As a cop, you may one day become accused of police brutality.
It's just the way it is. People complain and bitch about everything. Suspects will commit crimes and whine that they are being arrested.
Then some of those suspects will start to fight during the arrest, putting you in the position where you have to use force. Then what happens?
They whine. They complain. They say that you "beat them up" and used "excessive force".
Well, what is excessive force anyways? Well, when you are a cop, you have the lawful ability to use force when you are affecting an arrest on a suspect.
Now, does that mean you can just punch someone in their throat or smash their face with a baseball bat because they resist arrest? No, of course not.
When the suspect resists arrest, you can use force but it has to be a reasonable amount of force.
You will gauge each situation and have to be able to identify what amount of force is reasonable for that exact scenario.
You will be trained to recognize what is acceptable and what is not, but some of it will be common sense.
For example, lets pretend that you are arresting some kid for stealing a chocolate bar from a variety store. When you put your hand on his arm and are handcuffing him he pulls his arm away and sits down on the floor to resist your efforts.
Now, would pulling out your tonfa stick or baton and smashing his head open be reasonable? No.
I could see people screaming police brutality over that. What if he pulled away again when you tried to cuff him a second time and you forced him down to his stomach, put your knee in his back and forced the handcuffs on him ? Would that be reasonable? I'd say so. But again, some people will scream police
Being a cop means that you will have to exercise good judgement in various situations.
You will always be second guessed and criticized. Not just by citizens in the area, but by newspapers and media also.
Any story which focuses on excessive use of force by the police always sells and makes money, so they will always be on the lookout and trolling for any opportunity to "stick it to the cops."
One of the most polarizing situations in regards to this topic was the Rodney King incident which happened in Los Angeles in the early 1990's.
Click here for info on Rodney King
There are a few reasons why this incident is worth mentioning.
First off, as far as I can recall, it was the first piece of video which showed what many people considered to be an example of actual police using excessive force.
It made headlines and was all over the news, not just in LA and the US, but worldwide. The incident and video sparked massive debate, and eventually, a criminal trial against 4 LAPD officers.
The acquittal of the officers who were involved sent the city into a frenzy which resulted in a deadly riot which lasted for almost a week.
Up until this point, the phrase "police brutality" was known and used often by suspects and those who were anti police. But some believe that the Rodney King incident gave the phrase a focal point, and even to this day, when people hear those words, they think of Rodney King.
Return from Police Brutality to Homepage