Police Brutality in Montgomery

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

The curse of police brutality on the African-Americans plagues the skin of this great nation for more than a century now. Police brutality in America is now seen by the rest of the world as racialized police violence. African- Americans have been subjected to police brutality than any other Americans; such as Caucasians, Hispanic and Asian. According to Kevin Johnson et. al in USA Today, “96 blacks have been gunned down in a period of seven years until 2012 which translates to two deaths per week. The most surprising fact about this shootings is that most of those shot in the hands of the police are mostly unarmed or had already surrendered” (p. Also over half of these police homicides go unaccounted for and are poorly investigated and documented. This is patented in people’s perception of law enforcement and the justice system, which in a way has intentionally given a blind eye to the inhumane acts directed to African-Americans. Montgomery is one of the counties in the United States with a long history of police brutality towards the African American people. There have been no efforts by both the federal and state lawmakers in banning police from the use of unnecessary force. It is, therefore, evident that police brutality is racialized, intentional and systematic. African-Americans are assaulted by police more than any other race in the United States. Brunson and Rod argue that, in regions of disadvantaged African Americans, there is a higher likelihood of police administering aggressive force on a black suspect relative to other ethnicities (p.

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One symbolic instance is that of Gregg Gunn, a black man, who was clobbered on the head three times with a gun, brutally beaten with a baton before being short five times by Aaron C. Smith, a white police officer (The Guardian). This gruesome event happened just because Gunn looked "suspicious" as he went past a residential neighborhood. A similar incident is that of Bernard Whitehurst a 32-year old black janitor who was wrongfully short to death by a white police (Washington Post). The police claimed that Whitehurst brandished a gun and that he fired a bullet just before the police gunned him down. In 1965, Judd et al. notes that another incident involved Jimmie Lee Jackson who was short in the stomach fatally while trying to protect his mother and grandfather from brutal state police (p.

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Such generalizations have opened doors for all African-Americans to be seen as criminals; yet many of them are innocent and hardworking citizens. One unfortunate event of stereotyping involved the case of 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was shot dead because of flirting a white girl (Lischer 73). Would the same results have been a Caucasian teenager flirting the same lady? It is these stereotypes that portray all African-Americans to be dangerous and criminals that perpetuate their continuous illegal executions in the hands of the police. The legal system is passively tolerating this evil trend of inhumane manhandling of African-Americans. According to the United Nations, law enforcement should be nonviolent and to resolve to exercise force should be in a way that minimizes damage and respect to human life. The police department has tried so hard to cover up most cases of discriminatory police ferocity through poor investigations, poor documentations and using the self-defense card even when the victim was unarmed (Weitzer & Ronald 57).

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Many departments have also failed to provide adequate training to police that is relevant to provide nonviolent solutions. This gives the police only one alternative, which is using excessive force. Another encouraging factor for police brutality is that penalties for misconduct are minimal. For instance, in the case of Gunn, the court argued in favor of the officer asserting that Smith was acting within the scope of duty, his training, and the law. The data and nature of events have shown that African-Americans are categorically targeted and mistreated when this is compared to other races. The killings are also systematic because most of those killed are African-American youth below the age of thirty and are mostly unarmed. They are also intentional because they have an external racial motivation. Police brutality is therefore intentional and systematic; it will take more than demonstrations to wipe out this plague.

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The criminal justice system needs to work hand in hand with the police department to ensure that humanity is brought back to the police service. nydailynews. com › crime Judd, Charles M. et al. Stereotypes and ethnocentrism: Diverging interethnic perceptions of African American and White American youth. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 69. American policing under fire: Misconduct and reform. Society 52. Worden, Robert E. The ‘causes’ of police brutality: theory and evidence on police use of force. ER Maguire, & DE Duffee, Criminal Justice Theory: Explaining The Nature and Behavior of Criminal Justice 2 (2015): 149-204.

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