This article examines the nature and scope of police brutality and the various strategies tried to reduce and punish police misconduct in the USA. The extent of this research proposal is not for the uprise of any rebellion of sort, yet it is to take notice to the inequalities and social injustices that have been occurring for decadents. Beaten, coerced, tortured, and even murdered all in the name of solidifying the dysfunctional institutions in which the U.S. founded. The police brutality phenomena, here in America, has been in existence for centuries dating as far back to the Middle Passage as the formidable historical features of American policing which are: Institutional enslavement and the control of minorities.
The plantations overseer, slave patrols, and night watches were American society’s policing institutions; and the reason for the mentioning of these policing institutions is to explore and exploit the similarities between the slave patrols and modern American policing.
Based on published articles, African- Americans have been an adversary to the inequalities of white supremacy that has led to the marginalization, oppression, as well as disproportionality and disparities effective on the African- Americans. To add to this claim, we will examine and explore the history of police brutality. In addition, we will examine how race and racism may shape such discourse??”police brutality and how the public generally perceives the police. Lastly, we will examine and analyze the psychological causality of police brutality; and with such analysis facilitate the framework for an approach as an interventional implementation into policy for DC’s governance.
Traced to a multitude of historical, legal, and political- economic conditions is the birth and development of American police. Slave patrols and Night Watches are now the modern police departments, both designed to control the behaviors of the minorities. The formidable historic features of American society are the institution of slavery and the control of minorities that shaped early policing.
Moreover, policing was not the only social institution enmeshed in slavery, whereas slavery has institutionalized in American economics and legal order. For instance, Virginia, where more than 130 slave statutes between 1689 and 1865 enacted (Kappeler, 2018).
Every occurrence of police brutality is, on one level, a tactical response as a contemporary form of White domination (Harris, 1998) where the legacy of racism and slavery did not end after the Civil War. In all actuality, extreme violence towards African Americans and other racial minorities had become worse during the reconstruction era (Kappeler, 2013). In the 1860s, the rise of vigilante groups had given way where the most infamous American vigilante group, the Ku Klux Klan notorious for their assaults and lynching Blacks for transgressions that were not crimes (Kappeler, 2018). These events occurred for an extended duration whereas minorities were beaten, coerced, and hung (Kappeler, 2018). Some of these behaviors are prevalent within the modern day American policing and the U. S. criminal justice system (Chaney et al., 2014; Chaney et al., 2014; Kappeler, 2018).
Racism is a system where it has been fed from generation to generation as its effects are to staining and tainting the innocent and tranquil minds. According to Chaney (2013), race and racism have led to police brutality (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014). The mind controls the body, moreover, the stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination are all aspects of where perspectives are exemplified through behavior (Jones et al., 2014). Chaney (2013) cites Myrdal (1944) presentation of the historical legacy between Black and law enforcement stating:
The average Southern policeman is a promoted poor White with a legal sanctionto use a weapon. His social heritage has taught him to despise the Negroes, and he has had little education which could have changed him. The result is that probably no group of Whites in America have a lower opinion of the Negro people and are more fixed in their views than Southern policeman (Chaney et al., 2013; Myrdal, 1944, pp. 540541).
The stereotypical perceptions and perspectives lead to discriminatory and prejudicial behaviors where these notions are being learned, therefore marking that racism is of learned behavior (Jones et al., 2014). As mentioned, racism is a system that starts with stereotypes, that leads to discrimination, that leads to prejudices, which leads to racist perspectives and lifestyles (Jones et al., 2014). In the following section we will discuss the premises of the applicable nature of psychodynamic theory towards the explaining of prejudices where humans have the disposition to be hostile, particularly in the face of real or perceived danger. Hostility arises from concerns with economic or material advantages, fear and defensiveness, and the need for prideful self-aggrandizement as these concerns suit the eccentric performance: lethal policing as American policing.
When Rodney King endured a brutal beating via the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on March 3rd, 1991, he instantly came to be the face of American police brutality. This atonement was the reality for the generally accepted notion by most Blacks of this pervasive persistent problem police brutality. David Bayley’s Getting Serious about Police Brutality illustrates a New York Times- CBS poll where 51 % of the public, white or black, believed that police were tougher on Blacks than Whites (Bayley, 1995), and to the contrary Chaney (2013) findings from the 2001 Race, Crime, and Public Opinion Survey conclude that for the 1,988 participants which involved 978 non- Hispanic Whites and 1,010 Blacks, expressed a divide in attitudes between Blacks and Whites, whereas 38% of Whites and 89% of Blacks viewed the criminal justice system as being bias towards Blacks (Chaney et al., 2013). Furthermore, 8% of Blacks and 56% of whites perceive the criminal justice system as fairly treating Blacks (Chaney et al., 2013). This is the probability of the police performance being overwhelmingly approved by the dominant group ”White domination.White supremacy” (Chaney et al. 2013).
