Issues Regarding Police Interaction with Minority Populations, Police Brutality Essay Sample

Published: 2022-03-28
Issues Regarding Police Interaction with Minority Populations, Police Brutality Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Discrimination Police brutality
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1764 words
15 min read

A considerable part of the attention given to the police from criminology has focused on various aspects of their relationship with persons and groups of ethnic minority origin (OEM), highlighting the challenges and problems that the police find themselves in multicultural societies. There are many studies that highlight the use of racial profiling by the police (Wagman 2006), the disproportion of OEMs who are subject to stops and searches, the unequal treatment they receive these people (Newburn & Walker, 2004) or ethnic minorities' distrust of the police (Sharp & Asherton 2006; Bowling et al., 2013). This situation represents a problem for the police from the point of view of their legitimacy in plural and democratic societies and has been addressed, among other ways, by the incorporation of OEMs in the police corps, making them more representative of the societies in which they perform their tasks.

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Police action based on equality and non-discrimination is a cornerstone of democratic societies. In line with the phenomenon of continuous immigration to the European Union and of movements between the Member States and within a single country, as well as the presence of established national minorities, police services have to work increasingly with diverse communities. The Macpherson report on issues regarding police interaction with minority populations presented worrying results (Wagman, Jefferson, & Senevirante, 2016). In examining the frequency of police identification operations for respondents from the majority and minority populations in ten Member States, it is noted that the persons who had been stopped three or four times in a 12-month period were exclusively those of minorities. In ten Member States where comparisons can be made between respondents from the majority population and those from minority groups, it is observed that the latter were more likely to receive the stoppage for identification while they were going in public transport or on the street (Wagman, Jefferson, & Senevirante, 2016).

In ten Member States where comparisons can be made between respondents from the majority population and those from minority groups, they were more likely to be required by the police to provide documentation during police control than respondents from the majority population. For example, in Italy, 90% of respondents from North Africa who were stopped for identification were required such documents, compared to 48% in the case of respondents from the majority population. In Greece, these figures are 88% of Roma and 48% of the majority population (Wagman, Jefferson, & Senevirante, 2016). In ten Member States in which comparisons can be drawn between those consulted by minority groups and those of the majority population, the latter stated that the police treated them with respect during the identification, while the minority group respondents indicated that the police had behaved disrespectfully (Wagman, Jefferson, & Senevirante, 2016). The minority groups that perceived that the police officer was a consequence of their ethnic origin or their status as immigrants had a lower degree of trust in the police than that of members of minorities, who thought that the fact had not been related to their belonging to these population groups.

After African-Americans, Hispanics are the second most affected minority in the United States because of discrimination and police violence. According to the Washington Post account, of the 990 people killed by the police in 2015, 494 were white, 258 black and 172 were Hispanic (Wagman, Jefferson, & Senevirante, 2016). Among African-Americans and Latinos, there are almost as many deaths as whites, even though these two minorities represent only 30% of the US population. The disproportion of police violence is even more evident when it is broken down how many of those people were not armed at the time of his death by one or more agents of the law: Of the 494 targets killed, only 32 were unarmed. That is, 6% of the deceased. In the case of blacks, the figure soars to 14.7%, and in Hispanics, it reaches 10.4% (Wagman, Jefferson, & Senevirante, 2016).

Discrimination is often felt in minor daily incidents, to the point that minorities fear to go to report any incidences to the police. This is not new. According to a study by the W.K. Kellogg and the Latino Decisions pollster of 2014, 68% of Latinos fear that the police can make excessive use of force against them. Up to 18% of respondents said, they had a relative or friend victim of police brutality (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, 2006a) Moreover, the suspicion exceeds the policy scope. Fifty-two percent of Hispanics surveyed in 2017 by the Pew Research Center said they had suffered some discrimination or been mistreated by their race or ethnic group.

African-Americans and Hispanics share the fear of going to the police. However, in the case of Latinos, there are often additional complications in their relationship with authorities beyond the fear of racial discrimination: an irregular migration situation - in the United States there are some 11 million undocumented, largely Hispanic - and, also, on occasion, poor knowledge of English. The "Black Lives Matter" (The lives of blacks matter) movement was launched to fight against police brutality of blacks in the USA. Under this slogan, converted into a 'hashtag and the name of the social movement that emerged in 2014 in the protests over the acquittal of the white vigilante who shot dead the African-American Travon Martin in Florida (Wagman, Jefferson, & Senevirante, 2016). Thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to denounce police brutality and racism against the black minority, a victim of the majority of deaths in the fatal shootings carried out by the police.

