Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Excessive Force, Term Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1630

Term Paper

Many people believe that police brutality and the use of excessive force by the police in America poses a serious threat to the population and to the credibility of law enforcement.  because individuals have a tendency to abuse positions of authority, a great deal of concern has been devoted in terms of the training and implementation of police officers to try to diminish incidents where power and authority are abused. Despite these efforts, credible evidence exists to suggest that police brutality continues to be a  very significant problem throughout the law enforcement establishment as a whole. As the article “Police Brutality Must End” (2000) mentions, “Police brutality is a fact of American life. In major cities across the country, officers are abusing their authority in the most flagrant ways.” (“Police Brutality Must End” 8) The reality of police brutality is that no fully successful program has been designed to completely prevent incidents where the police abuse their power.

Because the abuse of authority by law enforcement poses significant and sometimes lethal risks to the population, the topic is clearly important and warrants not only an authentic debate, but the further discovery and creation of policies that will help to eliminate the abuse of power by law enforcement officers. Anthony Pinizzatto  observes in his article “Restraint in the Deadly Use of Force(2012) that the abuse of power by police officers is a twofold crime which breaks both legal and ethical boundaries. The author writes that “excessive force—specifically, force that is unnecessary, unwarranted, and disproportionate— is both unlawful and unethical.” (Pinizzatto 10) The dual nature of the offense of excessive force is very important to keep in mind because any policy that is designed to try to minimize the use of excessive force must address both the legal and ethical dimensions of the issue.

Applying an Ethic of Care.

One suggestion that has been put forward as a possible way of addressing excessive force and police brutality is to hire additional female police officers rather than males. Proponents of this argument insist that male police officers are much more prone to the use of excessive force and also to abuse of power.  Cara Rabe-Hemp’s article “Female Officers and the Ethic of Care: Does Officer Gender Impact Police Behaviors?” (2008) offers a scientific study into the issue of whether or not female officers are intrinsically better at compassion and empathy than men. Rabe-hemp observes that one common assumption about women in general that has been more or less vindicated by scientific study  is that women as a whole demonstrate more compassion than men. She writes “Empirical research has consistently held that women, when compared to men, were more likely to provide supporting and altruistic behaviors to others.” (Rabe-Hemp 427)  Based on this assumption, the question s whether or not the same holds true for female police  officers and, if so, whether or not this fact can be extrapolated into a general ethic of care to form policies to fight police brutality.

Rabe-Hemp’s article is specifically important in relation to the question of excessive use of force. This is due to  the startling conclusion of the study cited by the authors which actually shows that women are no less prone than men to show true compassion and a sense of connection with the population. Loosely speaking, the study reaffirms the fact that women are, in fact, less likely than men to use excessive force, but they are just as likely as men to remain indifferent to the plight of others. One of the important findings of the study was that, on the topic of excessive force, women officers were found to be far less likely to use violence of any kind in relation to the public. This was due, according to the article, tot he fact that women officers relied on verbal, rather than physical strategies, for resolving conflicts. Rabe-Hemp notes that the way that female officers tend to try to control volatile situations is through an exploitation of verbal and psychological strategies. In this regard, “female officers display a distinctive style of controlling citizen behaviors which entails less physical, but more verbal and psychological behaviors than male officers.” (Rabe-Hemp, 432) The tendency to avoid violence that is confirmed to exist in the statistical data regarding female police officers stands as solid evidence that female police officers are less likely to use excessive force.

This conclusion validates the first part of the argument in favor of hiring female officers. The second part of the argument is whether or not the principles exhibited by women officers are  able to be abstracted into an overall approach to curbing abuses and the use of excessive force in law enforcement.  This part of the argument while seeming to follow logically from the first part of the argument is actually much more difficult to substantiate. in fact, it may be that a greater amount of evidence exists, statistically to support the idea that women are, in fact, no more compassionate and empathetic than men, despite the fact that they are statistically less likely to resort excessive force. If this is the case, then the idea of an “ethic of care” being utilized in relation to training law enforcement officers is less desirable than if it were otherwise. in fact, it is precisely this argument that critics of the ethic of care approach are most likely to use.

Counter Argument

 

As the preceding discussion has shown, scientific investigation indicates a clear statistical validation of the idea that women police officers are less likely than men to use excessive force. Given this fact, those who oppose the idea of an ethic of care approach to law enforcement indicate that the lack of use of violence by women officers in no way relates to their demonstrating concern for the public. Rabe-Hemp writes that “the findings do not confirm that women are more likely than men to use supporting behaviors …  assuming female officers manifest stereotypically feminine traits in policing tasks is clearly an overly simplistic conceptualization…” (Rabe-Hemp 431) Such a statement suggests that using the statistical difference between men and women officers as a platform from which to generate an overall ethic of behavior is an unsupportable position. This is particularly true in the case of an ethic of care because the statistical findings about women police officers do not offer evidence of women being any more competent as care-givers than men.

