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Diana Rodriguez

Professor Broadbent

Writing 39C

01 June 2018

Getting Rid of Police Brutality

Being out in the streets is scary, driving around is scary, going to the grocery store is

scary, simply going for a walk around your neighborhood might seem scary… that is, if you are

a part of the minority groups across the United States. It is scary to be out and about because one

might be depicted as a felon, next thing you know is they’re on the ground being hit with a baton

by a police officer for about 50 times. After fully investigating the situation, we come to find that

that person was only going to the corner to buy chips and was assaulted because officers thought

their phone was a gun. Cases in which a

minority is being dehumanized seem to be

recurring, happening and happening over and

over again. The problem doesn’t seem to be

getting any ​better​ but instead it seems to be

getting ​worse​, the cops aren’t getting

blamed for what they do and it’s only allowing them to keep mistreating people. It is not fair that

cops get acquitted and the cases get left, forgotten. Many solutions have been tried to help this

issue but seem to not be working. One issue proposed that can help with the trauma that has been
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evoked onto the lives of many people in the African American community, is to make sure that

police officers get extra training to help know when it is right to assault and when it is wrong to

assault a person. A lot of police brutality is a cop not knowing how to treat the situation they are

in and this explains their wrong behavior. This training can go a long way into saving the lives of

many innocent people.

Police brutality has been gradually increasing over the past decades in the United States.

In 2015, police killed at least 104 unarmed black people. There was a very well-known case the

year following, in 2016. A famous case is that of Philando Castile who was pulled over by

Officer Yanez for a broken taillight. Castile had been shot by Yanez. Yanez later found out that

the gun Castile had was licensed. Castile was a school nutritionist, not a title people expect to

hear coming from an African American. He has been one of the 233 African Americans shot and

killed by police in 2016 (Nodjimbadem). There was only 14 days in 2017 where police didn’t
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kill somebody. Now, we are currently in 2018 and police have already killed 466 people. 36% of

people shot were black and were unarmed, keeping in mind that the whole black population of

the United States is only 13% according to Mapping Police Violence. This is a problem that

obviously needs more attention than it is currently receiving. It’s not correct to say that issue is

mirroring that of slavery but in a sense, they’re similar. Slavery and police brutality are issues

regarding mistreatment towards a certain group, being the African Americans. It is the African

Americans who are feeling victimized by the cops. This problem is a racial issue and with Trump

being president and many other factors contributing to it as well, it only opens the door for more

cases like that of Castile and King, to keep happening. It has been an issue in the past and is only

growing as time goes on.

One method the law enforcement has gone about this issue in order to decrease the rate of

police brutality is implementing body cameras on the officers to further surveillance their

whereabouts. These Body-worn videos (BWV) were implemented not only to reduce the office

use of force but to also reduce the assaults on officers. BWV simply had no effect on the

problem: the excess use of force police officers use on the African Americans. The reason as to

why this solution was proposed was because the law enforcement thought that they’d change

their behavior by being monitored. Cameras put out in public had decreased the rate of crime

specifically in parking garages. The implementation of cameras in the freeways has decreased

the amount of people speeding and the amount of

fatal accidents. The theories varied. No answers seem

to be reasonable as to why the cameras weren’t

working. Many thought officers didn’t care about the


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cameras or they feared. Every time they received a call or encountered an incident, they were

obligated to turn on the camera and the civilian thought it was wrong to be recorded and would

lash out. In this case, to get all the cameras that were used as study in Rialto, California and in

Washington D.C. was quite expensive. No, money was not an issue. The government has given

well over $40 million to the police law enforcement to invest in body cameras. Even with all the

money granted to them, this solution backfired.

Many other smaller solutions were tried on the officers across the country. ​One of them

is training officers for racial bias​. This training occurs with a computer simulator. This

didn’t seem to work because some students from the Florida State University researched and

found some officers being able to eliminate their biases. ​A second methods was to hire

more females into the law enforcement​.​ This was because woman are said to be more

gentle when in an encounter. They are less likely to use excessive force. The LAPD had paid

$63.4 million between 1990 and 1999 in lawsuits for males and $2.8 million in females. Females

are less likely to get into trouble with a civilian. This seemed not to work out because many

gender inequality issues began to come up. Female officers felt they were getting called “soft”

for being a woman. ​Another method that has been tried in the law enforcement was to

match the racial diversity of the communities​. The New York Times states that there is 30

percent more white officers in the communities they serve. The number of incidents drops

drastically when the diversity of the community matches that of the law enforcement. This hasn’t

worked because it is hard to move cops around since the system has a lot of white officers. It is

hard to only hire per say Latino officers or black officers. Then, that is seen as a racial issue to

not hire as many white officers as they are colored. These solutions have showed little to no
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progress in solving the problem. These solutions were tried back in 2016, as said by Kate

Stringer in her article.

The solution presented to help solve, or at least make this problem become less of a

bigger problem, is to make sure officers go through better training. The training they have been

receiving is obviously not helping the problem. How this solution would work; incoming officers

finish their basic training. After their basic training, they get this “special training.” This “special

training” is what teaches them right form of approaching a situation and the wrong way to go.