Racism in the United States, unlike in Latin America and the Caribbean -where after the process of abolishing slavery took on a symbolic character-, was characterized by its explicit and segregationist manifestation. It reached its maximum expression with the legalization and institutionalization of racial discrimination through the laws of Jim Crow, a period in which social and police violence was established as the repressive mechanism par excellence, and that would intensify with the struggle of African-Americans for the civil rights (Waddington, Stenson, & Don, 2004). However, after the approval of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s and the consequent outlawing of racial discrimination, it did not disappear. On the contrary, it was perpetuated through the racialization of the subjects, the construction of prejudices and stereotypes, and the confinement of the African-American population in the ghettos, the minimization of opportunities, and the precariousness of their living conditions, criminalization, imprisonment mass and police brutality justified in the "fight against crime." During the 1990s, false accusations, unjustified arrests, intimidation, abuse, beatings and murders of African-Americans by the police became frequent, sparking large racial protests (Bowling & Farrell, 2013). These facts, added to the neglect of this population in the public policies and later, the indolent passivity of the Republican government of George Bush before contingencies like the Hurricane Katrina where the African-Americans were the most affected, rekindled the racial tensions in the North American society.

It would be Barack Obama who would capitalize on the discontent of minorities, and with his arrival in the presidency in 2008, the idea of full overcoming racism in the US was created in the social imaginary. Nevertheless, this denominated one was "post-racial" would not be more than a fiction, being in evidence before the significant increase of the police violence against the African-Americans. The questioning of the postracial would take on significant dimensions with the murder of the unarmed young man Michael Brown at the hands of the police in August 2014; this fact motivated essential days of riots and protest demonstrations in the city of Ferguson, which was also violently repressed by the forces of the order of a historically racist State (Bowling & Farrell, 2013). These repressive practices, the high rates of persecution, arrests and murder of African-Americans by the police during the years 2015 and 2016, coupled with the video recording of some of these unjustified fatal actions, aroused the alerts of specialists, defenders of rights human beings and the African-American community in general. This led to a resurgence of distrust against the police and its procedures, confrontations, racial tensions throughout the North American country, the mediatization of the events, but also the emergence of resistance movements like Black Lives Matter.

Numerous partners in the community are available and willing to collaborate with the police department in different capacities, including communication and participation. Through focus groups and other discussions, several organizations (including several organizations new) offer to collaborate with the PPD in any way. These organizations would be excellent partners to contact some of the most isolated and needy segments of the community. The police department (PPD) should interact with internal and external constituents to explain what control means community policing and procedural justice in the PPD and knowing their opinions. To promote cultural change in the department, PDP leaders must hold dialogue sessions with its members to analyze what community policing and procedural justice mean and how they can be implemented in the PPD (Waddington, Stenson, & Don, 2004). Besides, the mission statements and values of the department. The philosophy of community policing must continuously be reinforced in directives, correspondence and other communications from the agency. To promote understanding and approval of the community, the PPD must pass by a similar process with the community, explaining and reinforcing the principles of community policing and procedural justice and seeking public comments and opinions.

Better communication from law enforcement leaders with all segments of their communities after a critical incident is one of the best post-Ferguson practices that has emerged in the police profession. Many police executives talk about the need to disclose information as soon as possible after a controversial fact of shooting or another incident, to demonstrate transparency and build trust in the community. Having correct and timely information can help members of the community to handle the situation with knowledge, and everyone will appreciate the possibility of analyzing the incident honestly and sincerely. The PDP must indicate its commitment to community policing, as defined in the Working Force of the President for the Police Control of the XXI Century (Sharp & Asherton, 2006). The PPD must formally commit to community policing in its mission statements and values and update your official written policy of the agency to recognize the importance of core values of procedural justice for community policing. The core values of justice Procedures include justice, respect, transparency, and responsibility. To fully implement the Community policing, all internal and external PPD operations should reflect these values.

The PPD must develop a strategy and a more comprehensive implementation plan for the control community policing. The PPD's comprehensive strategy for community policing should define what police control means to determine the organizational and operational elements of that strategy and how it will achieve. The implementation plan should consider the operational realit...

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