If this is true, then those who argue against the implementation of an ethic of care in regard to police training are left with only the prevalence of police brutality and the use of excessive force to deal with. In this respect, those who argue against the ethic of care suggest that incidences of police brutality and the use of excessive force are actually quite rare. The reason that the general public believes that police brutality is such a big problem, according to these observers, is due to the fact that the media hypes all cases of police misconduct. According to  Dan Montgomery in is article  “Excessive Force 101″ (2005) real evidence suggests that police violence is uncommon. He writes: “Research has indicated that less than one-half of percent of all police encounters (.0361 percent) involve the use of physical force and, in the majority of cases where officers use force, it is reasonable, lawful, and appropriate.” (Montgomery) The lack of widespread incidents is an additional reason to refrain from making radical changes to training or hiring practices in law enforcement.

The aforementioned lines of arguments are the basic components of the argument against the use of an ethic of care approach to law enforcement. Basically, those who oppose the ethic of care approach do so because they feel that little to no evidence exists to suggests that it is successful and that by “softening” the approach to law enforcement, police are brought into a greater risk of danger.  In the long run, those who argue against the ethic of care approach also argue that existing training programs and policies are sufficient at reigning in abuses, including the use of excessive force. In fact, a study cited by Pinizzatto showed “that approximately 70 percent of the sample of police officers had been in a situation where they legally could have fired their weapon during a critical incident but chose not to.” (Pinizzatto 8). This is ample evidence, according to many observers, that police training is adequate as it presently stands.

Conclusion

In weighing the arguments about the best way to approach the issue of police brutality and the use of excessive force, it is important to remain practical and not merely idealistic. because statistical science shows that women officers are less likely than men to engage in violent confrontation, the argument in favor of hiring more female police officers seems to be highly supportable. This fact, however, does not lead to a corresponding finding in statistical evidence that women officers are more compassionate than men. It seems that, no matter what gender is empowered as law enforcement, there will always be a danger of  brutality and negligence. the most important thing is to remember that “Police cannot become a law unto themselves.”  (“Police Brutality Must End” 8) All  potential methods of encouraging responsible and ethical behavior for police officers should be implemented. However, there is no direct evidence to suggest that building policies on an ethic of care model is the most desirable or effective approach.

Works Cited

Montgomery, Dan. “Excessive Force 101.” The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Aug. 2005: 8+.

Pinizzatto, Anotony J., Davis, Edward F.; et al Restraint in the Deadly Use of Force. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. June 2012, 1-11.

“Police Brutality Must End.” The Progressive Apr. 2000: 8.

Rabe-Hemp, Cara E. “Female officers and the ethic of care: Does officer gender impact police behaviors?” Journal of Criminal Justice 36 (2008) 426–434

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Term Paper Samples & Examples

Nickel and Dimed, Term Paper Example

Introduction Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Nickel and Dimed a best-selling non-fiction story which depicts how low wage earning people struggle to make ends [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1433

Term Paper

4 a’s of Community Resources, Term Paper Example

An example of a referral source in my local community is the addiction treatment center. Anyone that has been diagnosed by a doctor or a [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 284

Term Paper

Analyzing the Two Employment Opportunities, Term Paper Example

Introduction For this report, I chose to research Microsoft Company and the two IT positions – that of Information Technology Software Development Engineer and Information [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1481

Term Paper

The Human Element, Term Paper Example

Abstract Project management incorporates many tools and techniques to facilitate the opportunity for the success of a project implementation.  Projects have inherent risks associated to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 2560

Term Paper

Diagram for Holiday Travel Vehicles, Term Paper Example

In this scenario, an entity-relationship diagram can be used to describe how Holiday Travel Vehicles functions as a consequence of its business practices. In this [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 383

Term Paper

Business Systems in an Organization, Term Paper Example

Businesses best exist and perform through the use of systems. Investing in systems rather than people is an excellent idea for largescale firms (Gerber, 2021). [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 3540

Term Paper

Nickel and Dimed, Term Paper Example

Introduction Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Nickel and Dimed a best-selling non-fiction story which depicts how low wage earning people struggle to make ends [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1433

Term Paper

4 a’s of Community Resources, Term Paper Example

An example of a referral source in my local community is the addiction treatment center. Anyone that has been diagnosed by a doctor or a [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 284

Term Paper

Analyzing the Two Employment Opportunities, Term Paper Example

Introduction For this report, I chose to research Microsoft Company and the two IT positions – that of Information Technology Software Development Engineer and Information [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1481

Term Paper

The Human Element, Term Paper Example

Abstract Project management incorporates many tools and techniques to facilitate the opportunity for the success of a project implementation.  Projects have inherent risks associated to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 2560

Term Paper

Diagram for Holiday Travel Vehicles, Term Paper Example

In this scenario, an entity-relationship diagram can be used to describe how Holiday Travel Vehicles functions as a consequence of its business practices. In this [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 383

Term Paper

Business Systems in an Organization, Term Paper Example

Businesses best exist and perform through the use of systems. Investing in systems rather than people is an excellent idea for largescale firms (Gerber, 2021). [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 3540

Term Paper

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!