Policemen are tasked to enforce law, prevent crimes, and maintain safety and security in a society. They are given the privileged to act when presented with violations of law through the use of force as means of crime prevention. On a day to day basis, police are faced with tough moral decisions and possibility of conflict of interest cases. On the other hand, law violations are becoming world's greatest problem making law enforcers responsible in conducting peace and order within the community. However, crimes and other violations are considered to be damaging to both themselves and the community at large.
Although it is seen that the job of law enforcers is intricate and considered as a venerable calling, there is an underlying outlook in the general public that their task is relatively straightforward. Now our society is being compromised by scandals and even crimes that involve law enforcers. This instance challenges their credibility and disintegrates their profile. But, the greater impact goes to the people of the community who feels that their life is jeopardize.
Our society is becoming vulnerable to terrifying rage of criminalities and expose to deteriorating lawsuit especially that it even involves law enforcers as major violators. Police scandals hamper human rights and shatters general protection against violence. This reality questions the capacity of law enforcers and they are deemed unnecessary and are subjected to prejudice. In fact, there are several crimes recorded involving policemen that had affected their relationship with people. The following are law enforces' scandals that subsists within the community:
1. Unfolding the Rodney King Incident
2. Eleven Random Police Brutalities
Unfolding the Rodney King Incident
It was the night of March 2, 1991, an African- American, Rodney Glen King who was drank was stopped by police officers for traffic violation that nearly cause an accident. Police cars and a police helicopter arrived at the scene seconds later. Officers Laurence Powell and Timothy Wind were in one car. Theodore Briseno and Rolando Solano were in the second car and Sergeant Stacey Koon in the third.
During the arrest proceedings, King was struck over fifty times with metal batons and two electric stuns after initially resisting police orders. He also received stomping and kicking from the officers. He was taken to Pacifica Hospital after sustaining concussion, nine skull fractures, a shattered eye socket and cheekbone. His leg was broken, knees injured, and damaged nerve that left his face partially paralyze. The incident was witnessed by George Holliday who managed to take a video footage of the scene.
The video taken by George Holliday took his first film to Los Angeles television station KTLA and was played on the evening news. On the next day of March 4, CNN picked up the tape the and soon it was everywhere. It was used like wallpaper on television according to CNN Vice President Ed Turner. The video reveals the brutal and senseless beating of a helpless drunk. On poll taken in Los Angeles, ninety two percent believed that excessive force was used against Rodney Glen King. LAPD itself seemed to feel the same thing. The police brutality was tagged very extreme by Police Chief Daryl Gates.
Soon prosecutorial wheels began, Rodney King was released without charges and the four LAPD officers were acquitted. The media underappreciated the importance of the composition of the jury. Perhaps placing too much confidence in the ability of the videotape to secure a conviction, the media failed to adequately prepare the public for the verdict. People reacted in anger and disbelief to the verdict. Within sixty- two minutes after, five black male entered a Korean Liquor store and smashed Lee on the head, son of the store's owner while others shattered the storefront with their thrown bottles. Other related incidents had occurred. There are several white people battered, beaten over and killed by black. There are riots which grew in size causing police to hasty retreat the area. Some vicious violence within New York turned to be out of controlled. The verdict has left a deep sense of personal frustration and anguish. And when the rioting finally ended, fifty-four people were dead. Hundreds of people were injured. Looting fires caused more than one billion dollars damaged to property. South Central Los Angeles looked like war zones and over 7,000 persons were arrested.
Finally, on the process to achieve justice, Judge Davies sentenced Koon and Powell to thirty months imprisonment in federal correctional camps. Rodney King, meanwhile, won a $3.8 million verdict from the City of Los Angeles. He used some of the money he received in damages to found a rap record business, Alta- Pazz Recording Company.
The Rodney King incident is an example of lynch mob in action. It covers the trial of the policemen, the Los Angeles riots, and the press coverage. This incident has appeared in television showing police officers committing brutality against a black teenager. It is in any way controversial as it caused uproar in the society and resulted to enormous death. It is worth- unfolding to review and refresh details on this event that risked many lives, shattered properties and engulfed people with fear.
The scandal tarnished the relationship of law enforcement to the community. The adverse effect of this incident could be for the reason that jury seemingly emerged racist at some charged.
It is almost impossible that people will commit crime and uprising because something doesn't turned out the way they want it to be. The random incidents after the verdict should have been avoided if the jury examined the case properly before coming out with a decision. Considering that King's case has been very controversial even before the verdict, there should be a much concrete basis that will justify verdict. For many people, it is an experience that will linger and get passed through times. The community still recalls the inconceivable aftermath of the King’s incident. However, some positive points include an improved and systematic jury that convicts the involved policemen. The sentence is light but the reputation of the policemen is forever gone.
