Police brutality is widely known as the abuse of power by authorities through impermissible means using excess and often brutal force by people involved with the law enforcement as they perform their duties. Police brutality may also be used as a term which means a process to act as corrections by personnel for those involved in municipal; this can be military prisons in both federal penal facilities and state penal facilities. Police brutality, though has been happening for decades, continues to be a controversial topic especially in countries like the United States and the Philippines where they are rampant and happen almost on a daily basis. To better understand what Police Brutality is, it is important to analyze its relationship with other political obstruction in society, possible causes, and effects of police brutality, and make known some of the most known cases.
Hearing the phrase ‘police brutality’ alone can already strike fear in the hearts of those who cannot defend themselves and those who are directly affected by them. While police brutality may be associated often with physical harm, it may also be involved with psychological trauma and sometimes even racial discriminatory acts. Over the past year alone (2017), there had been several cases of police brutality in the United States wherein racial discriminatory, accidental shooting (due to having the victim marked usually as a false threat) and sometimes those with mental illness are affected by it such as the case with Andrew Thomas who was 26 at the time, and was driving drunk and ultimately had his wife killed after a crash. As Thomas emerged from his vehicle, Paradise, California police officer Patrick Feaster accidentally shot Thomas and killed him. Unfortunately, the police officer only had 180 days to be in jail since the verdict was involuntary manslaughter only. Though the case was marked as involuntary manslaughter, many expressed their disbelief and outraged due to the light sentence Feaster had received. Police brutality should never be enforced, much like the unruly capital punishment since based on different circumstances and so many reported cases, it is shown that police brutality never amounted to anything other than proving that police enforcer should be more properly trained and shows how narrow-minded these persons.
Police brutality may also be linked to the political staff or for those who are on the executive board much like the President. In an issue by U.S. News made by Nicole Hemmer back in August of 2017, it was disturbing to note that U.S. President Donald Trump had pardoned the case of Joe Arpaio who dubbed himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” only to find out that he, along with David Clarke of Milwaukee County Sheriff was apparently the former’s favorite sheriffs. Arpaio was known to have built a concentration camp left with his own devices and was later found out to have abused inmates who were sent there. The inmates were fed spoiled and rotten food as well as having their medical care suspended; to make it worse, they were also noted to have been humiliated in several occasions, thus resulting Arpaio to be one of the most notorious law enforcers there was. Along with David Clarke, he had spoken out his agreement with the pardoning of Arpaio and was also found out that he had the same “criminal” record as the latter. Because of this leniency and pardon of President Donald Trump, it can be seen that power abuse and police brutality had stemmed out from the roots of some, if not most law enforcers even if some had expressed their dismay with the pardon and rhetoric of the president.
With all these negative aspects surrounding police brutality, one may think that all citizens would be against it but apparently, some actually support this movement. Take a look at the records held by police officers in the Philippines. The Philippines is currently known as a dangerous country due to all the extrajudicial killings that occurred ever since the appointment of their current President Rodrigo Duterte. The extrajudicial killings were coined as another way of saying police brutality and are often associated with victims who were allegedly spoken of to take drugs. This can be linked with the extreme distaste of the current president on drugs, hence why he overlooks most of the cases and lets Ronald Bato of the Philippine National Police handle the cases. In an interview with officer Bato, he had stated that drug deaths were not EJKs as stated by many in the media and it was a necessary step for providing a good and healthy country. Unfortunately, the president has enough supporters to actually agree with the killings and it continues to go rampant, increasing every day with the deaths totaling to over seven thousand as of April 2017 both from legal and vigilante manner police operations. It comes to as no surprise that even if Bato had cried, and with Solon’s rebut that crying will never erase the pain that extrajudicial killings have caused would also cause a decrease in police brutality since there had been more and more cases reported, especially as those presented in social media like Facebook, and Twitter.
Now how to go about police brutality? It was already noted that police brutality is never the way to go, especially by those who held power but a solution can always be found on how to reduce this. A possible solution can be movements done by people, especially those who were affected and lost a loved one because of it to voice out their concerns. If that is not enough, maybe at some point, retaliation with arms (since they can be accessible) would soon become necessary should their respective government not make an action against it but hopefully, peace is able to be maintained throughout nations and a proper way of handling these can be done.
In essence, the police brutality is a form of power abuse by law enforcement who took advantage of the leniency of government politicians (some even approve of it), and had used this power over the weak or vulnerable, leaving countless lifeless bodies as they continue to go rampant, increasing the count as they go. Even though many have voiced out their concerns and their outrage against police brutality, little can be done to stop them since the acquisition of arms is illegal and due to the nature of many that violence was never the key for proper retaliation. Hopefully, as time goes by and with the continuation of the current governing bodies of countries or nations where police brutality is an everyday scenario, major changes can be done such as proper training and grave consequences for enforcers who abuse their powers.
- Bueza, M. (2016). In Numbers: The Philippines’ ‘War on Drugs’. Retrieved on 1/31/2018 from http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/145814-numbers-statistics-philippines-war-drugs.
- Hemmer, N. (2017). The Brutality President. U.S. News. Retrieved on February 9, 2018, from https://www.usnews.com/opinion/thomas-jefferson-street/articles/2017-08-29/donald-trump-is-the-police-brutality-president.
- Wootson Jr., C.R. (2016). This officer shot and paralyzed an unarmed man. For 11 minutes he didn’t tell anyone. The Washington Post. Retrieved on February 9, 2018 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/12/10/this-officer-shot-and-paralyzed-an-unarmed-man-for-11-minutes-he-didnt-tell-anyone/?utm_term=.bce37370db05.