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National Database for Police Killings - Essay Example

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This essay "National Database for Police Killings" describes the death of Michael Brown at the hands of police and also the death of civilians as a result of lethal use of force by the police in the United States. It supports the idea that the US needs a national database that tracks, tallies, and reports the death of civilians at the hands of on-duty police officers…
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National Database for Police Killings
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Download file to see previous pages When I attempted to search the internet for the number of civilians killed yearly by the police, I realized that there were no official or valid statistics. Presently, I believe that this could be because police departments do not want this information released and this may also have influenced the media.
I only became aware of this lack of reporting on civilian deaths at the hands of police after the shooting of Michael Brown and yet, reading some news reports made me realize that the issue of a national database for police shootings has been ongoing for some time. Why, then, is there such a dearth of information on these deaths in mainstream media. From the media sources that I analyzed, the most prevalent repetitions were "justifiable homicides" and lack of a database to track all civilian deaths at the hands of the police. For example, Lowery (p.1) in the Washington Post notes that there were at 461 "justifiable homicides" carried out by the police, which he defines as the killing of felons by police when on duty, while he also notes that no one knows for sure how many civilians are killed overall by the police.
On, the writer also notes that that the only police killings that are reported are those that the police consider justifiable, in this case noting that only those instances that can be justified before juries are reported both by the police and the media (Markus 1). Moreover, this story also mentions the absolute lack of reporting on the number of civilian deaths at the hands of the lethal police force. Indeed, most of the reports about the issue of police shooting keep repeating the same thing; that the death of civilians at the hands of police is grossly underreported both by police databases and by the media as well. Benzkofer (p.1) in the Chicago Tribune also covers the same issue and repeats that reports on civilian deaths are completely lacking in the media, which, again, mostly covers the case when the killing of a civilian is justified. He adds that Chicago had a police censor who ruled over the media with an iron fist to ensure that they did not report "damaging" reports about civilian deaths at the hands of the police. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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