Eleven Random Police Brutalities
There are several police brutalities broadcasted and not all over the world. Most of these are far possible from our expectations. However, things can turn upside down anytime without warning. The following incidents roughly discuss brutalities made by police. Sad to say, it engaged large number of innocent people, children and disabled persons. Some of it doesn't have detailed report but it encompasses crucial scenarios. Some information like names of policemen was not stated though these are factual. The effect of these events to the relationship of policemen to the community seems to be relative.
1. Flaking of NYPD Police
Flaking is police slang for planting drugs on innocent people in order to get the arrest numbers up. The public has been shocked by latest cases of NYPD police officers forcing prostitutes into sex in exchange for drugs and planting cocaine. When some of the incidents occurred, Melanie Perez who worked as a prostitute claims that the officer known to her as Frank had forced her into oral sex in exchange for crack cocaine. She accused another cop, Sean Johnson for the same misconduct. Couple of years earlier, this officer already received thirty- four charges of corruption including ones made by Perez and only one of these charges got him a probation sentence. Two other police officers, Jason Arbeeny and Stephen Anderson were involved in scandal of planting drugs on innocent people for the purpose of increasing arrest numbers. There is a claim from Anderson that officers of all ranks, including investigators and his supervisors are involved in flaking. To settle the claims for false arrests from drug planting, the city so far has spent $1.2 million.
The oldest function in police history is moral enforcement as law is about morality. This incident explains how police can be immoral in their pursuit to achieve their goals. Our community over time has been surrounded by harm and other fierce incidents. Awareness among people is the best weapon to combat police immoralities and brutalities. The relationship of our community to the law enforcement is held back by incidents like this. Law enforcement is about giving best service to the community, but obviously this perception is getting obsolete.
The use of illegal drugs has to be diminished primarily by police. But, it seems that they do the opposite as they turned themselves against the law to suffice their cravings. They even use innocent people in achieving their goals. In return, the people turn their heads away towards justice and fears for their lives. People became apprehensive as they can be victims as well of the same incident.
2. Occupy Wall Street Protester got Punched by NYPD Cop
Felix Rivera Pitre, who was walking down William Street with other protesters got hit on the left side of his face by an NYPD police officer that he passed by. The blow caused his earring torn out. The crowd pulled Rivera- Pitre by his hands to safety as other members of NYPD tried to get him. There was a lot of blood after his earring got torn out. He suggests that the cop should be tested since he is HIV positive. Rivera- Pitre started the incident by assaulting the police according to NYPD spokesman, however it was proven to be not true after seeing the video that shows him walking by as a cop rushed after him and punched him on the face. This incident is suspected to be gender related. It is possibly because the cop realized that he is gay from his looks. Other protesters often mistook him for a woman when they couldn’t see his face clearly. This possibility makes the incident even more outrageous.
It is another disturbing and cruel affair especially for gays in the community. Afar from the gender discrimination encountered by homosexuals, they are also subjected to rough treatment. The gay protection is actually covered by law and should be enforced normally by policemen. It makes them much more afraid to learn that even law enforces can harm them physically. The community upholds justice to everybody and that includes homosexuals. As a matter of fact, our society is beginning to accept gays as most them are professionals and made remarkable contribution. The world has to know that law enforcement seems to act against fairness and equality. As a result, people should participate in programs that would protect every citizen no matter what gender orientation they have.
3. Two Similar Incidents: Pepper- Spraying Women by Cop
A video showing a group of women protesters on Occupy Wall Street being pepper- sprayed by a police officer was revealed. Deputy Anthony Bologna appeared from the crowd and started pepper- spraying a couple of women standing by the nets peacefully. He simply walked away after he emptied a can of spray at them, leaving the women fell to agony. On the other hand, he believes that he didn't exceed the necessary amount of force. Anthony Bologna claims that he was aiming at a group of male protesters and accidentally sprayed the women. It is contrary to the evidence presented were no men are found within the vicinity. This is not the sole incident caused by inspector Bologna. Another video shows him going berserk and pepper-spraying a different group of protesters as they were walking away from the spot when another police officer told them to move.
Another case of Occupy Wall Street rally had caused police brutality on a 19 years old pregnant teen and 84- year old lady after they are being blasted with pepper spray on their faces. It was after the rally gone violent when police attacked a crowd of rowdy protesters. Protesters denounced the use of force, saying that police indiscriminately sprayed the chemical irritant at peaceful protesters.
