What is police brutality and why is it an issue?
Police brutality is the use of unnecessary, excessive, and deadly force against civilians by US police officers and has a disproportionate impact on BIPOC.
The history of American law enforcement is rooted in racism with slave patrols being implemented in the 1700's and then transitioned into Jim Crow law. Even though the federal government has forbidden the use of racist regulations at the state and local level for the past 50 years, research shows BIPOC are still more likely to be killed by the police than Whites. According to Statista, Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely than Whites to be killed by police.
This data is not dismissing that Whites are also harmed by police, but it does support that BIPOC are harmed at a higher rate.
What can be done to mitigate police brutality in the short term?
Since restructuring rarely takes place with a quick turnaround in our country, some immediate implementations to combat police bias and brutality are: tracking the problem, maintaining Brady-Giglio lists, establish a police database for misconduct, demilitarize, change police culture, invest in alternatives such as crisis assistance groups, and instill oversight. Getting officials to pass police reform bills that include ending qualified immunity, establishing a police database for misconduct, banning “no-knock" raids, and banning choke holds are basic starting points for improvement.
Below is a video explaining some conflicts with getting these changes implemented.