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What can be done about police brutality?

To me, it is murder when a police officer kills someone who is not pointing a gun at them. Yet, the police these days are not being convicted of wrongdoing, nor even indicted, because they followed "proper procedure". Apparently, the police are being TRAINED to kill civilians nonchalantly. How do we implement changes to the training? I'm thinking that the rest of the world should put sanctions on the US until reforms are made.

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Interesting question and one that has a lot of research behind it.

  1. You're absolutely right. Department culture plays a huge role in unarmed police shootings. When cops are trained to de-escalate, they tend to do just that.
  2. Multiethnic police forces, patrol teams and units. It's harder to make generalizations about other races when you trust your life to someone of a different ethnic make up daily.
  3. Change the police culture of better tried by 12 than carried by six. Yes, cops are actually taught this.
  4. Stop militarizing police! If they need this much firepower, we definitely need to change gun laws!
  5. Accountability. Change the laws that allow cops to murder out of fear for their lives, rather than imperical evidence. I'm afraid of kittens, it doesn't mean I get to shoot to kill. Make cops criminally responsible for errors in judgement. (I'll leave obvious abuses like planting drugs and guns alone).
  6. Prosecute bad cops!! Protecting the bad apples only lowers public trust, encourages corruption and fosters an us v. them mentality.

Since none of this will happen, yes, I agree international sanctions are in order.

Eponymous Level 5 Dec 28, 2017

(I'll leave obvious abuses like planting drugs and guns alone).

I could give you a chapter or two along those lines out of personal experience.

Granted, my two years of college law enforcement were way back - but you nailed it! Thank you, now I can simply shut up smile001.gif

You really summed it up perfectly, so why wouldn't any of it ever happen? When looking for the answer to problems in America, we have to look at who profits from that problem. If we ask who profits as we go down your list, we would have to acknowledge that everyone from police unions to weapons manufacturers to for profit prisons to the NRA and many more profit from keeping things exactly the way they are. We can't count on the so-called good cops to somehow police the bad ones. They know each other best. I assume that's why they are so hesitant to call each other out. They know what they're really capable of and how much they do get away with.
As we move towards the middle of the century, we become more racially equal as a society. While making police forces more multi-ethnic is better than not, it may not change levels of brutality. If race becomes less of a divider, then it will become more about class, or political ideology, or religion. There will always be those with a need to dominate. The alleged justifications for it will just adapt.
As militarized as they are now, I feel like the cat is already out of the bag. How do you get it back in?

@Tecolote How to get the genie back in the bottle...

  1. Obama was right. Prosecute high profile abuse cases like Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Erik Gardner using the DOJ.
    A. Obama also used the press to try to diffrrentiate good v. bad cops. It backfired horribly, but at least he tried.
    B. Demystify police work. Yes, policing is dangerous, stressful work; long haul trucking is more so. Cops don't work for free, so cut the altruism act.
  2. Make examples of the bad cops, attach hate crimes to their actions.
  3. Prosecute and ask for sentences that send a clear message to other bad cops.
  4. Don't allow NDA settlements for brutality.
  5. Eliminate the forfeiture laws.
  6. Place brutal departments under DOJ oversight and sanctions.
  7. Get money out by making it something no one wants to invest in. Do this by highlighting the rampant, systemic abuses.

You say we've come closer to equality. I vehemently disagree. Schools are racially and socially segregated and intergration of most of white suburbia don't (or barely) happened. I refer you to the Kerner comission report (a report ordered by LBJ after Detroit's race riots). It concluded the riots happened because of the white communities failures to assimilate to an integrated society. Minorities were marginalized in education, wages, advancement opportunities while being given only the most menial jobs. Sound familiar?

I think the biggest issue here is nothing is a problem until it's a problem for 'white America.' So, until a 12 y.o. white kid is killed playing in a park 1.8 seconds after a cop car rolls up, white America will continue to argue over the appropriateness of Angeles taking a knee.

