Polices brutality refers to any kind of police misconduct by either doing the wrong thing or using excessive powers when executing their duties. This means that they use power beyond the power necessary to contain the situation. Police brutality exposes the victim to violence and injuries at times (Macintyre, 2009). Currently, a lot of complains have been reported all over the world as police are turning against peace instead of spreading peace and harmony. The brutality can be in verbal form where abuses and intimidation is used or even through actions. The task of police should be to maintain law and order, but surprisingly, they involve themselves in actions that defy their responsibilities.
Police more often injure arrestees after they handcuff them or even when they are at the police cells or remand. Many arrestees complain of being hurt by police officers after complying with their orders. Rogue police hit, kick, or even punch arrestees leaving them with a lot of injuries and mental torture (Elicker, 2008). At times, police use excess power when arresting people who are not resistant to the police. Only such power fit to resistant and stubborn suspects but not people who are willing to comply. Some police officers use chock holds when arresting people, which is a very intimidating and demeaning way of handling suspects since they have their human rights till proven guilty. Some police officers go to extend of hitting arrestees and other criminal suspects with harmful and dangerous instruments like guns. This exposes the victims to permanent or short-term effects. Many police brutality victims suffer brain injuries, body deformities, Spinal cord injuries and worse even, others die (Pinizzotto et al., 2012).
Some police officers perceive use of electrical shock devices as a convenient way of inducing arrest of suspects. They target getting control of the arrestee without considering the effect of the shock to the individual. Consequently, many arrestees suffer from heart attacks and other personal injuries because of the electrical shock exposed to them. Police officers are only authorized by law to use guns at the last case situation but contrary, police shootings and killings are increasing on a daily basis. As a result, many deaths result from shooting misidentified individuals, and bystanders (Fox, 2011). Due to the high numbers of firing guns, chances of stray bullets are also high therefore increasing the number of deaths of innocent people.
At times, police officers use a squad car to chase after a suspect. This racing event can result to an accident, which may cause deaths or even personal injuries to the suspect and the police officers. The reckless driving of a squad car can also pose a danger to pedestrians and other road users. Police officers also expose citizens to brutality by conducting illegal searches and seizures. Generally, the law stipulates that, for a police officer to search any premise, they must present a warrant from the authorities authorizing hem to exercise the search. Unfortunately, many officers just bang citizens houses and premises without any legal document and start their operations. In most cases if the owners demand explanations or exhibit resistance, they get a thorough beating or threats. Some police officers force their way to citizens’ premises and take property claiming to be under investigation. They offer minimum explanation or none at all to the owner. This is wrong since every individual has the right to posses property and get information whenever need arises.
Many arrestees complain that police officers coerce them to honour up crimes they have not committed. The torture they undergo while at the hands of these law enforcers, force them to claim guilty of others crimes and get the punishment while the real culprits go unpunished. This is not right because it exposes innocent person to a lot of mental torture and physical damage. Such innocent person suffers others deeds and dreams are cut short, social live cut off and even the personal development is no longer achievable. The police use harsh interrogation techniques and others even fabricate evidence forcing innocent people own the claims (Macintyre, 2009). This is not a genuine way of maintaining law and order since the real criminals are still at large and many innocent people suffer without the opportunity to air out their innocence. Police officers are well known for their use of abusive and arrogant language. Majority never use courtesy when addressing arrestees and the pubic in general. Even if they have power and command, it is necessary that they treat people with humanity and offer explanations when necessary. This will create a peaceful relationship with the public whereby people will be free to report any crimes in the society. In return, the police will benefit from the relationship since they will get any information they require from the public. Respect enhances relationships and arrogance destroys every bit of the relationship.
More often than not, police officers use tear gas to disperse peaceful demonstrators and college student. This harms people’s sights and irritates terribly. Some people are allergic to tear gas there fore, get healthy hazards from such exercises. In addition, when police disperse crowds with such means, a stampede is likely to arise and people may die or others get injuries due to run over.
Many people especially women may experience police brutality during riots and violent situation whereby police officers are sent out to the residential areas to control the situation. Some of the police officers rape women and children tormenting their entire life. Rape expose and individual to emotional emotions, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV AIDs and pregnancies. Victims of rape may also experience isolation from the society as the society may treat them as a curse or unfortunate. It is not necessary to be rape or physical sex assault but sexual brutality includes any kind of touching or seductive language and searches.
