“Police brutality refers to all acts of unjustified cruelty inflicted by police on others” (Phelps). Social media and news outlets are providing the public with more information; however, the problem of police brutality is something that does not get enough attention. The high-profile cases that are publicized are not only having negative effects on the victims of the officers, but they are also changing the public perception of police departments as a whole.
Police do have a dangerous job and should be ready to act at a moment’s notice, but also ready to think before jumping to conclusions. The responsibilities of the police need to be taken seriously, especially since they control the line between life and death with the simple pull of a trigger. That power should only be used as a last resort and not an automatic reaction to the slightest sign of danger.
When people have a negative experience with a police officer, it can be traumatizing and cause young people to be scared or resent the law. Society is recognizing examples of police abusing their power as authority figures. Cases of unarmed or innocent citizens dying from the quick judgements of police officers have been witnessed by the public with increased frequency. Police forces need to figure out something or they might even lose the trust of the public.
One famous case caused from police brutality is the Rodney King trial. (Criminal) It is just one of many cases where law enforcement went too far. It is possible these attacks on unarmed African American men are influenced by racial prejudice. A report released October 2014 by ProPublica reported that young African American males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than Caucasian males in the same age range. (Gabrielson) These attacks are getting ridiculous, and something needs to be done. Mankind is losing faith in the police more and more after every brutal attack.
Police do need to protect themselves, and they do need to be ready at all times, but they are losing the trust they used to have. They need to change the way they are doing things, before it is too late.