Police brutality is the excessive use of violence against people in different areas of the United States by police. Police brutality is something that is talked about a lot by different people: people of different races, genders, and age groups. This is a big problem that is happening in the United States and has been happening for a while now. There has been many issues of police brutality in the past few years. Police brutality issues seem to happen the most within the African American community because there seems to be more deaths under police surveillance in the African American community.
There has also been a number of people in the African American community that have been victims of police brutality such as Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and many others. According to statistics taken this year, 2015, 31. 9% of blacks that were unarmed were killed by police (The Guardian). African Americans are more likely to be killed more than White and Hispanic/Latino people by the police. These deaths range in different states, genders, and ages of the victims. Some people think that police brutality happens for different reasons and have different opinions about the outcomes of this.
Nonwhite Americans make up less than 38% of the US population, but almost half of all people killed by police are minorities and minorities make up almost two thirds of unarmed people killed by police (The Guardian). There has also been many approaches to try and stop the police brutality that has been happening. There has been the mention of body cameras so that what the officer is doing is being recorded, but this has not been seen to work that well because some officers do not care if their every move is being recorded. Some police officers abuse their power y thinking that since they have a badge and a gun that they can do what they want to innocent people or people that they suspect to be committing a crime. Police brutality is something that should not be happening as often as it is happening in the African American community because that is who is affected the most by the different outcomes. Police brutality is negative because the people that are being abused by the police deserve to be treated the correct and lawful way by people that they are expecting to protect them.
By police using excessive violence on innocent and unarmed people shows two things about police officers: the first thing is that they should not be able to wear their badge if they are going to abuse their power, the second thing is that they should be held accountable for the things that they are going to innocent people. Police should not be allowed to abuse their power. Police are supposed to use their badge and gun in a good way, but most people in the American society do not think that are doing this.
People in today’s society believe that they cannot go to the police when they feel like they are in trouble because of the things that they see on the news of police and the many police brutality cases that are happening. The people in today’s society feel that police are not doing their job correctly because there is always someone that is being killed by a police officer. Most times the people that are being killed are unarmed and innocent so people read about the incident or watching it on the news will automatically be against the officer because the person was unarmed.
People have always talked about officers wearing body cameras so that they could be held accountable for the things that they do whole they are on duty. The talk about body cameras for officers is very controversial and debatable because most people think that even though the officers will be wearing body cameras that they still will abuse their power. Obama proposed for money to be used to buy 50,000 body cameras, but the funding was being stalked in Congress (Terrell Starr/AlterNet).
This shows that Congress is not that serious about providing the body cameras eeded for officers to try and prevent the police brutality that is continuing to happening all across the United States. “The ACLU estimates that 25% of the nation’s 17,000 law enforcement agencies use them” (AlterNet). The number of law enforcement agencies using the body cameras is not that much because there is still thousands of agencies that are still not using the cameras so that shows that not all law enforcement thinks alike. This could mean that they think the body cameras would not be or it could mean that they just do not have the funding to provide their entire law enforcement with the body cameras.
There have been different ways that people have tried to get the body cameras to be put into place and into use in different states across the United States. A former president of the National Association for Black Law Enforcement Officers who works as a police sergeant in New England told AlterNet, “It just goes to show how ineffective body cameras are and will be in reducing its head kind of incidents. ” He was referring to a case where an office named Tensing shot Dubose while he was wearing a body camera. Police officers do not always get away with killing innocent people while wearing body cameras.
Police officers try to use the body cameras to abuse their power because they feel like they have the right to do what they want since they have a badge and a gun. A lot of the footage that is taken on the body cameras is not always seen by the public so the officer always could try and say something that did not necessarily happen in the footage just because the public doesn’t know the whole story. The body cameras solve the issue of getting the officer’s actions on camera, but they create another problem (Washington Times).
The cameras often has footage of the grieving family members, distraught victims, and even people trying to exercise their rights to freedom of speech and civil disobedience. A policy to release all the footage from an officer’s body camera could mean showing the inside of a person’s home or hospital, but if the policy is not to release footage in order to protect a person’s privacy that could mean a video of an officer shooting someone would not be made public which would mean it defeats the main purpose of the use of the cameras.
Many officers are being punished/ held accountable for their actions. Officer Ray Tensing is an officer that was charged for shooting Samuel Dubose on July 19, 2015. Dubose could not provide a license and he prevented Tensing from opening the driver door and at that point Tensing shot him in the head. (AlterNet). Tensing claimed that he was being dragged by Dubose’s car which was proven to be untrue and a police report also shows that officers on the scene lied about seeing Dubose’s car dragging Tensing. After this incident, a first degree murder charge was filed against Tensing.
This shows how crucial and important it is to have the video because it could help prove police misconduct. This was not the only incident in which an officer shot someone on camera and was charged with murder after the footage was reviewed. Another incident took place in North Charleston, S. C. , earlier this year when Officer Michael Slanger was caught on camera shooting Walter Scott in the back (Alternet). The video was taking on a cell phone and not a body camera, but this just shows that officers are caught on camera all the time shooting and killing people.
Slanger was immediately fired and charged with first degree murder. Officers are being held responsible for their actions and for the innocent people that they have killed over the past few years. If using the body cameras will help provide evidence on officers and what they are really doing then the law enforcement agencies should really try and invest in making an effort to put the body cameras in full effect. People would feel some sort of protection if they knew the body cameras would help ensure their safety.
Police brutality and the use of body cameras go hand and hand when it comes to violence against the African American community. The people of the African American community are the main victims of police brutality so the use of the body cameras is essential and necessary if the law enforcement wants the people to feel like they are safe and being protected. Even though there has been many cases of the body cameras working and the officers being charged with murder this does not stop other officers from abusing their power.
Officers know that they could possibly end up going to jail because of their actions, but in most cases the officers do not think about or care about the consequences of their actions. Police officers should take their job more serious because the people would not be able to have trust in the law because of the constant police brutality that continues to happen. Once the law enforcement agencies implement the use of body cameras for all officers then the community would be able to try and build some trust in the police force. Police brutality has been an issue for a whole and everyone has to do their part in order for it to come to an end.