When Will Enough Be Enough?: Latest Case of Police Brutality Further Spotlights Issue
Lately, the frequency of police brutality cases in the news have become less of a shock and more of a regular occurrence to many. The latest example of police brutality quickly made headlines after an NYPD plainclothes officer was caught on tape punching a young man several times while the teen was restrained by several other police officers.
According to reports, the police officers at the scene were responding to 911 calls about an assault in progress. The teen in question, and two others, were purportedly arrested based on allegations that they had assaulted a 20-year-old man with a cane before proceeding to punch and kick him repeatedly.
Whether the young man engaged in a type of behavior that justified his apprehension is one thing. Of course, if the teens in question committed the alleged assault, this would undoubtedly be grounds for their arrest. There is no question that they would need to be held accountable for their actions.
However, there is another major issue here, which is that police officers are expected to carry out their duties based on specific codes of conduct. There are few situations, if any, where a police officer could justify the kind of treatment to a civilian that the officer in the video exhibited, regardless of the actions of said civilian.
Due to these recurring scenarios of police brutality, the public image of the police, as well as questions of racism in the United States and corruption within the American justice system have been called into question. What’s even more strange is that damage control mode seems to have eluded police departments all over the country. Officers continue committing blatant human rights violations behind the safety of their uniforms and badges with no apparent remorse or sufficient accountability.
If not for the sake of pure decency and humanity, one would imagine that U.S. police forces might want to tread carefully during this tumultuous period for the sake of their own image in the public eye. One way we would propose that they do this is to hire a crisis communications firm to create messaging and other Public Relations strategies that will mitigate the fallout that situations like these can create. However, none of this appears to have happened.
What’s worse is that recent events have made Americans all over the country lose faith in those individuals who are responsible for protecting and serving the American people above all else. While the concept of corruption and abuse of power within the police force is not foreign, the immense blatancy with which police officers have abused their power without facing substantial repercussions as of late is more damaging to the police reputation and public image than ever before.
It’s difficult to predict how events will play out moving forward. However, what is an undeniable fact now is that with each new instance of police brutality comes another blow to the public’s trust in the American police force. Furthermore, the damage that police brutality has caused to the public’s image of the police force might reflect poorly on the U.S. justice system as a whole. It is a major example of how the interconnectedness of so many aspects of our society can lead to a kind of domino effect whereby our loss of faith in one facet may lead to a loss of faith in others.
Do you think that examples like this one demonstrate how officers in the U.S. police force are abusing their power or do you stand by their actions? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi