Recent police brutality case raises questions about authority

Think of the last time you had any interaction with a police officer. Usually, if you have any interaction with them it’s because you violated the law in some way.

Now let’s think about how most people feel about police officers. I get the sense that most people don’t like police officers, whether they’re turning their emergency lights on to get through a red light and then turning them off, pulling you over for trying to make it through a yellow light before it turns red or pulling you over for speeding when you’re going just a little bit over the speed limit rushing to wherever you have to go.

The main point is that the public’s interaction with police is usually based off of bad circumstances, so most times they’ll be punished because of something they did wrong. That experience will likely ruin their feelings toward each and every other officer they ever interact with.

But think of it from a police officer’s point of view. The only time you interact with the public is when you have to punish them, so you can’t be the nicest guy in the world. The people you have to deal with are either going to have a bad attitude toward you, they’re going to be intoxicated in some way or they’ll have committed a crime. The officer is going to have to go into the situation and show that he’s the boss and in control right away for not only his or her safety but for the suspects’ safety and the public’s safety as well.

Officers are bound to get a bad taste in their mouth because no one wants to have to deal with that all the time; it takes a special kind of person to keep their composure all the time.

Now think of what happened with the Buffalo Police a little over a week ago. There was a man who was speeding and they tried to get him to slow down, then he ditched his car and started to run. He eventually surrendered and put his arms up and that’s where the story begins.

Police brutality is nothing new — we are just now more aware of it because of video technology.

After he surrendered he was pushed down and put in handcuffs and then repeatedly kicked. This is known because a bystander began recording it and then put it on YouTube and the news stations got ahold of it. You can hear the suspect in the video screaming for the police to stop kicking him.

An officer is allowed to use any amount of force they feel is necessary to protect their lives and the lives of the public. Once the suspect is restrained and put in cuffs, he is no longer a danger, so no further force is necessary.

I’m not a police officer, so if it were me in that situation, I’m not sure I’d have acted differently. Still, it was unprofessional on his part and he clearly couldn’t keep his composure. He should have known where to draw the line.

Some of the blame can also be placed on the other five officers that were there that allowed him to do what he did.

Police brutality is nothing new — we are just now more aware of it because of video technology. Some of the cases that have received national attention are the Occupy Wall Street protests, where we saw officers all over the country abusing their power and handcuffing protesters and lining them up to spray them with mace and also some people getting beaten. There is also the infamous Rodney King case.

There needs to be a solution to stop this police brutality. I think that officers need better training to help them with their composure and also drill into them that once a person is restrained or handcuffed they are no longer a threat to you or anyone, keep your hands off. I also think the police department could do a lot of good by setting up certain events so that the public and officers can finally interact in a positive manner and it we’ll help bridge the gap between the two groups.

And finally, the biggest thing I think that will help with police brutality is to just continue to bring awareness to it. The more awareness that is brought to it the less it will happen because officers will now have the thought in the back of their mind that, “If I do this I may get suspended or lose my job,” and it will eventually get them to cut down on their aggression. Police brutality is a big problem that needs to be taken seriously.


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