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The Nation's Response on Police Brutality

Posted by Jamar St. on November 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM



For the last couple of months, police brutality has been the hot topic for media’s conversations and discussions boards itself. From the killing of Travaughn Martin and the neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, to the police officer in South Carolina that was fired over the violent arrest of a young African American teenage girl, police brutality is shocking the nation. The heated debates over police brutality is asking the hard questions of who is at fault and what should the nation do to crack down on men and women who have a badge.


Police brutality has always been a controversial topic to talk about. Whether it be from the side that agrees that police brutality is needed on the guilty or the side that says police brutality is crossing a fine line between right and wrong.


Early cases of police brutality can be traced back to the Civil Rights era when African Americans as a mass was faced with tremendous amounts of police brutality in order to gain equality for the masses. Several instances of when police brutality was present is at the Birmingham campaign of 1963 to 1964 and the Selma to Montgomery march that following year. Incidents of police brutality was emphasized when the City Commissioner by the name of T. Eugene “Bull” Connor order the usage of police dogs to attack but also ordered the usage of fire hoses against nonviolent black activists in Birmingham, Alabama. Was the usage of police dogs and fire hoses necessary or was it defending the police officers that may have felt threatened at the time? During both peaceful campaigns of racial, social, and political equality for blacks in the South, media coverage on both campaigns, sparked outrage throughout the nation when police brutality was heavily commented on.


Another instance where police brutality was present is during the occurrence of the Vietnam War. Anti-War demonstrations were held to stop the war itself. In an effort to quell the anti-war protests, billyculbs and tear gas was sometimes used to disturb the crowd. However, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention that was held in Chicago, police brutality was at a high when police officers began to beat a boy who merely took down the American flag during the anti-war protest. In both instances, police brutality played a major part into the rising attention of the men and women who vow to protect the innocent and prosecute the wrongdoers.


Fast forward to the present, and police brutality has drastically changed to the point that US citizens second guess the men and women who wears a badge. Some of the cases where US citizens question the moral compass of police officers is the incident that occurred at a pool party in McKinney, Texas. At the pool party, McKinney Police Department had to interfere with the suburban pool party when there was a call of disturbance for loud music and possible fights. No lives lost was lost during the pool party when the police arrived on the scene but a disturbing video sparked controversial comments on the police officer that may have went too far. The video illustrated police officer Casebolt physically handling a young black girl by putting her face down on the ground and putting his knee on her back. Many people say that the excessive force of the police officer was unnecessary and uncalled for. Despite the fact that McKinney being a multi-racial neighborhood with black, white, Latino, and Asians residents living together, proves that the officer should have found an alternative way to handle the situation differently. Many citizens of McKinney believes that the officer subjected the teenage girl to racial profiling because she was African American or because she stood out in the middle. Either side can be right or wrong but all remains the same that police brutality is something that should grab the nation’s attention.


Moreover, politics and celebrities has specific views on the right and wrong of police brutality on the youth and the general population of America. Democratic Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton, voiced her opinion on her twitter account by saying, “There is no excuse for violence inside a school. The assault of Spring Valley High School is unacceptable-schools should be safe places.” To Hilary Clinton and many others viewers of the video that displayed an officer violently arresting a teenager that refuse to leave the classroom, proves that police brutality is getting out of hand and something should be done about it. Another individual that has strong views on police brutality that is grabbing the nation is filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Quentin has strong views about police brutality and what should be done to stop this kind of brutality against the youth and US citizens themselves.


Police brutality has been a taboo topic for many individuals to discuss. Many people who have singular views about police brutality believe that the men and women that wear the badge shouldn’t be burned at the stake for trying to do their job. But what about the other singular views that believed that there is a thin line between right and wrong and there have been many incidents where they have crossed that line. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and not everyone is right. But we should ask ourselves this question: Should the nation take drastic steps to decrease police brutality or should we ignore the fact that US citizens are outraged with the police officers efforts to quell heated situations?

Categories: Culture: Anthropology

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