WP #2: The U.S. Police Force: The Hated Heroes

Posted: February 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

As of recent, it has become apparent that the police force of the United States is systematically abusing its power (sarcasm of course). But is it really the police that are acting out of line, or is society acting in such a way to require police to resort to much more aggressive means of upholding the law? Definitely the latter. Because of this, the police force is viewed and treated unfairly. Let’s first take a look at the “brutality” of the police department nationwide. In the most recent study, 1.4% of arrests have been reported as having to use excessive force, almost all of which are given media time for weeks. These cases are rarely ever completely explained, lacking the information regarding the aggressive nature of the perpetrators that required the police to use excessive force. But what about the 126 officers that were killed in 2014? A simple mention in the news for a couple seconds is apparently suffice. 2014totalfatalities-web_custom-df784be8fe541622a01105419bc5bfbd56a9e39f-s1600-c85 The public image of the police force is obviously distorted because of people’s reliance on biased media instead of relying on facts. Of course there are anecdotal occurrences of excessive force used by the police, but there is an important word in that sentence: anecdotal. One occurrence is wrongly interpreted as systematic corruption. Why can’t the police force as a whole be trusted because of anecdotal incidences? A doctor guilty of malpractice doesn’t call for hate upon all doctors. Financial corruption and crooked dealing doesn’t keep people from entrusting banks with their money. Going back to reliance on media, people simply take what they hear as the absolute truth, without considering the bias or false information they are being presented. A very recent case, that of Eric Garner in New York City, provides strong evidence to support that most American people rely solely on media. When denying to comply with police orders, Garner was taken down by a supposed headlock (an illegal action) which sadly resulted in his death. First of all, I find it strange that he was able to “clearly” state that he could not breathe whilst undergoing a headlock, which is supposed to completely cut off the flow of air. It could not possibly have been an illegal headlock, then, but rather a legal submission. People immediately labeled this as police brutality, but didn’t look at the facts. Garner was 6 foot 4, 400 pounds. Even if you consider it an illegal headlock, how else would they have been able to detain a monstrous sized man neglecting to comply with their orders?

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Garner was also facing many health problems, like asthma and heart- related problems. If breathing was the trouble, a “headlock” was the least aggressive way of detaining him. Mace or even a baton would have exponentially increased his difficulty to breathe. What were the officers to do, wait until Garner decided to comply with their order? No. They needed to do their job and uphold the law. Garner could have avoided dying by doing one simple thing: following the law. The Garner case also brings me to my next point about the bad image that police get. Being that Garner was black and the officer that had got him in the headlock was white, it was deemed racist. Similarly, in the Michael Brown case, because a black man was shot and killed, the action was deemed racist because of the officer being white. People ignorantly shaped their own opinions without the evidence of the case, in which it was discovered that six African American witnesses stated that Brown attacked the officer, which creates reasonable cause for an officer to use any force when his or her life is threatened. This still was not able to convince people to look at the facts. Instead, the “advice” of Rev. Al Sharpton promoting violence towards police officers as a way of creating “peace” was taken as much more logical reason behind shaping public opinion about the police force. The thing is, in 2012, of all the people killed by police, 63% were white, 17% were Hispanic, and 13% were black. Hm… That seems skewed in that one race is killed much more often than the others. But the Ferguson riots targeted against police for the racial killings of blacks, which are actually killed at about half the rate of whites.  hghg Once again, the negative public image of the police can be attributed to biased media coverage as well as a lack of ability for the people of the country to think based on logic and facts. Police officers risk their lives to protect the citizens of the country, but are treated as criminals, which needs to be changed immediately. In the end, the police force of the United States is the true backbone of the country, ensuring that there is order and not anarchy throughout the country. They deserve to be praised, not criticized. I don’t know about you, but personally if I feel threatened, I’m calling the police, not criminals that have to be “brutalized” to be kept from victimizing others.

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