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The Presumed War on Police - Kylia McCoy

The Presumed War on Police

Kylia McCoy

29 January 2018

Criminal Justice 1010-802

Professor Don E. Blackburn

Writing Assignment #1
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Abstract

This paper will review the current research and data about violence toward police

officers and the “war on police.” In this paper we will discuss the statistics about how

and why many people currently believe there is a war on the police force. Many studies

have shown that violent deaths among cops is growing and not planning on decreasing.

Although, with the rise of violent deaths, we will also compare them to the current

expectations that the public has on the police and the public alike. With the rise of

technologies like instant communication and public sharing through videos and photos,

we are seeing a much higher expectation for police to follow. Should they not follow this

properly, their face will be shared with thousands of individuals at a much more rapid

rate than any previous generation could muster up for the worst criminals. This is also

allowing a public lynching system of sorts. Although this system is not targeted at police,

therefore this is not a war on police. This system is targeted at the criminals of our

society, including those that have the title of officer. We can observe this through many

recent events like the #MeToo movemnt, where we are openly showing the evils of our

society through instant communications.

Through this paper, I would like to shed some more light into the statistics that

show the “War on Police” is not likely, nor is it relevant. But rather that it is a war on

immorality and criminals. I would also like to shed light into my personal belief on this
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topic, about how police officers have been ather unchecked for many years and this

new system of publicly fighting them will not be a bad thing, just a new thing.

Introduction

There is a war on police, that the current situation in the united states is fully

against the police officers. Although, that may not be the case. Currently there is

evidence that suggests that people are becoming increasingly violent towards police,

although I do not believe that this is for any ill will or that there is a battle between the

two. Rather that people have begun to realize the damaging affects the community has

suffered because of corrupted police. Although, it is not that dangerous of a time for

police, as many statistics have shown that violent crimes are decreasing, among both

police and the public.

Within recent years and with the help of technology and instant communication

we can see the malpractice that many police officers are charged with. Unlike previous

generations, we have impeccable proof of misconduct, so much so that it is rather hard

for any local government to ignore. Of course, there will always be lynchings but I do not

believe that is the majority of this issue. I believe this issue surfaced from people not

wanting to be afraid of those that are suppose to protect us anymore.


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Misconceptions and the Current Climate

Many people like to call upon statistics of rising deaths and attacks on police.

While, rates of violence on police are rising, they are rising by such a small fraction that

it is not as astounding as many claim it. With the rise of population, it is normal to expect

that the rise of crimes will come with it. Let’s look at 2014, the climate was relatively

similar to our current one, as well as maintaining a similar growth of population as is

now. Martin Kaste, of NPR says “​In fact, in the larger scheme of things, 2014 looks

pretty normal. The number of murders of police was about the same as 2012, and

actually a lot lower than 2011.”

This is to show that 2014 is in a similar situation as the rest of the decade, as

well as 2012 and so forth. 2013 was a very safe year for police. In comparison,

2006-2010 was much more dangerous for police, many experts believe this was due to

the increasingly unstable economy. (Kaste, M. 2015) Although these have been

increasingly dangerous times for police in the past, they are not included in 2018. For

one, we saw a major boom in crime and violent crime during the 1970-1990’s. Although

this rate has been steadily decreasing since 1996, there are always bumps in the most

recent year for such high numbers was in 1993. Since 1993, these crimes, have been

decreasing. (McMaken, R. 2016) One officer said to the New York times that “while

violent death was always a risk for cops, it was a daily reality for the African-American
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and Latino residents of the South Bronx, where I worked. It was the reason we were

there. There was a war going on, it often seemed, but most of us were on the same

side.” (Conlon, E. 2016) This only further shows that police and the public are on the

same team, so to say.

We are not fighting a war on police but rather a war on crime and corruption. The

only difference is that now we are recognizing the illegal and immoral behaviors of

police officers too. As it will be discussed in more detail later, for many years it was easy

for the public to ignore the wrongdoings of officers. Even worse, it was easy for officials

like Police Chiefs and local government to brush off claims by the public. Now, we have

a near 24/7 surveillance that is constantly recording and documenting our every move,

and when an officer does wrong they are noted. I do not believe there is a disconnect

between people and police, but I believe there is a disconnect between good people

and bad people. Regardless of their position and job.

For example, my father was a deviant person for the majority of his young life,

although he claims to have never done anything illegal or immoral. Because he was a

deviant looking individual, he was constantly harassed by police and school officials.

