Police brutality is an unnecessary use of force by the police against citizens. It is a practice that degrades the latter, causes harassment and restriction of citizens' freedom, and annoys them. Brutality is usually physical but can go to the extent of a verbal attack and psychological intimidation. In many instances, it has led to deaths of many citizens, perhaps innocent ones. This vice has happened for several decades. Many people have been affected due to the use of this practice by the police. Many reports indicate that the latter has violated the rights of citizens and mishandled them. Moreover, sexual harassment of the police in regard to people has reported annually. Therefore, police brutality has a great impact on the five areas of justice.
So many people are killed in extrajudicial killings that take place more often in the name of apprehending criminals on the run. Besides, the police, particularly a SWAT team, invade residential houses of citizens looking for data without their permission. Hence, they leave the affected people disturbed psychologically with many worries. Citizens are also injured by the police when the letter try to collect information that is of great significance in a court of law against their conduct (Bronitt). For instance, Krystle Silvera's ten-year-old son had his leg broken by the New York police department police officer. He took a phone trying to take a clip showing the activities taking place as the police were conducting their investigation, whereby Krystle Silvera's boyfriend was missing (Williams).
Ethical Implications of the Police Brutality Issue
As stated in the police code of ethics, they are supposed to treat all community members in a courteous manner and with respect. They should make a positive impression in the process of interacting with the public or among themselves. In their rules and regulations, police officers should not mock, belittle, embarrass willfully, shame, taunt or deride, or do anything with the intension of inciting a person to violence (Chevigny). They should promptly advise any inquiring citizens of the department's complaint procedure and follow the established policy for complaint processing. The issue of brutality is against these standards of the police. It means that the latter violate their own code of ethics as they harass and mistreat citizens in their line of duty (Bronitt).
Impacts of the Issue on the Five Areas of Justice
Forensics and Investigation
This area is the most crucial and important in the course of providing justice to citizens, and handling issues of the latter takes place at this stage of justice provision. During investigations, when the involved person is being questioned, he or she is usually subjected to a lot of pain or mistreatment if he or she says something that the police do not expect. Citizens are even beaten in order to provide information if they are deemed to be lying. In the process of searching a client's house, the police breach the privacy of the one involved. Therefore, due to there is no permission granted in many instances, citizens are left saddened and with the feeling of harassment (Williams).
The police ensure that the laws of the state are followed completely. Regulations are designed to protect people around. In the process of law enforcement, the police mistreat and embarrass citizens in many cases. The treatment of people with the respect that they deserve, as it is quoted in the code of conduct, is often violated by police officers. It greatly affects the relationship of a particular police department with local people, with whom they are supposed to work hand in hand to secure the state. It makes the locals shy off from reporting other matters to police officers as they fear of the mistreatment of people involved in the process.
Corrections have the goal of correcting offenders and protecting the community at large. Moreover, the correction service is responsible for aftercare, probation, parole, and adult institution services. The police department is mostly involved in this as they work with other professionals, mainly psychologists. This process is to be approached with a lot of care and consideration due to its impact on offenders or people involved. All efforts can be futile if the police mistreat citizens involved and do not provide a conducive environment. Therefore, proper handling and treatment of offenders by the police is a great determinant of the outcome of the whole process (Bronitt).
It is a way of settling disputes among citizens by the government. The police play a great role from the beginning of a trail up to this point (Chevigny). Their impact on a court procedure is very significant, as well as investigations carried out by them and forensics are key in procedures. Their findings have a great impact on the whole process.
As far as community service is concerned, the police may make house visits to collect intelligence information and reassure the public after some crimes or anti-social behavior has been reported. For proper and smooth use of security-related policies, the police work with the key people in the community, who will definitely influence the adoption time. It can be greatly affected if the police engaged in the process have been involved in brutality allegations. They are perceived without much enthusiasm in the community, therefore, projects are likely to fail, and the process of adopting policies will take longer (Murji).
Police brutality has a high impact on the process of justice provision right from investigations to the court of law proceedings. Due to the media kept track of injustices, some police officers were judged and punished for their misconduct. The code of ethics states clearly that citizens have to be treated with respect. It is a step towards curbing police brutality.
- Bronitt, S. Rethinking police use of force: Linking law reform with policy and practice. Criminal Law Journal, 36, 71-75.
- Chevigny, P. G. Police brutality. In Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict. (pp. 1612-1621). San Diego: Academic Press.
- Murji, K. Police brutality: An anthology/the politics of force: Media and the construction of police brutality/ cop knowledge: Police power and cultural narrative in twentieth-century America. Ethnic & Racial Studies, 25, 346-346.
- Williams, T. Police corruption. Journal of Financial Crime, 6 (4), 354 - 357.
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