Everybody knows that unwarranted force against citizens should never be used as way to control situation. It is applicable to anybody. Women in our society are less proficient in against mischief yet, women have been reported to be an object of violence and abuse. It is hard to believe that women can be periled by law enforcers. To consider, women are almost defenseless to any harm. As policemen, they are supposed to uphold their protection and improve their expediency into any given situations. But, just like any other brutalities, women become more susceptible to police malfeasance. The community in relation to this incident had been anxious about the injustice occurring that involves law enforcers. It is really outrageous and heart rupturing to witness this harsh event which is avoidable in all instance.
4. Police Officer Tried To Buy 2 Children to Use Them as Sex Slaves
A veteran Hollywood police officer was arrested at Miami by FBI on charges of trying to buy two children to be used as sex slaves. He arrived at a pre-set meeting place making the arrest possible. Officer Derek D. Roberts, 29 years old who worked for the past four years as Hollywood patrol officer. He arrived at a pre-set meeting place. Roberts used a computer in his search, agents said. He completed the deal with a cash payment and expected the minors were at the hotel to have sex with him. He used his credit card to put a down payment. According to the FBI, Roberts will import these two young girls from Latin America and will be used solely for sex.
Kids all over the world as we all know are less able to protect themselves from any danger. Therefore, they need more protection than anybody else. In their young minds, we should always expect that what they learn from their juvenile experience can turn them into something we cannot predict. The incident that almost caused a particular abuse to children had warned the society to be more vigilant and cautious as we can never rely on anybody to serve as protection for these children.
5. Disabled Kid Beaten Up by Police Officer
A 15- year old kid with disability got brutally beaten up by the police in the Academy for Learning in South Dalton. The boy has a learning disability since he was little when his brain got injured. The abuse started verbally when an officer walked around the hallway. The surveillance captured the whole scenario. The poor kid in his struggle to avoid the police officer by walking away was bashed into the wall, so badly that the boy fell down. The boy is telling the officer to stop and let him stand up, but still he got abused. In an interview with the boy, he could hardly breathe as his nose got broken and his face was all swollen by the hitting. The boy has been transferred to another school and is planning on filing a lawsuit. Neither the academy nor the Dolton police commented on the abusive behavior of the police officer.
Children with disability are considered to be less fortunate. They have special needs as their capacity is not normal. This incident had caused dilemmas not only for the parents of children with disability but also to the entire community in general. The incident was totally inhumane and excruciating. The police are expected to protect these kids from any unfavorable incidents. It is almost impossible to think that a police officer can commit such repulsive manners to a vulnerable disabled kid. It leaves a message to everyone that the world is no longer safe for everybody.
6. Teen got Killed by a Cop with a Taser
Police officers received a call that there was some kind of assault at a dormitory of University of Cincinnati reported on the scene. When they arrived, they found Turner Hall, a North College Hill High School graduate angry and agitated. They attacked and tasered him as soon as Turner approached them. Next thing, Hall is lying on the floor with no sign of life. After the incident, he had to be rushed to the most adjacent hospital though officers asserted that he had a good pulse. He was announced dead shortly after it. The cause of death of Hall has been probe by the police department and the result has yet to be divulged. Not after the result is determined, the whole police department has suspended the use of tasers and the officers who used force was placed on immediate mandatory administrative leave. It is not the first time that somebody lost his life after being tasered by cops.
The use of weapon to control rage or violence has not yet proven effective as it often leads to death. The community had witnessed incidents more than fingers can count that could testify that the claim is founded with factual basis from actual encounters. It is true that people misbehave and to much worst instant acts violently. Nevertheless, it is still not justifiable to use excessive force to control the situation. This is what makes policemen as major components of criminalities instead of enforcing the law. It is where the community gets annoyed, troubled and appalled. There are possible ways on how to control mayhem without risking lives or hurting people which was unfortunately wasn’t carried out in this particular incident.
7. Washington D.C. Police Assault Homeless in Wheelchair
A man in wheelchair was knocked over by two Washington D.C. police and was being shown on a video footage. The poor man was slammed brutally on the concrete pavement after he wasn't able to get down by himself as ordered. The police involved disclosed that they have to do it because the man assaulted them. It is unknown if the officers has to be pleaded guilty. Eyewitnesses though said that the homeless man didn't do anything.
