Police Brutality – A Vicious Cycle

Posted on September 19, 2012

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Many could argue that police brutality been an issue for generations; however, with the recent increase in protests, riots and bad feeling towards the ‘establishment’ in the western world – coupled with the ever-increasing array of means for the general public to share information and videos – it’s easy to understand how the topic of police brutality is often a topic of discussion.

The police do have the right to use force against individuals if the situation calls for it, but questions must be asked in instances where officers (either individually or as a group) use force when it is not called for (i.e. there is no threat of anyone being harmed) or use excessive force.

Police brutality may occur for various reasons, but the most common cause of excessive force results from the officer’s perception of the situation they are confronted with. In my opinion, this most often expresses itself in the form of the police officer(s) feeling disrespected, having their authority questioned, or adrenalin clouding their judgement in situations such as the OWS protests. Of course, we can see that this is a catch-22 situation – the line has been drawn between ‘us’ and ‘them’ (the people and government/big business/bankers etc). This has lead to a situation where the police are serving and protecting the wrong people (i.e. those that seek to financially and physically control the people) which can only generate more bad feeling from the people and more instances of feeling disrespected by those they are abusing instead of protecting.

The article ‘It’s Not Just the LAPD: The Big Lie About Police Brutality is Claiming it’s Not Rampant’ provides shocking evidence of police brutality in the US, such as an officer body-slamming a 5’4” nurse for getting out of her car after being stopped.

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not just the police we have to worry about. Man’s best friend, at the hands of the police, can be a serious weapon. No one can argue the important role that K9s play in locating and subduing criminals, search and rescue, and sniffing out bombs and illegal substances. But dogs are very often only as reliable as their owners/handlers, so a powerful dog and a ‘disrespected’ police officer can prove to be a volatile combination.

Also coming into question recently is the UK police’s use of Belgian Malinois dogs. In May a 14 year old boy was seriously injured and permanently disfigured after being attacked by a dog being assessed for police training, which the boy said reacted to his cousin screaming.

No doubt a police dog bite claim will ease the financial burden of injury as the result of a police dog attack, but the police must never forget that dogs are sensitive to their handler’s own psychological state and are unable to judge the situation by themselves.

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