Police Presence in Minority Communities

What is the perception by residents of the police presence in minority communities?

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the research done on police presence in minority communities based on the articles done by McKeon, Wolverton, and others from magazines called The Christian Century and The Economist. All focus on some aspect of police brutality however from differing viewpoints as well as how they affect the citizens they’re meant to protect instead are seen brutally attacking the supposed suspects under false charges they had written up in order to enact such a innate bloodthirsty desire or possibly a warped sense of justice to beat confessions out of the suspects regardless of whether they were guilty or innocent of their made-up crimes. It mainly can affect the person’s psyche and trust in law enforcement especially when they’re the one in trouble from someone or something else such as the death threats, robberies and other crimes one could experience over their lifetime..

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What is the perception by residents of the police presence in minority communities?

Numerous articles have shown what levels of fear many have towards police and their presence within neighborhoods regardless of whether it could be positive or negative based on other influences such as the local news or other forms of media. With McKeon (2014), the police tried to set up a Mobile Crisis Intervention Team in Toronto, Canada with only two police officers registered with the psychiatric nurses. However, it is now set up in only 12 of the 17 divisions but the fact is how small each of them are in which it’s only 4 officers per division whereas the problems grow in size and are enormous in some scenarios showing how limited they are with the program leaving them unable to deal with every call that comes in needing their help. They’re more similar to EMT or rather paramedics and respond to mainly mental health crises that are very vague since it’s unclear what is designated as such a case and they only come in after actual police officers have arrived to scene first before they can do anything to help. Although there are some exceptions to this in which they can’t respond to situations where the person is either intoxicated or on a drug trip/overdose, also armed with weapons as well as acting violent are some of the mentioned situations they can’t be involved in.

Most of the time the blame is set on the police due to the fact they’re only prepared with 12 hours worth of information on Mental Health issues and only worry about weapon first rather than person first since they’ve been trained in dismantling the threat as soon as possible which means shooting the person holding the weapon to end the threat quickly instead of trying to talk them down and lower their weapon especially since they’ve been trained to see all people with weapons as threats only and nothing more. This also went to show that a persistent stigma continues to show all mentally ill are dangerous leading to more tragic outcomes than safe ones for the victims of police shootings.

Wolverton (2015) focuses on how false charges affect the reputation of police whether they’re the ones behind the false charges or if it’s against them. For example, at one time in 2015 there was a civilian arrested on the account of drunk driving and as he was being booked, he was supposedly beaten to an inch of his life by four deputies who had left him with a swollen face and a gash as well which he supposedly claims happened.
Most of the time, cases like these make the headlines of newspapers but this specific one didn’t reach it due to the video evidence showing that the civilian came in with the gash before being booked into the county jail leading to his claim being dis-proven before any of the anti-police crusader groups come down as soon as there is any news of police brutality charges. As mentioned in the article, the sheriff Scott Mellinger handed the case to the Indiana State Police and removed his own as to not show any bias to his officers and allow the investigation to show whether the claims of the deputies abuse towards the victim was true or not, which as a result showed the injuries were already there prior to the booking and caused the victim to retract their claim and said it was most likely their imagination.

However, most claims are actually real and true rather than the person’s imagination or simple dreams and aren’t as easily disproved as it was noted further into the article where it mentions the deadly force used by an officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri who was involved in the death of Michael Brown in last August but was cleared of charges of violating the victim’s civil rights but it didn’t sit well with many as a result and it was continually challenged leading to a potential combustible interactions between the police and citizens.

Another event was in Denver, Colorado where a video showed evidence of police being cleared of charges though it showed the dark side of things especially how brutal it was in reality. This was around the time deputies subdued and handcuffed 4 women whom had later claimed that they were thrown to the ground and sprayed with mace, all the while being continually beaten by the officers. The women filed a formal complaint against the department on account of two things of which one was the fact they didn’t nothing incorrect to receive such savage beatings and secondly over the use of excessive force. Officers denied the charges and the public mass supported them through the entire way until the video came to light a few years later proving the women’s claims which led to the city awarding them $360,000 and causing a fury from the public against the officers who used such brutal force against them. Although, once the angry mobs died down, the accused policemen returned to duty on the streets.

