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Police Excessive Use of Force - Essay Example

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This paper deals in detail with various aspects of discussion on the excessive use of force by police. The writer of this paper focuses his discussion in US police and US legal and social issues arising as a result of the use of force by police…
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Police Excessive Use of Force
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Download file to see previous pages  Police brutality can be defined as “the excessive use of physical force, assault, verbal attacks, and threats by police officers and other law enforcement officers” (Police brutality. 2007). Police using force includes pushing, grabbing, kicking, or hitting a citizen. Hitting may be striking with the hand or with an object held in police officers hand. Police dogs biting a person, spraying with pepper spray or chemical, and pointing a firearm to a citizen also will come under police using force. The threat to use any of these forces will also be counted as using force. Whether the force used by the officer is “excessive” or not is defined according to the account of the victims. For female victims, any of the above-mentioned forces, even they are in small range, will be termed as “excessive’. On the other hand, male victims will have another scale for measuring the amount of force used by the police. This difference will occur in the case of race also.
Cops enforcing law can be seen throughout the history. In the earlier times police forces have created an atmosphere of fear among the members of the society, and for subjugation and control, rough treatment was a regular occurrence. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament cite many examples of Egyptian, Roman and Israeli guards, who were an equivalent of policemen, inflicting violence mercilessly on the community.
Things were not different in the nineteenth century America when Police forces were introduced for the first time there.  Marilynn S. Johnson, in her book, Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City, speaks about “the routine bludgeoning of citizens by patrolmen armed with nightsticks or blackjacks” (Johnson 2004). With the increase of police forces and population, cases of police enforcement have increased tremendously by the end of the twentieth century. A survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in US in 2001, Contacts between police and Public, came out with the finding that “during 1999 approximately 422,000 persons age 16 or older were estimated to have had a contact in which police used or threatened to use force against them.” (Contact between police and public. 2001).
Even though this much police brutality is taking place in the country, most of the cases do not sustain. A report issued by another ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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