One day, he was beaten nearly to death by three police officers, and still maintains the

scars of this, simply because he was asking out a “nice looking” young lady. He had not

been harassing her by any means, she was actually a good friend of his and had said

yes to the innocent date. Three fully grown police officers decided that the best means
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was to beat a 15 year old boy. When my father, went to the police station to report the

officers, with the young lady as a witness and two other individuals who had seen it, he

was ignored. They told him that he must have gotten into a fight with someone and

wanted to blame it on the officers. Even though he tried to report the incident, there was

no proof, and it was simply the word of a rebel teen versus three police officers.

Regardless of the witnesses. In our current world, with cameras everywhere, that

couldn’t happen. Someone, regardless of job, is recorded and that is damning evidence.

As we’ve seen with previously mentioned statistics, there appears to be little to

worry about. There is no War on Police, especially as compared to the War on Drugs,

and the ongoing civil fights about rights within minority groups. Currently, I don’t believe

there is a faction between the police and the public, I believe that the majority of the

public recognize police for the good they do. Although, with the rise of technology like

computers and the internet, we can learn and see more than ever before. Nowadays,

we can easily see all the good cops are doing for us, and also all the bad; it is a nearly

weekly occurrence to see stories or articles about corrupt police hurting someone.

Fifty years ago, even so much as twenty years ago, we couldn’t report police for

misconduct as easily, and it was much harder to prove anything. Now, we have

cameras that are constantly recording our every move, from grocery stores or in

schools, in parking lots and some choose to have them in their homes, and the most

prevalent camera is the one in nearly every American’s pocket. Should an officer act in
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a unsavory way, it’s almost guaranteed that he will be recorded. The “war” isn’t on

Police, it is on the misconduct that police have been allowed to get away with for too

long. While more cops have been attacked as of recent, I don’t believe that is simply

man vs. officer. I believe that with the rise of the internet and computers, instant

communication and constant learning opportunities we as the public have a better idea

of our rights and liberties than any other generation.

With this knowledge being so wide spread, the public is less likely to simply go

along with an officer’s outrageous demands since they know what they are required to

do and what they may refuse. Of course, there will always be those who abuse their

power, whether of the public or an officer. Some members of the public will unrightly

attack or demand of the police. Although, I believe the majority of people agree that

cops are good it's just the corruption of long that needs to be changed. As well, some

members of the police will inevitably become drunk with power and abuse their town,

that is why it is our job, as members of the public to maintain the police and hold them

to a high standard. Just as the checks and balances of the government prevent one

man or one group from becoming too powerful, we must protect the community from

being a lawless wasteland without necessary police, or being a corrupted oligarchy.


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Summary

While there is crime and police deaths in this country, there is little proof of a “war

on police.” Within the rise of instant communication and very damning evidence, there

has also been lynchings of police officers and the public alike. This is not against the

police though, and in many cases the public and the police are on the same side. No

american wants for there to be evil in the country, so when someone does something

unspeakable we fight against them. Recently we have seen a rise in people acting out

against police, although this is not because of the title they bear but rather the actions

they have committed. It is hard for us to wish away the evil deeds a person has done

when there is video evidence, we are quick to jump up and fight for what’s right.

Although this may seem like a war on police, to me it is rather a war on the evils of

society. We are done being bullied by anyone, even police, and we are fighting for the

right to live safely in our homes.


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References

Conlon, E. (2016, July 20). Why There Is No War on the Police. Retrieved January 20, 2018,

From

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/opinion/why-there-is-no-war-on-the-police.html

Kaste, M. (2016, December 29). How The Perceived 'War On Cops' Plays Into Politics And

Policing. Retrieved January 20, 2018, from

https://www.npr.org/2016/12/29/507249260/how-the-perceived-war-on-cops-plays-into-p

olitics-and-policing

Kaste, M. (2015, September 17). Is There A 'War On Police'? The Statistics Say No. Retrieved

January 20, 2018, from

https://www.npr.org/2015/09/17/441196546/is-there-a-war-on-police-the-statistics-say-no

Lynch, T. (2017, August 21). The 'War on Cops': Flawed Logic and Fantasy. Retrieved January

20, 2018, from ​http://www.newsweek.com/war-cops-flawed-logic-fantasy-485546

McMaken, R. (2016, June 15). FBI: US Homicide Rate at 51-Year Low. Retrieved January 20,

2018, from ​https://mises.org/blog/fbi-us-homicide-rate-51-year-low

Note​: I do not give authorization of this assignment or any other pieces of my intellectual

property, to be used, distributed, copied, or shared with anyone without my express permission.