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Police Brutality

Police Brutality

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Published by Vanessa Agudelo

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Published by: Vanessa Agudelo on May 04, 2011
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Vanessa AgudeloLA 101HMay 1, 2011Theres a Thin Blue Line Between Brutality and an OfficerThe American folksinger, Bob Dylan, once said Democracy don't rule theworld, you'd better get that in your head; this world is ruled by violence, but I guessthat's better left unsaid. Although he might have been speaking about the war at the time (he wrote this in 1941), this statement can be applied to daily life now.Democracy, something that is suppose to be so pure and good, can not prevail or act as effective as something as evil as violence; but why? Is it that our society is reallythat immersed in violence today, that the good guys cant win anymore, or worsehave stopped trying? Our law enforcement, the people who are suppose to beprotecting our rights on a day to day basis, have become the same people we fearbecause of violence. So whom do we put our trust in if the good guys arent goodguys anymore? The only way for us to get a good night sleep again, is to rid oursocieties of these tainted officers and put forward those who want to see their worldget ahead, not beat down. It is time we, as a society, face the facts and realize policecannot police themselves, and try to find new, more effective ways in doing so.No one talks about it. Police brutality is something that has been a problemfor years, but when it happens people seem to just turn away; pretend its all a lie,pretend that its just one dirty cop and that the rest are not like him. There is onething correct about that statement- the rest are not all like him, but a lot of them are.If you refuse to come to terms with what is right in front of you, how are victims of 
 
this maltreatment suppose to feel comfortable coming forward with the truth?Keeping quiet is not going to make the problem go away, you are only enabling it,letting it grow stronger. Silence can be as deadly as violence, especially when theyare both combined. The reason police brutality has gone on for so long is becausewe ourselves have allowed it. We make it seem like beating innocent people, or evenguilty people who are in no way resisting or harming police, is completelyacceptable. Everyone has rights, even convicts, but how is it that the same peoplewho swore to protect those rights while on the job, are the same ones taking it awayfrom us? If we all felt as if we needed to use violence to solve problems or just simply use it for enjoyment, we would all be locked up, but these people actually get paid for it. Even shows like Law and Order display police mistreating their suspects,even those who never did anything in the first place. We allow this to go on like it issomething normal, like it is apart of daily life; but it is not normal. Our lack of interest in the matter has made it normal.I am not at all suggesting that all cops are abusive but I am definitely sayingthat a number of them do end up crossing that line at one point or another, mostlybecause they are almost completely assured they will get away with it. How?Reports filed against police officers seem to take the back seat at the policedepartment. Journalist Ryan Gallagher reports, more than 10,000 complaints of police abuse were filed with Chicago police between 2002 and 2004, but only 19resulted in meaningful disciplinary action, a new study asserts (Gallagher, Study:Police abuse goes unpunished). Although it may seem logical to put theinvestigation of homicides before reports against your own, it makes it harder to
 
investigate the report as more time passes by. I do not blame the police department for having so much on their plate, I respect it, but what ends up happening is that somuch time goes by there ends up being no point in actually figuring out what happened. It is not fair for those who have to go through such abuse and then not see justice prevail.Not only are they busy, but also sometimes police officers have some type of code amongst each other. This code, usually referred as the Police Code of Silence, iswhat keeps cops from outing each other out. Neal Trautman conducted a study onlaw enforcement academies in sixteen states and found,· 79% said that a law enforcement Code of Silence exists and is fairlycommon throughout the nation.· 52% said that the fact a Code of Silence exists doesnt really bother them.· 24% said the Code of Silence is more justified when excessive force involvesa citizen whos abusive.· 46% said they would not tell on another officer for having sex on duty.· 23% said they wouldnt tell on another cop for regularly smoking marijuanaoff dutyHe then also conducted a confidential questionnaire on current officers and reachedthese results:-In response to Please describe the first time you witnessed misconduct byanother employee but took no action, 46 percent (532) advised they hadwitnessed misconduct by another employee, but concealed what they knew.

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