The problem in American policing


Identify the problem

The major problem within the American policing system is police brutality against young unarmed black men.

Explain the problem

In recent times, many incidences of young unarmed black men being killed brutally by law enforcement officers have been reported. The police abuse their authority by unleashing unjustified infliction of extreme force on young black men while going about their official duties. This is an indication of the broader racial issues mirrored in the public-police relations and the failure of our criminal justice system in protecting the lives of black men (Moore et al., 2018).

Identify causes of the problem

The main cause of this problem is the existence of white supremacy ideology and structural racism. Thus, police brutality against the black is one of the many forms in which our institutions and systems afford opportunities to some groups while oppressing others. The other cause is racial profiling where differences in religion, Social-economic status, race, and politics exist between the citizenry and the police. As a consequence, some police officers hold the view that certain populations deserve punishments. The reason why police brutality is still happening is because as a country we are more reactive rather than being proactive. Instead, as a society, we need to address the major cause of police brutality against black men in a preventive strategy (Gilbert & Ray, 2016).

Previous intervention (failed/successful attempts to solve the problem)

There has been a massive outcry intervention where thousands and thousands of demonstrators take to the streets of major cities of the U.S to denounce police shootings by waving signs and chanting. There has also been the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement which is a global activist movement originating amongst the black community. This movement does campaigns touching on systemic racism and violence vetted against black people. Despite all these interventions, plentiful deaths of unarmed black men and police brutality are still taking place (Hutto & Green, 2016).

Who is concerned about the problem (stakeholders)?

The problem of police brutality towards people of colour has raised concerns to groups of people. Examples of the stakeholders with regard to this problem include the police who are blamed for the brutality. There is also the community of people with colour who feel they are being targeted and are being discriminated against. Another stakeholder is the government that is bestowed with the responsibility of protecting its citizenry. The media fraternity is also a stakeholder in this problem since they have the duty of reporting occurrences of police brutality.

Suggest possible solutions and/ or recommendations to solving the problem

The possible solutions include tackling the problem of structural racism in our systems and institutions and abolishing white supremacy by either supporting initiatives calling for more collaboration between law enforcement officers and communities. There can also be Advocacy for reforms in the criminal justice system and demilitarization of the police. Additionally, movements such as the Black Lives Matter need to be supported in raising consciousness on the police brutality (Moore et al., 2018).

How will we know if the possible solution was successful?

The way of knowing that the above possible solutions are successful is when the number of cases being reported on police brutality against black people reduces.

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  1. Gilbert, K. L., & Ray, R. (2016). Why police kill black males with impunity: Applying public health critical race praxis (PHCRP) to address the determinants of policing behaviours and “justifiable” homicides in the USA. Journal of urban health93(1), 122-140.
  2. Hutto, J. W., & Green, R. D. (2016). Social Movements Against Racist Police Brutality and Department of Justice Intervention in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Journal of Urban Health93(1), 89-121.
  3. Moore, S. E., Adedoyin, A. C., & Robinson, M. A. (Eds.). (2018). Police and the Unarmed Black Male Crisis: Advancing Effective Prevention Strategies. Routledge.
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