Thursday, July 5, 2012

Police Brutality on the Rise

Police brutality is on the rise since 9/11 according to report on the USA Today website dated 12/18/2007.   Out of control policemen and women have been abusing people in custody for years, in fact the term police brutality was first coined in New York in 1893. Of course, cases of this type of abuse are rare, when compared with all the arrests made on any given year.

One must ask themselves the question, is it getting worse or are we hearing about it more because of social media?  Social media makes the whole world a lot smaller and word spreads much quicker. Social media can be likened to the old party lines that Ma Bell used to employ. Perhaps there was only two people actively talking but someone was always listening in silently.

Thank goodness police who abuse their power are the minority and not the majority.  Usually it is the bigger cities in which we hear about police brutalizing citizens but it also happens in small towns around the United States.

Everyone who is older than twenty will recognize the name of Rodney King.   Mr. King was the man that four LA cops beat back in 1991. The cops were acquitted in 1992 and it sparked the LA Riots of that year.

In 2011, Kelly Thomas a homeless man in California died five days later from injuries he sustained at the hands of the Fullerton Police Department.  Four of the officers were suspended and two were arrested for manslaughter and second degree murder.

Those are two of the notable cases of police brutality that became widely known.  The King case sparked a riot which made it huge news, while the Thomas case enraged the nation because he was a mentally ill homeless man.  Trust me; there are several other cases that are notable in different ways.

When one looks at the list of cases of police brutality on the Wikipedia page, they will become enraged. I normally do not use a wiki page as a resource but this is the only place I found complete information.  Concerned residents will read about cases from 30 different states, and most of these have occurred within the past ten years on that page.  

That page tells the stories of a few hundred people who were victims of police brutality.   Some were innocent bystanders walking down the road,   some were criminals who were beaten when they were caught but some like Tony Arambula of Arizona were common citizens calling for help.  On September 17, 2008 police were called to his home, because he called them for an intruder in his house.  The officers came saw him with a gun and opened fire, he was shot six times.  

After reading that Wiki page, I personally do see a rise in the cases of police brutality.  This makes our world a lot scarier indeed. However we all must understand that the cops who do use brute force are the minority and not the majority.

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