Hundreds of people in the United States of America die in the hands of law enforcers every year. There is none who can tell the exact number of individuals killed by the police since most of the states do not keep such records. Limited data regarding the issue suggests that the minorities, especially the African Americans are heavily impacted by the police use of deadly physical force (DPF). While a significant number of unarmed African-American men die as a result of DPF, studies indicate that police violence accounts for substantial cases death of African American women (Smith & Holmes, 2014). In that sense, an individual could establish a link between criminal stereotypes of the minorities and the police violence. Law enforcement officers use DPF in a way that expresses racial animosity. Furthermore, studies have confirmed racially discriminatory treatments in the contexts of law enforcement (Prenzler, Porter, & Alpert, 2013). The issue of DPF indicates that police officers have failed to deliver their obligation as law enforcers. In the law enforcement processes, they should protect and respect every member of the society regardless of racial, economic, and nationality backgrounds.
Even though the police might be vulnerable to attacks by some suspects, they require distinguishing carefully the incidents that jeopardize their safety from those that may not pose any danger (Smith & Holmes, 2014). Nevertheless, they are justified to use DPF in dangerous scenarios, especially when the suspects are armed. The issue of rights assertion and resistance to police authority often result in the use of DPF. Even though this issue could affect every person across all the social groups, it is more impactful to the minorities (Terrill & Paoline III, 2017). The blacks recognize their increased vulnerability to police interactions and consequently, tend to defend their rights as citizens. The chances that such an incident would result in DPF remain high. Hence, the issue of DPF reflects the consequences of discrimination and insecurity by the law enforcers.
- Prenzler, T., Porter, L., & Alpert, G. P. (2013). Reducing police use of force: Case studies and prospects. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(2), 343-356.
- Smith, B. W., & Holmes, M. D. (2014). Police use of excessive force in minority communities: A test of the minority threat, place, and community accountability hypotheses. Social Problems, 61(1), 83-104.
- Terrill, W., & Paoline III, E. A. (2017). Police use of less lethal force: Does administrative policy matter? Justice Quarterly, 34(2), 193-216.