The most notorious time was in Cornelia, Georgia against people who didn’t deserve any level of abuse given by cops in which a grenade was thrown through the window and landed exactly by the 19 months old sleeping child right next their face and exploded leaving the child horribly injured and disfigured as well as requiring 10 surgeries to repair the damages. This was all done on a supposed tip on an alleged $50 drug deal that was occurring within the household executed through a no-knock warrant which gave no warning to the sleeping family members who were unaware and not fighting against the cops invading their home.

Finally, police are consistently and falsely accused of misconduct under the notion of racial profiling whether it’d be from a celebrity or a simple citizen. In those charges, many have been proven incorrect due to evidence by voice and video recordings that have shown the accuser’s claims to be falsely made even though the damage was already dealt to the officers’ reputation.

In the article taken from the magazine called The Economist (2018), police confronted a man named Johnnie Rush, who had just finished his shift at the Cracker Barrel and brought himself beer, on the charge of Jaywalking which was known to be an offence within the state. Johnnie had argued and ran away after being accused of the charge, they knocked him down, tased him, and punched his head which rendered him unconscious as a result. Later, this lead to a lawsuit which then led into the use of body cams so neither side can lie over contested encounters and show evidence of what actually occurred during each confrontation. Yet such an invention still brings with it controversy where supposed evidence of body cams helping in reduction of bad behavior done by police officers remained unknown. However, the facial recognition programs can be more abused since it does give the ability to be used as a tool of deep real-time surveillance leading to less comfort and safety rather than more comfort and safety from how the public’s thoughts on such a concept.

Even with the body cams, it did nothing for the damages done to Mr. Rush especially since the cameras were meant to increase good behavior from both sides rather than show the dark side of what cops do to citizens regardless of whether they fight back or not. Although in some studies, it showed that complaints have dropped since cops have begun wearing the body cams. While in other studies, some have shown that activating a body cam led to an escalation in the encounter versus those who weren’t wearing one whereas in others, equipping a body cam led to no significant effect whatsoever, neither positive nor negative influences. Lastly, most of the time this information can end up being misused in the wrong hands especially when used for extortion crimes and blackmail towards innocent people just because of who they are or where they were parked on the street and the location of the area.

In the article taken from the magazine The Christian Century (2018), it talks about the protests done against police brutality and racism through many people such as Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid whom had begun protesting back in 2016 and continued by many other NFL players. Their protests were shown to be powerful on the account of taking a knee since it demonstrates solidarity, empathy, and remembrance of the dead. It goes to show the fundamental identity as a person not just a football player from the player’s posture as they step out of the role they play within the game as well as the other reason as it was noted in the article, that black football players have an emotional effect since they took a knee while the National Anthem was playing.

Many NFL fans objected to the protests and demanded they keep it to themselves and just play the game the fans paid for, also add to that, they should act like soldiers and keep opinions to themselves as well as accept all the debilitating injuries they receive from the sport even though no one asked them to do so without any complaints. Because of this, NFL league decided to outlaw the protests in which they gave the choices of either standing during the Anthem or be fined for their actions as a form of damage control to keep those fans happy and supporting them while minimizing the player’s rights, opinions, and protests over a controversial subject.

References

  1. McKeon, L. (2014, March-April). Police, brutality, and mental health. This Magazine, 47(5), 2. Retrieved from https://link-galegroup-com.ezproxy.scottsdalecc.edu/apps/doc/A360993949/GPS?u=mcc_sctsd&sid=GPS&xid=8522c721
  2. NFL players and other vulnerable bodies. (2018, June 20). The Christian Century, 135(13), 7. Retrieved from https://link-galegroup-com.ezproxy.scottsdalecc.edu/apps/doc/A545566531/GPS?u=mcc_sctsd&sid=GPS&xid=5cd85549
  3. Walls have eyes; Street-level surveillance. (2018, June 2). The Economist, 427(9094), 4(US). Retrieved from https://link-galegroup-com.ezproxy.scottsdalecc.edu/apps/doc/A540936985/GPS?u=mcc_sctsd&sid=GPS&xid=518ba081
  4. Wolverton, J., II. (2015, September 21). What about police brutality? The New American, 31(18), 33+. Retrieved from https://link-galegroup-com.ezproxy.scottsdalecc.edu/apps/doc/A431081259/GPS?u=mcc_sctsd&sid=GPS&xid=d8bea259
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