Population Description: African-American Males as the Victims
- The members of the target population belong to the African-American community;
- The victims of police brutality are typically young (aged 15-34). Although there might be some exceptions;
- People from a poor economic and financial background are targeted by the police as prospective criminals and, therefore, remain under a consistent threat of police brutality (Swaine, Laughland, Lartey, & McCarthy, 2015).
Essential Research Findings: What the Study Has Shown
- An overview of the existing evidence has pointed to the fact that the levels of police brutality toward minorities remain high despite a minor drop;
- African-American men remain the most threatened population as far as the danger of the violence of law enforcement officers is concerned;
- Police brutality is based on a long history of racial prejudices and biases; therefore, social change is required to alter the current situation (Alexander, 2010).
History of Violence toward African-American Men: Retrospect
- The history of violence toward African Americans goes back to the era of slavery;
- The attitudes similar to current ones could be observed at the time when racial discrimination was considered a norm;
- Even with the introduction of equality principles, the situation has not changed significantly (Shapiro, 1988).
Civil Rights Movement and Leadership and Activism Among African Americans
- The official statement of equality did not help change the social situation;
- The Civil Rights Movement was a response to brutality toward African Americans;
- Political and spiritual leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. helped people fight against discrimination (Strain, 2005).
Factors Contributing to Prejudices Development
- The difference in cultural backgrounds;
- Differences in the interpretation of the concept of race;
Current Attitudes toward African-American Men among the Police Members
- At present, police members tend to abuse their rights and restrict those of African Americans;
- African American men are affected to the greatest degree;
- There is a necessity to introduce rigid control over the actions of police toward African American people.
Organizations: Opportunities for Preventing and Advocating for the Issue
- Organizations can help draw people’s attention toward the issue of police violence toward African Americans;
- Awareness can be raised, therefore, helping build a strong support system among the American population;
- Research should be conducted to explore the effects of police violence and the means of reducing it;
- The victims of police violence can receive support.
Strengthening Prevention Efforts in the Target Community
- Using modern media as the tools for maintaining awareness rates high should be viewed as a possibility;
- Regular focus on the identified issue must be kept;
- Updates about the changes in the current situation, as well as the levels of police brutality, should be provided.
Going Beyond the Community: What Can Be Done
- The problems faced by the representatives of other ethnic minorities should be explored in depth;
- Extensive support must be provided to all people facing the problem of police brutality, including all races, genders, and age groups;
- The issue must be addressed on a global level, i.e., not only in the U.S. but also worldwide.
Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York, NY: The New Press.
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Krieger, N., Chen, J. T., Waterman, P. D., Kiang, M. V., & Feldman, J. (2015). Police killings and police deaths are public health data and can be counted. PLoS Med, 12(12), e1001915. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001915
Shapiro, H. (1988). White violence and Black response: From Reconstruction to Montgomery. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
Strain, C. B. (2005). Pure fire: Self-defense as activism in the civil rights era. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
Swaine, J., Laughland, O., Lartey, J., & McCarthy, C. (2015). Young black men killed by US police at highest rate in year of 1,134 deaths. The Guardian. Web.