Although after every instance of police brutality or police murder they claim these are “isolated incidents”, that is far from being the case.
The problem has grown so bad that in many cities across America the Federal Government has had to intervene and in some cases, literally take charge of entire police departments.
According to Houston
The latest police department to come under the eye of the U.S. federal government for gross misconduct is in Seattle Washington. After a homeless Native American woodcarver was shot and killed by police and after numerous other incidents involving “minorities”, the U.S. Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation.
According to AP reporter
He also reports that the settlement would require the Seattle Police Department to; “…revise use of force policies and enhance training, reporting, investigation and supervision for situations involving use force and create a Community Police Commission, which would be a civilian oversight body.” The department would also be subject to monitoring by the federal government.
Another department that has had serious issues with brutality and which has forced the federal government to intervene is the Oakland Police Department in Oakland California. In June,
According to the source a federal judge called for an investigation by court-appointed monitors, Oakland Police Department shootings and spoke about placing the department under federal control. In an order dated May 31, 2012 US District Court Judge Thelton Henderson indicated that an independent monitoring team raised concerns about how Oakland officials handle police shootings.
The problem is even more widespread than we think. According to the site
The now infamous New Orleans Police Department is another department with a long history of police shootings and murder. According to
In New Orleans there are also advocacy groups calling for even more federal investigations as many cases have been ignored or
Lastly we have the infamous Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, who have been the subject of other reports by the Voice of Russia. On May 10, 2010 the
The lawsuit states that the parties are guilty of practices that target minorities including the following; “Discriminatory and otherwise unconstitutional law enforcement actions against Latinos who are frequently stopped, detained and arrested on the basis of race, color, or national origin; discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English skills; and illegal retaliation against their perceived critics, subjecting them to baseless criminal actions, unfounded civil lawsuits, or meritless administrative actions.
In an interview with the Voice of Russia Frank Zimring, a William G. Simon professor of law and a Wolfen Distinguished Scholar at the University of California, Berkley Law School in response to questions regarding the level of police shootings and their causes: “…it depends on the quality of police training. …badly trained police are more likely to think in war metaphors than well-trained police.
On the other hand, the fact that the threat of guns in the hands of others does create a situation where police are legitimately fearful of being shot. This means that the police themselves shoot first, and then find out that it wasn’t a gun, it was a cell phone, it was a gesture.”
Sure a population with more guns than any other in the world is one reason why police may respond with unproportionate violence first but the root causes for the widespread and common practices of targeting minorities and racial profiling are other matters entirely and ones which have to be resolved if a large percentage of the American people are ever going to be able to feel safe and have confidence in their police, police who are supposed to be serving the people.
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