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Tuifua 1

Osaiasi Tuifua
Professor Judson
ENG 2010
03/18/15

Black and Blue

Citizens beaten down by those who are supposed to protect and serve.
That doesnt sound right at all. How is a group of individuals paid an annual
salary by the government going to beat citizens until they are black and
blue? Sometimes people are even killed. The U.S. has a long history of police
brutality with the first documented case of police brutality dating back before
the 1900s. The term has evolved has throughout time, originally called,
Police abuse but changed to police brutality in 1893 when the New York
Times described a police officers beating of a civilian. The word brutality was
used in the sense of savage cruelty. Not every police officer is bad but all
police officers have an authority that citizens dont. Policemen have too
much power in society, get away with too many infractions, and need gun
alternatives that will lower and hopefully eliminate police related fatalities.
A police badge is very powerful in the United States. With a median
salary of $55,000, policemen also have perks. As a dangerous government
job, being a police officer comes with medical and health benefits. Also law
enforcement officers are given the power to carry a gun almost anywhere.
23rd Director of the U.S. Secret Service Julia Pierson said, I enjoyed being a
police officer She worked her way all the way up to a high position in law
enforcement. Being a police officer is a very enjoyable job, its active and
hands-on. But what if a crooked cop that

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commits crimes makes it to a high position like Julia Pierson? Its not
beneficial for the United States. Itll give other officers who have violated the
law many times kind of an easier time getting away with things. If someone
who was use to committing crimes is at a high position in the police force
they will see nothing wrong with other police officers doing things they arent
suppose to.
From a citizens point of view it seems like policemen are transparent
to severe punishment. Most recent case of this is the infractions committed
by police officers in 2013-2014. Jackie Neal, a police officer in Texas, was
accused of raping a woman one night he was on duty in November 2013.
Jackie Neal was neither fired nor suspended but was put on paid
administrative leave. A bigger case in the U.S. was the death of Mike Brown
in Fergusson, Missouri where Darren Wilson shot and killed 18 year old Mike
Brown. This sparked huge riots and protests nation-wide. Professor of
American Social thought and professor of history at the University of
Pennsylvania Mary Frances Berry said, When you have police officers who
abuse citizens, you erode public confidence in law enforcement. With police
officers abusing citizens and their power, it makes their job more dangerous
because they dont have the trust of citizens. According to the National
Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) from 2009 to
2010 there were 5,986 reports of misconduct and 382 of those had fatalities
linked to them. To add on to the misconduct statistics, 33% of the officers
that had reports of misconduct went through convictions and 64% of that

33% received prison sentences. On top of the very few officers that get sent
to prison the average time of time spent in prison for an
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officer is 14 months.

To lower police related killings, non-lethal gun alternatives must be


created and used. Policemen already have several alternatives such as a
baton, pepper spray, and a Taser. The problem is that officers rather use their
guns. There is a company that is not known in California that has created a
gadget that can be connected to your gun and fire a projectile that does not
penetrate through the body but does take a perpetrator down. As 2014

ended the tally for last year was a whopping 1,100 people killed by
policemen averaging 3 people a day. Compared to other countries we are not
doing well. For 2014, our neighbors in Canada only had 14 deaths, the United
Kingdom only had reported 1 death, and China, a country whose population
is 4 times the size of the United States, only had 14 deaths. But we must not
blame all of the Policemen for this. Civil Rights activist and TV/Radio host Al
Sharpton said, We are not antiTuifua 4
police, we are anti-police brutality With advancements in weaponry for the
military, it seems like the military
started a hand-me-down cycle of
weapons such as assault rifles,
armored trucks, and tanks. We are
doing the opposite of what we should
be

doing. We should be looking for non-

lethal ways of stopping criminals. Instead of the militarization of the Police


force we must lower the amount of power the people who protect and
serve have.
To gain back power to the people we must change a lot of things such
as the weapons policemen use and stop the militarization of the police force.
Also we must lower the power of the police because it seems like they
commit crimes and the shield on their chest protects them from severe
punishment. I am not against police at all and in fact my neighbor has been a
cop for more than 15 years. He would tell stories of how great the force is

but also he notices that the police force is slowly changing into a domestic
military in some sense, because 2014 was
not a good year for policemen. Comparison to U.S. troops killed in 2014 in
Iraq and Afghanistan is 58 to 1,100 U.S. citizens killed. These numbers
cannot be ignored. One of my childhood friends is one of those 1,100 people
who were killed by policemen. The police officer was never identified, the
court never revealed any of the footage of the shooting, and no one was
punished. Its like a ghost held a gun to my friend and shot him 8 times in
the chest.

Bibliography

Chaney C, Robertson R. Racism and Police Brutality in America. Journal Of African American
Studies [serial online]. December 2013;17(4):480-505. Available from: Academic Search Premier,
Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 10, 2015.
Mosbergen, Dominique. "99 Percent Of Police Brutality Complaints Go Uninvestigated In Central
New Jersey: Report." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/police-brutality-new-jersey-report_n_4555166.html>.
"Police in the US Kill Citizens at Over 70 Times the Rate of Other First-World Nations." The Free
Thought Project. 8 Jan. 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-killcitizens-70-times-rate-first-world-nations/>.