Nonetheless, police brutality is an issue as David Bayley’s Getting Serious about Police Brutality illustrates, here the remarks of one experienced chief of police when asked whether his force had a problem with brutality, he stated, Every force has a problem with brutality (Bayley, 1995). His statement neither negates nor confirm the phenomenon of police brutality as an issue, but it does infer that the phenomena police brutality’s prevalence consists nationally, here in the U. S.
The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) used by Chaney (2013) yielded results that expressed its findings of the 5,986 reports of misconduct, 382 fatalities linked to misconduct, settlements and judgments that totaled $347,455,000, and 33 % of misconduct cases that went through to convictions and 64 % of misconduct cases that received prison sentences (Chaney et al., 2013) where the NPMSRP were compiled between the months of April 2009 and June 2010. The NPMSRP reveal that the majority of individuals have a negative view of law enforcement. In particular, most had a strong contempt for members of law enforcement, are suspicious of them, or see them as perpetrators of police brutality (Chaney et al., 2013). It shouldn’t be a crime just for being Black, nor is it a crime to have faulty perceptions of the indentured servants that have sworn to protect and service our (Black) communities; yet these perceptions should not be rooted because of interventional implications of implementing policies to the dysfunctional American policing that would give way to just treatment and fairness to all citizens.
There are three theories pertaining to police misconduct ”as these theories of police behavior are sociological, psychological, and organizational theory (Maguire et al., 2015). Here we will examine police brutality by applying the theoretical approaches as sociological, psychological, and organizational theories. Proposed by the known psychologist, Sigmund Freud, states that psychological processes represent flows of psychic energy that are powered by two basic motivations that shape all of the human behavior: the life instinct (Eros) and the death distinct (Thanatos) (Jones et al., 2014). Experiences from childhood and conflict from childhood are influential to the combination of these forces to determine individualistic personality and, ultimately, her/ his biases towards different people (Jones et al, 2014).
There are three premises to the applicable nature of psychodynamic theory towards the explaining of prejudices. Those premises are as follows: 1). It assumes that humans have the disposition to be hostile, particularly in the face of real or perceived danger. Hostility arises from concerns with economic or material advantages, fear and defensiveness, and the need for prideful self-aggrandizement; 2). It assumes that at birth, humans seek comfort, love, and nurturance. However, as they fail to receive these in sufficient degree, they become frustrated, and this frustration activates their latent hostility; and 3). It assumes that only some people those whose basic needs are not readily met in other ways become prejudiced (Jones et al., 2014).
Prejudice(s) is/ are viewed as an abnormality. Freud attributed that the basis of aggression to an expression of the death instinct, a factor that is individualistic and rises within an individual, suggested that aggression as a stimulant being a resolution to the external causes that lead to frustration (Jones et al., 2014).
An influential group of researchers had adapted some of Freud’s ideas to develop a new theory of aggression. Their frustration-aggression hypothesis explains that frustration causes aggression and all aggression can be traced back to some form of frustration (Jones et al., 2014).
The same researchers also gave recognition to the ideology of people not being able to express aggression (Jones et al., 2014). Instances being, an officer not being able to meet a certain quota on the job frustrating hopes for future employment. Nevertheless, you would not act out against an innocent bystander within your community, so wanting to sustain future employment and possible promotion will cause you to suppress your desire to act out against an innocent bystander, and this causes displacement. At times police become frustrated with the rising of crime within their community. The frustration of controlling the dispersion and diffusion of crime leads to aggressive/ excessive force used on even the minor of incidences and offenses.
