AEE 1393: Why Does Police Brutality Happen in the United States

Have you heard a lot about police brutality in the news lately?

In this second episode on civil rights, we’re looking at police brutality.

We’re talking about how it happens and what we can do to stop it.

There have been a lot of protests in the streets and this is all related to this topic.

Anytime you see a news article, you see pictures of fires but we’re going to walk you through what all is happening.

We talked about some of the biggest moments in history and these brought us to where we are right now.

We’re talking about police brutality and how to make them accountable for their actions.

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We have so many insightful questions from listeners about this, and here is one that came in.

In general is racism really so ingrained in the US?

Or is it that most racists try to join the police in order to hold sway over common citizens and give vent to their abject instincts?

Couple that with the absurd militarization of police departments, and these dramatic occurrences are not difficult to explain.

Exploring A Difficult Topic

Where do we begin with this?

Is racism so ingrained in the US?

Yes it can be ingrained, particularly within institutions.

It is because of institutional racism within a police department.

There is also systematic racism which is built into our laws and how we address people of color.

So you start to look at what draws people to want to join the police force.

It’s hard to broad brush a generalization and it may not be racism that draws people to the police department.

It may be personality driven in that they want to have power over people.

Certain personalities may be drawn to being a part of the police force.

It may be a sense of fear that they want to have control over something if they don’t have that control at home.

What is the population that police departments generally draw from?

It may be a lack of education and it may be how people grew up with violence glorified that causes bad consequences.

If you are a kid growing up and not getting the message from your parents that you are going to grow up to be something

It may be a huge genre of TV shows like “Cops” that contributes to police brutality in the first place.

You have to think of how people grew up and what they became accustomed.

If they were not given the messages from your parents that you weren’t going to do much in life like go to college.

It may be with good intentions taht somebody becomes a police officer.

When there is fear and racism out in the world though, that can contribute to the problem.

A Difficult Job and Difficult Circumstances

The job of a police officer is so very hard, and there’s no support to those in the role.

There is no counseling after going through traumatic events and this can cause problems.

There can be a lot of people going into the police force from the military.

So there may be a lot of PTSD that has never been dealt with.

Going through some of these life events without any counseling or support can be very difficult.

It’s important to think about who goes into the police force, how we train them, educate them, and support them.

It’s important to consider what we do to help stop the cycle of police brutality and support those who go into this profession.

Looking At Disbanding The Police

There’s the issue of dismantling or disbanding, or breaking apart, the police force in certain places.

People are still trying to figure out what exactly that means.

It means that money is going to be taken away from the police force, and it won’t look the way it does today.

You might hear about defunding the police force, and this is yet to be determined as to what exactly this means.

Perhaps it makes sense to reallocate the funds and figuring out how to make it work.

There are going to be successes and failures along the way as the country tries to figure out how to make this all work.

What this all says is that the protests worked to a certain extent!

It means that it’s starting to change public opinion and it’s creating a new mindset.

Things will be decided upon at a state level, which is part of what makes our country unique.

It might be nice to see people getting registered to vote at the protests.

This can allow for change at the leadership level which appears to be very necessary right now.

Looking At The Implications and Breaking The Cycle

We had another question come in that is very relevant and important right now.

Is there any difference between looting and vandalizing?

Vandalizing is creating property damage like spray painting a building.

Looting is stealing things from these stores and establishments.

Both of these criminal acts have been happening at the protests, which takes away from things.

This is unfortunate because these are criminal acts and they aren’t what this is all intended for.

The problem is that this hurts the message that the peaceful protests are trying to promote.

In many cases the core group of protestors are doing the right thing and just want change.

Why can’t we just punish the bad people?

There can be an impact with unions who supports and defends the workers, but bad things can also happen sometimes too.

If there is an instance of a bad police officer not getting punished or having consequences, then this creates a bad precedent.

The union may have protected a worker like a police officer for doing something wrong in the past.

Then it becomes an issue of them saying that they can’t punish an officer now for the same thing.

More and more mayors are embracing the idea of defunding the police.

Though we need to really understand what this means, there may be merit to this.

Funds can be redirected to the school system for example rather than just going to the police force.

There is still so much to be figured out at this important and constantly changing moment in time.

More Support Is Needed

We need more of a focus on mental health in general because it’s not a priority.

Half of police killings involve somebody living with a mental illness or problem.

We need counselors to be able to help these police offiers and offer them support.

We need help for people who have experienced mental health issues from coronavirus and the fall out with things like job loss.

Mental health and counseling needs to be more common and readily accessible to not only police officers, but the general public as well.

Things are changing and this is an important point in time!

You may have questions and we want to help you through this because it’s a lot to take in.

In the next episode in this series, we’re going to look at this from a political standpoint.

These are all very important hot topics right now, and we want to help you to be informed and educated on everything.

Takeaway

Police brutality is a hot topic right now with good reason.

This is something that needs to be looked into and a stop must be put to the cycle.

There are so many issues behind this and which contribute to the problem.

We want you to be informed on the issues, and so hopefully this has helped you to understand the contributing factors.

This is part of a very important moment in history right now, and knowing how to talk about these issues is an important way of connecting.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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