One role of law enforcers is to assist those who cannot care for themselves like physically disabled people. Now, this police responsibility has not been carried out obviously based on the incident on Washington D.C. where a homeless man in wheelchair got brutally slammed on the pavement. It is a touching story that would most likely in favors the beaten man. The community looks at law enforcement as unfair and cruel. There are hundreds of unpleasant incidents involving policemen that have resulted to massive and detrimental upshot on people. That is something that makes community and law enforcement clash.
8. Off- Duty Officer Caught Using Force during an Attempted Arrest
Four men at Ferneau Restaurant on Kavanaugh Boulevard in Little Rock, Arkansas were asked to leave by an off- duty police officer who was working as security. Chris Erwin, 40 and Blake Mitchell, 44 refused to leave. They were accompanied by women. The argument with the officer developed into a struggle. The officer used brute force and repeatedly hit Erwin on the face in attempt to arrest him. He was later stopped by eyewitnesses. What he didn't know is that the whole incident was caught on camera. The video is now readily available on YouTube. There are still no official police statements that would justify the case.
Another incident of police brutality had caused the community to react with anger and discredit law enforcement. For years now, people have been disappointed by incidents that had killed and harmed innocents. This particular incident reveals that the situation was not dealt properly. Police brutalities had been topics on public conversion, magazines, TV shows and websites. It is outrageous and upsetting. However, our community is still looking forward for positive actions to stop these incidents.
9. SWAT Team Poke Homeless Man Eye Out With Rubber Bullets
Ric Bradshaw, a Palm Beach county sheriff and Palm Springs Police are facing a federal lawsuit for seriously wounding a homeless man in their struggle to dislodge him from his camp. The poor man was Dennis Gaydos who claims a local pastor gave him the permission to stay temporarily in an improvised camp in the back of a Palm Springs church. One day he called an assistant agency for food, and when he hung up, the agency’s operator called 911 informing them that a homeless man was living on the church property. SWAT team surrounds Gaydos while Palm Springs police called PBSO. The attempt wasn't enough for them to take him down, so they had a PBSO chopped hovering above the church ground. They fired a couple of rubber bullet shots at him. One ripped off a piece of his right ear and the other squashed his left eye. They also claim that Gaydos stood up with a cell phone in one hand and a knife in the other, although no knife was found at the scene. He had to be hospitalized on convulsion and after losing his eye. Gaydos was never charged with a crime.
The idea of excessive used of force has been found unnecessary and inhumane as it causes worst incident that disabled homeless man. It is a typical example of police brutality happening randomly anywhere in the world. It had even caused death to many innocent individuals. The community has trepidation on brute force of police officers who abuse their power as enforcers as it may always take place anytime.
10. Innocent Unarmed Man Killed by Police
Michael Nida, a 31 year old unarmed man was killed by mistake during the police search for an ATM robber happened in Downey, California. Two police officers spotted a ma they said was matching the suspect's description minutes later after the robbery. Nida who was jaywalking was detained but allegedly managed to run away and was being detained again when he was found a short distance away but he broke loose again for the second time. That’s when he got shot, and later died on the way to the hospital. The police officers didn't check him for weapons or handcuff him on the process. It is mind boggling to consider that there was no non- lethal way to stop the suspect.
Police officers who were involved in this incident are inconsistent and apparently committed malpractices. Killing the suspect could have been avoided if these police carried out proper measures to settle the situation. It places the community at risk of police killings by mistake. It is not the first incident and for sure won’t be the last.
11. Innocent Children Beaten by Police
Factory Workers in Bangladesh, Dhaka were brutally abused after they protest on extremely low wages and horrible conditions. It includes a large number of children who are sewing clothes for a big western company. The protesters got hit with batons, kicked and fired with tear gas. Many protesters got knocked over. Police showed no mercy, especially on kids who were apparently easier to beat than adults. Videos and photos were taken during the incident that shows many people injured.
Aside from hard labor, children are facing different abuses. Justice for them seems to be slow and almost unfeasible. The use of brute and unnecessary force to control protesters especially for kids is something that anybody would fear to encounter. It is very disappointing to discover that the use of power has made many helpless children devastated.
Despite numerous reports of police scandals all over the world, our community still supports organizational strategies to address the causes of crime, to reduce the fear of crime and social disorder through problem-solving tactics and community-police partnerships. This is a positive endeavor found to be effectual as situations are being dealt as it should be. We are also expecting positive actions coming from different organizations that will soon put end on police brutalities. People’s trust towards policemen has been challenged by vindictive incidents. Nonetheless, shortcomings have been identified and there are now new tools for better gauging and understanding fierce incidents. There are still a hefty number of police who enforce law accordingly. We need to be more open- minded this time on every situation so we can assess and resolve problems pertinently.