There have been several claims that police discriminate people on bases of race, gender, wealth and religion (Elicker, 2008). This increases favourism and justice is not offered to the innocent people. The poor often complain that the police shift blame on them even when they are innocent letting the rich go scotch free. Some people complain that male arrestees are treated with a lot of harshness while their counterpart females are given preference when handling cases. St certain states, the police favour some religions and beliefs while dismissing others. When a culprit belongs to the despised religion, the individual suffers the whole police wrath. This is wrong because with or without religion baselines, police should exercise equity when executing its roles and responsibilities (Kinnaird, 2007).
Stopping police brutality
To stop police brutality, its administrators must be proactive. Some police departments within the state have started a training programs to help reduce the number of reported incidents of police brutality. Such training programs train the police officers on how to handle suspects and arrestees without the use of excess power. This will reduce the number of injuries and death that result from police confrontations with the public.
The government should invest on training police officers on interpersonal and communication skills (Prenzler, 2004). This will equip police officers with the beat techniques of arresting and investigating incidents without the use of excessive power. This will ease their work since there will e a social and favourable climate when dealing with resource people. The public will be at peace to report any incident since the fear of intimidation from the police is no longer present. Police supervisors nee to be trained on early warning systems whereby, they are able to identify brutal police officers. If an officer has the indications of being brutal, investigations should be done to establish and verify the occasion. Based on the situation, the officer should get the set penalties and punishments. In addition, the management should be trained on the importance of internal audits among the police. The audit units receive complains against police officers, investigates them, and establishes the reality (Prenzler, 2004). The complains may indicator brutality inform of careless discharge of weapons, use of abusive language, and use of excess power when controlling a situation. If the allegations are proven right, the officers should, the disciplinary unit should enforce a compulsory punishment and warning letter.
It is important to train the civilians on how to respond to police commands as this will minimize their resistance chances. This means that the police is not likely to exercise brutal powers especially shootings and physical powers, as the arrestees are willing to comply. The public should also be trained on how, where and when to report a violent officer without the exposure and fear of consequences. This action will keep the police officers in check and make sure that they are keen when executing duties as police officers found guilty shall be punished accordingly. The victims of rape should be advised on where to get fast medical attention and launch lawsuits against such violent police officers (Prenzler, 2004).
Most important, police officers should be trained on the importance of observing human rights and the consequences of not respecting the rights. They should be well informed that every human being has equal rights to each other and it is an offence to discriminate or ignore ones rights. Policies should be established on how to make peaceful arrests and searches without exposing the public to danger. The use of firearms should also be restricted to the minimal limit to make sure that there are no shootings and violent attacks on suspects (Jefferis, Butcher, & Hanley, 2011). Training police officers on how to handle situations of special significance in specific communities may reduce civilian resistance hence reducing chances of police brutality since there is understanding between the two. For example, in matters of religion, the police should understand the religious practices of the community and respect them.
Police brutality may result from police negligence or may be influenced arrestees resistant. Some police officers think that they have the power to command any person, arrest or even intimidate without any resistance. Whey the contrary happens, they feel thrilled to exercise their extra powers by use of guns, use of abusive language, and physical torment. On the other hand, the public may force the police to apply excess power when they do not hearken to their orders. To bring a good relationship between the police and the public, the government should involve both parties on continuous trainings. This shall minimize police-public confrontation hence low cases of brutality.
Elicker, M. K. (2008). UNLAWFUL JUSTICE: AN OPINION STUDY ON POLICE USE OF FORCE AND HOW VIEWS CHANGE BASED ON RACE AND OCCUPATION. Sociological Viewpoints, pp. 2433-49.
Fox, J. (2011). In it up to their necks. New Statesman, 140(5048), pp. 44-48.
Jefferis, E., Butcher, F., & Hanley, D. (2011). Measuring perceptions of police use of force. Police Practice & Research, 12(1), pp. 81-96.
Kinnaird, B. A. (2007). Exploring liability profiles: a proximate cause analysis of police misconduct: Part II. International Journal Of Police Science & Management, 9(3), pp.201-213.
Macintyre, J. (2009). Public Enemy Number One. New Statesman, 138(4945), 24-27.
Pinizzotto, A. J. et al. (2012). Restraint in the Use of Deadly Force A Preliminary Study. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 81(6), pp. 1-11.
Prenzler, T. (2004). Stakeholder Perspectives on Police Complaints and Discipline: Towards a Civilian Control Model. Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Criminology (Australian Academic Press), 37(1), pp. 85-113.