Police Brutality

Recent events in New York City concerning the death of African American Erick Garner at the hands of a police officer who suffocated him in the city, are trying the patience of Americans who are demanding justice, as well as asking for the facts to be properly investigated by an independent group.

This case was preceded by the death of a young man of the same race, Michael Brown, in the community of Ferguson, Missouri, who died as the result of seven shots fired by an “officer of the peace” after Brown had surrendered himself, unarmed and with his hands above his head.

In both cases, the officers were acquitted by a grand jury, which decided not to press charges or try them. These decisions provoked general unrest and indignation throughout the country, which has mobilized thousands of people across the nation. Legally, these cases and many others that occurred in similar circumstances can be classified as simple homicides executed with malice, premeditation and at an advantage, as no rational grounds for defense for their actions existed. In Garner’s case, he was smothered by six police officers to whom he expressed his inability to breathe; in Brown’s case, the young man had his hands up and did not pose a threat to anyone.

The brutality of the United States’ police forces is widespread, including police misconduct, false arrest, abuse and the use of excessive or lethal force, repression and racism, usually against African Americans and Hispanics, many of whom have lost their lives in similar circumstances. Many human rights observers have expressed concern about the increase in police brutality to the extent that the United Nations Human Rights Council has presented a report, which states that in the United States, the war against terrorism has created a pervasive climate of impunity in favor of law enforcement, contributing to the erosion of civil control mechanisms of the police.

Police brutality is generally associated with race; in New York alone from the year 2000 to the present, 180 people have lost their lives at the hands of the police, 80 percent of whom were Black or Latino. Recent events have prompted President Obama to discuss the matter, lamenting that citizens, especially minorities, have lost confidence in the system when someone — as demonstrated — “is not treated equally before the law,” referring, of course, to the exonerated police officers … without further ado.

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About Stephen Routledge 180 Articles
Stephen is a Business Leader. He has over twenty years experience in leading various major organisational change initiatives. Stephen has been translating for more than ten years for various organisations and individuals, with a particular interest in science and technology, poetry and literature, and current affairs.

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