How Police Officers Use Excessive Force Against American Civilians

1480 Words Nov 30th, 2014 6 Pages
How and why police officers use excessive force against American civilians has been, and will continue to be, a controversial topic of much debate. Our nation’s history of racial conflict and inequality, both personal and systemic, has left our country more divided than ever after the recent shootings of young unarmed black youth by police officer’s. These events are rich with sociological issues such as inequality and class issues, racial profiling, the militarization of the police, law enforcement interaction with protesters, social media networks, and the “criminalization of black male youth”.
The purpose of this paper is to research profiling by law enforcement officers and how it correlates with their use of excessive force. Beyond the demarcation of race and class, it is police tactics such as stop and frisk and racial profiling that reinforce negative attitudes towards the police by minorities. Racial profiling refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. However other characteristics, such as gender, age, medical condition, appearance, class, body language, interaction or non-interaction, or even physical location may affect an officer’s decision not only to investigate a person but when or if to use of excessive force. Profiling is not a new issue in this country; however with the recent focus of the media on police brutality it has gained new momentum. Are there only a…

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