While many people attribute police brutality to racial discrimination, one ex-cop from Missouri shares his own point of view as to why police brutality exists.
Every day, there are hundreds and thousands of police officers who put on their bulletproof vests, gather their equipment, and head out to patrol and protect their community. A large percentage of these officers who decided to enter into the field of law enforcement are simply looking to do the job they signed up for, nothing more. But then you have the other percentage of officers who enjoy using their position of power to not only patrol their community, but also to violate the rights of citizens simply because they can.
But why? What drives police officers to engage in behavior they know is not permitted among their department? Well, aside from racial discrimination, there are few other reasons why officers choose to violate the rules and laws they are required to abide by according to a black ex-officer [Source: Vox]. Here are a few of those reasons:
- Officers make the conscious decision to “violate human rights of the people in the communities they serve.”
Officers are required to undergo extensive training before they can enter into the field and patrol on their own. During this training, they are prepped for all types of scenarios so that they are able to handle them the best way possible. Unfortunately, some choose to take matters into their own hands and employ other tactics that don’t fit the situation they are dealing with.
For example, the officer cited on Vox shared the experience he had when he was dispatched to assist an officer who was in need of aid and happened to be a white female. When he arrived, the officer no longer needed assistance as the suspect had fled on foot. The two of them began searching for the suspect and knocked on a nearby door. A young male about 18-years of age opened the door on crutches. The female officer “accused him of harboring a suspect” although he denied it. She then proceeded to force the door completely open, grab the young man by his throat, and pulled him out of his house. She proceeded to punch him in the face and then in the groin.
Not only did the officer jump to the conclusion that the male had been harboring the suspect she was searching for, but she also assaulted him which is a punishable crime.
- “Bad officers corrupt the departments they work for.”
When officers are surrounded by others who abuse their power and find pleasure in harming citizens, they tend to take on certain characteristics they see and engage in similar behavior. In fact, certain departments are even run by police chiefs who will cover up the inappropriate behavior their officers display just so that it can continue on and they aren’t reprimanded for it.
- “The mainstream media helps sustain the narrative of heroism that even corrupt officers take refuge in.”
Police officers are often praised for their heroism and selfless acts of bravery as they should be given many are putting their lives on the line. However, many news outlets fail to recognize the increasing number of complaints that are filed against the corrupt officers and even entire departments. Because it is easy for an officer who abuses his authority to hide behind this narrative the media has painted for those officers who are in the field for the right reasons, many cases of police brutality often go unaddressed.
Police brutality has been and continues to be a large issue in today’s society. While some officers are recognized for their behavior and even faced with the penalties they deserve, others receive a slap on the wrist or no form of punishment at all even when evidence reveals that they have inflicted harm on an innocent person. That is why individuals who are victimized by police are always encouraged to contact a Gulfport, MS police brutality lawyer who can help them hold the officer who has abused or harassed them accountable for their behavior.Not only will a MS police misconduct attorney help you gather all the evidence you need to help you build a solid case, but they will be there, working by your side supporting you each step of the way.