Whenever you hear about cases of police brutality, you probably find yourself asking how it could possibly have happened. How did the situation escalate to that point? How could an officer who may have had a completely clean record get to the breaking point and essentially assault a civilian?
There are many reasons, of course, and these situations are very complicated. If there was an easy answer, it would not be as large of a problem as it is these days.
That said, some experts think that a lack of training plays a big role. Officers also just don’t have the right support system around them. In that way, it becomes a cultural problem within the department. Some reforms have helped, but do they go far enough?
“The voluntary reforms undertaken…did not create the systems of accountability necessary to ensure a long-term remedy to these issues,” claimed the Department of Justice. “More work is necessary to ensure that officers have the proper guidance, training, support, supervision, and oversight to carry out their law enforcement responsibilities safely and in accordance with individuals’ constitutional rights.”
Naturally, it’s safe to assume that officers are already told not to use excessive force, but maybe it needs to go farther than that. Do they actually know what excessive force looks like? Do they truly understand what types of situations call for the use of force and which ones do not? Comprehensive training could help to answer these questions and prevent future incidents.
Are you a victim of police brutality? If so, make sure you know about all of your legal rights.