Police brutality which may be defined as law enforcement’s unwarranted and excessive use of force has already become a critical issue for modern American society. By arresting, injuring, and killing people without substantial evidence of guilt and on the basis of racism, police violate basic human rights without any legal responsibility for the disastrous effect of their actions (Amnesty International, n.d.). In the United States, police violence is a leading cause of death, especially for young representatives of racial minorities. Over a lifetime, about 1 in every 1,000 black men may expect to be killed by police (Edwards et al., 2019). Brutal police response to any protest is a devastating consequence of the government’s overreliance on criminalization and systematic racism (Ciccolini, 2020). Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Breonna Tylor, George Floyd, and Daunte Wright were killed by police during the last several years, and almost all murderers are not prosecuted (BBC News, 2021).
The same disturbing situation may be observed in the case of border patrol when as a result of the violence of border police, a considerable number of American citizens and migrants were injured and killed (SBCC, 2021). Created in 1924, the Border Patrol subsequently developed a culture of racism and brutality throughout its history – from officers who supported the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations to modern employees who formed the brotherhood that encourages violence against Asians, Europeans, and Mexicans (Murdza & Ewing, 2021). In addition, women of color experience unfair and unequal attitudes from police that frequently lead to violence – for instance, in airports, they are stopped, searched, arrested, and ticketed by TSA at disproportionately high rates (YWCA, n.d.).
In addition, during protests, police brutally violate the First Amendment which guarantees all citizens the right to assemble peacefully, and attack not only protesters but journalists as well (Thomas et al., 2020). However, in the present day, people started to realize that police violence is unacceptable and should be stopped as people who kill instead of protecting others should be punished (Jackson, 2021). In addition, police should be defunded, dismantled, sued, and demilitarized as only radical changes in the whole structure may improve the situation (Levinson-King, 2020).
Amnesty International. (n.d.). Police violence.
BBC News. (2021). George Floyd: Timeline of black deaths and protests.
Ciccolini, J. (2020). “Kettling” protesters in the Bronx: Systemic police brutality and its costs in the United States. Human Rights Watch.
Edwards, F., Lee, H., & Esposito, M. (2019). Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex. PNAS, 116(34), 16793-16798.
Jackson, L. M. (2021). Daunte Wright and the grammar of Kim Potter’s resignation. The New Yorker.
Levinson-King, R. (2020). George Floyd death: Seven solutions to US police problems. BBC News.
Murdza, K., & Ewing, W. (2021). The legacy of racism within the U.S. Border Patrol. American Immigration Council.
SBCC. (2021). Deaths by Border Patrol.
Thomas, T., Gabbatt, A., & Barr, C. (2020). Nearly 1,000 instances of police brutality recorded in US anti-racism protests. The Guardian.