Many of the cases of police brutality, the officer shoots because they are scared or because they

don’t know what to do in a certain situation. This training will help officers not be scared of

being in a situation. Being a cop comes with many dangers. Coming into the law enforcement,

people should know what to expect. Going into a situation scared is normal, but acting out crazy

is not. The officer should not be permitted into the streets until the law enforcement believes they

are ready to fulfill their job properly. ​It is 2018 and we are ​STILL​ facing this problem​. By

conducting better training on the officers, it’ll better their understanding on when they should

assault and when they shouldn’t assault a person. In one case, Stephon Clark was an unarmed

man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Sacramento. What is also devastating about

this case was that the police shot him 20 times (John, Ulloa, Chang). 20 times. More shots than

he should have got. If the officer was well trained, he would have approached this situation in a

different manner. Calmly trying to get to Clark first and talk him to stop running. If Clark was

not cooperating, then take means a bit higher but shooting a person 20 times should not have

been the answer. Better training in the force will teach some sense into these police officers.

Teaching them that everyone is a human, black people nor any other minority group shouldn’t be
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seen as anything less than a human. Maybe teaching that in their basic training will open their

eyes and prevent them from causing stupid mistakes and taking the lives of many innocent

people. There has been reports saying some of the law enforcements across the country are

looking into these better training tactics.

“...ridiculous amounts of money have gone towards the

body cameras the law enforcement has implemented, ​$40

million​”

In trying to make this solution work there are many things that prevent it from actually

going into play and become a fully functioning method. The problem with adding more training

to these officers is the cost financially. The type of training that needs to be implemented into the

law enforcement is quite a lot. To go through the police academy is about $6,700. It’ll definitely

increase because of the new and better training which would lead more people will get

discouraged to join the academy. However, in comparison to college tuition, it really isn’t that

much. In total to attend UC Irvine, it is about $33,000. Although tuition in many universities

increase every year, these universities are getting more and more applications every year. For the

2017-2018 year in UCI, many students had to dorm in Campus Village or Arroyo Vista (which

are upperclassmen dorms) because the space in the dorms made especially for freshman were

limited to no room at all. Also, ridiculous amounts of money have gone towards the body

cameras the law enforcement has implemented, $40 million. Money isn’t an issue to the

government if they gave $40 million to the law enforcement in order to minimize the problem of
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police brutality. Another obstacle this solution may come across is that the training might have

little or no effect towards some officers. It is easy to say that some officers may complete the

special training and come out with nothing. However, officers are usually never alone while

driving around their assigned community. If for some reason an officer was to act out, their

colleague could per say try to calm down their partner. Thus, it would minimize the risk of that

officer actually assaulting the civilian. It is hard to change someone’s values/perspectives. If a

person was taught, growing up, to hate a certain race, some training won’t resolve that. It takes

time. This special training however, also teaches officers about the values of humans. It shows

them how to not mistreat people. Also, because officers usually NEVER get charged for what

they do, this training has strict rules as to what happens to a cop when not following protocol.

Also, officers are usually never alone while driving around their assigned community. There are

more rights than wrongs that can go with implementing a better, more efficient training that

focuses on teaching officers the correct way to approach a situation.

In conclusion, the African American community, along with many others, suffer from the

misconduct by police officers. This has been noticed as an issue across the country. From LA to

Missouri and so on. Many of the cases involving police brutality are solved without justice, left

and forgotten in silence. Many cases seemed to have been forgotten by the system too. In order

to stop this problem from increasing the law enforcement has to do their job by implementing

better training to their officers. They spent a lot on body cameras that had little effect on the

problem. Other solutions have been tried and have not succeeded. By implementing this special

training, the officer has a better understanding as to how to approach a situation and if per say an

officer does not apply what was taught in training, and other officer can step in. Officers have a
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lot to lose but they don’t seem to notice because their charges get dropped. By not following the

training, their job can be at stake. More fear. More of a chance of this solution being successful.
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Works Cited

Ariel, Barak, et al. “Wearing Body Cameras.” ​Sage Journals​, 16 May 2016,

journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1477370816643734.

“Expenses, Tuition, and Fees.” Expenses...< Uni.California, Irvine 2017-18,

catalogue.uci.edu/informationforprospectivestudents/expensestuitionandfees/#paymentan

dtuitionandfees.

John, Paige St., et al. “Shooting of Unarmed Black Man Heightens Racial Tensions in

Sacramento.” ​Los Angeles Times​, Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2018,

www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-sacramento-shooting-20180324-story.html.

Ripley, Amanda. “A Big Test of Police Body Cameras Defies Expectations.” ​The New York

Times​, The New York Times, 20 Oct. 2017,

www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/upshot/a-big-test-of-police-body-cameras-defies-expectati

ons.html​.

Stringer, Kate. “We Already Know How to Reduce Police Racism and Violence.” ​YES!

Magazine​, 9 Sept. 2016,

www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/cities-have-the-power-to-reduce-police-racism-and-

violence​.