Note: As mentioned, the nature and scope of police brutality phenomena, here in America, has been in existence for centuries dating as far back to the Middle Passage where the formidable historical features of American policing are: Institutional enslavement and the control of minorities. Therefore, the system of policing is a tactical response as a contemporary form of White domination (Harris, 1998) where the legacy of racism and slavery are embedded. Moreover, as it is mentioned, because of the White domination that whenever the Blacks have prosperity and the Whites are having a declination in economics then those Whites are more aggressive towards the Blacks (Chaney et al., 2014; Jones et al., 2014). As a result, there were more lynching and murders to shooting and killings dealt from the hands of the white man directed upon the Blacks (Chaney et al., 2014; Jones et al., 2014), as well inequalities of white supremacy leading to marginalization, oppression, as well disproportionality and disparities effective on the African- Americans (Chaney et al., 2014; Jones et al., 2014).
The multifaceted research design of the phenomenon police brutality in American policing will incorporate a case study approach that will allow the intensive study of a given policy, issue, and/ or community in social context. By employing a historical approach coped with the case study to police brutality, the historical roots of this present day problem will become apparent, as we examine the brutal practices of plantation overseers and night watchmen and in the slaveholding south. As well, the data collected will be both quantitative and qualitative, therefore taking into consideration that, in this research proposal because most police precincts don’t explicitly collect data on the use of force, and that even when the data is hidden in plain view within police narrative accounts of interactions with civilians, it is exceedingly difficult to extract. Data on officer-involved shootings are extremely rare; and the data that are available is most frequently compiled by grassroots organizations, nonprofits, or media sources.
Fortunately, there are multiple independent researchers, journalists, and the federal government itself (Banks et al. 2015) which have compiled a virtually comprehensive record of civilians recently killed by U.S. police. Nonetheless, the most common data retrieval sources are Internet searches and Web-based news alerts, but these sources too have also relied on public record requests and required enlisting the services of a large number of people. The striving of such projects, fatalencounters.org (FE), syndicates methods with earnest out- of- sample testing to maintain an exhaustive, publicly downloadable record of police killings, currently going back to 2000 (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirsch?¬?eld, 2015).
Other scholars’ prior research was used in such ways as using prior interventional research as a basis for conducting their existing research. Chaney (2013) utilized the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) to respond to questions as what do findings from the NPMSRP suggest about the rate of police brutality in America? and how do individuals perceive the police department and what implications do these perceptions hold for Black men in America? as this research design is an exploratory case study that are case studies performed before implementing a large-scale investigation. Their basic function is to help identify questions and select types of measurement prior to the main investigation. Surveys and interviews conducted on members of a community that police brutality has harmed is an excellent practice used by prior researchers and would be best suited for this type of research.
The implications of this proposed research will inherently impact the incidences of police brutality as it will bring awareness to the public of the incidences of police brutality. The desired result is to protect the safety of communities at harm, and communicate as well promote the need for reform to American Policing: Criminal Justice.
An expected outcome is to facilitating the framework for an approach as an interventional implementation into policy for DC’s governance. Police brutality isn’t a new phenomenon (Chaney et al., 2013). In order to succeed in the future, we must as a people become educated about past events in hopes of no longer experiencing such events and place ourselves into better positions of succession. There are many reasons why legislatures impose so few restrictions on the consequential exercise of lethal policing: American policing. As these lethal policing patterns have been entrenched in the American traditions of governance (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015). Over time, police changed from a patronage system to a professional model (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015). This evolution has transferred police policy authority not to lawmakers but to police themselves (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015) where the system stifles reform (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015). The courts and legislators create the parameters for permissible deadly force, but specific guidelines and procedures on the subject of deadly force are said to be reputable and enforced only by police departments (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015) where again this system stifles reform (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015).
Police offcials, along with prosecutors whose jobs require police cooperation, regulate whether a specific act of deadly force sullied any rules or laws. Naturally, protocols that prioritize the protection of themselves and their discretionary authority are chosen by police. A policy that is an alternative that prioritizes protecting life would likely not permit police to use excessive/ deadly force. The fact that police brutality is deeply rooted and concealed in American history, culture, and society doesn’t mean that they cannot be greatly reduced (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015). Some police departments are heeding calls for reform on their own (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014). But systemic, large-scale problems require the broad, interventionist solutions expense of our (researchers’) prior approaches is periodic unrest, highly expensive taxpayer-funded lawsuit settlements, and reduced public cooperation with the police reduced (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014; & Hirscheld, 2015). Chaney (2013; 2014) expresses that Two-thirds of Americans register low levels of satisfaction with how well police departments hold their officers accountable for misconduct (Chaney et al., 2013; Chaney et al., 2014). Hopefully, centralized government actors will get the message and act in the public interest. Appreciations to emergent national data because now police dependence on deadly force is finally questionable.
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