@Eponymous Oh, I agree totally. I didn't say that well. I was referring to just numbers when I said racially equal. I should have clarified. By 2040 Whites will become the racial minority. The percentages of races will be closer to the same numbers would have been the correct way to say that. It will change the racial make up of police departments, but I don't know if it would stop the violence.
I think if a white 12 year old was shot by cops, there would be more public outrage and media coverage, but a very large portion of whites would just ask, "What was he doing? They wouldn't have shot him if he wasn't doing something." and they would side with the cops regardless. It will be telling to see what happens in the case of the Australian woman who was shot by police in her pajamas after calling for help. No charges have been brought against the officer yet, but if that doesn't get white folks worked up, I don't what will.


It sounds too simple or easy to suggest education education education but then again education isn't simple or ever completed.


I think the US should look to the countries that have the least amount of violence and then emulate them. There are many countries that are far less violent.

SamL Level 7 Dec 28, 2017

It will take 2 things: (1) leadership from the top which lets all officers know that such behavior will not be tolerated. and enforces the demand --without exception, (2) a judicial system willing and able to press charges and get convictions.

wordywalt Level 8 Dec 28, 2017

The police are not being trained to kill civilians. What is happening is that the wrong people are getting hired as police officers. It is only a few members of that group that keeps doing the same bad things. They mistreat people, the think that the badge give them the right to do anything. I know several people that had bad experiences with police officers. I know a few bad police officers that should never have been hired. I am an black man and an ex cop. I have seen and heard things that should never been said and done. Believe me it is a small majority of police officers. There are more bad ones in the southern states.

noworry28 Level 7 Dec 28, 2017

Intense psychological testing of applicants.
Number one question should be "why do you want to be a police officer?"
With so many instances of cops killing unarmed (mostly black) people and getting exonerated, there is corruption in the system.
Weed out the dirty cops and judges.

Paul628 Level 8 Dec 28, 2017

I discussed the issue of unethical police with Dr. Anthony Pinn, Professor at Rice University in Texas. He stated that abusive police is a symptom of the injustices in our country. If and when USA becomes a more fair and just place to live, the situation will get better. Fighting racism, improving the status of women, ending poverty - when enough people tackle these formidable problems, the instances of abuse will improve. At the same time, citizens must keep on pressuring police departments when abusive behavior is brought to light. There are former cops and retired cops who have written about this too - I am currently reading a book by Norm Stamper, former Police Chief of Seattle. Improved training is necessary, very necessary.

SKH78 Level 8 Dec 28, 2017

Everybody has cell phones nowadays. Step up, record, step forward! Yes it is scary, they may turn on you, but there is power in numbers. We must stand together or go down one by one.


A few things would really help, in my opinion.

Require cops to live in the communities they police.
Hold community events in which officers interact with their communities in positive ways.
Bring back well-marked police cars and encourage police to greet people and make themselves available to help those in need.
Non-police oversight in departments.
Hiring standards that encourage diversity and thoughtfulness, rather than getting the aggressive and cold.

Sure, it will take some time to get there, but we can reduce police violence if we remove the occupying force mentality. And I think these would be helpful steps toward that.

Drewesque Level 6 Dec 28, 2017

Have you read 1984 ?????

Buddha Level 7 Dec 28, 2017

It is worth the read!!!

very bleak. better to read sapiens by harari


We need the UN to step in. The militarization of our local police has gone way too far. They view anybody that questions them as an enemy and fair game to murder. I am very fearful of even being pulled for a traffic violation because of this attitude and I’m an old geezer of 64! I won’t roll over. They are supposed to serve and protect, not shoot and torture. I know it is a rough job, but they must be reigned in.

Mudpuppy Level 3 Dec 30, 2017

This is a scary time we live in when it comes to police brutality. I don't know how we should deal with it, but I do know that sometimes I get so angry that I wonder if maybe it isn't time to do away with the Justice system as it is now, and find another way to deal with our policing system. We have a problem, and it's as bad as Russia and China. In fact, it may be worse.

Benthoven Level 8 Dec 29, 2017

Public oversight; constant vigilance... rotating folks out from one job. Really, no lifetime civil servants... All citizens doing a stint in some arena of public service; including some folks in police enforcement.

BobFenner Level 7 Dec 28, 2017

Honestly, I have no idea. There isn't just a simple solution for this question because the cause ranges from bigotry to out right murderous intent.

paul1967 Level 8 Dec 28, 2017

Become a policeman

I could never be a policeman. I could not live with that many people hating me just for what I was wearing.

Then don’t complain about police brutality. You’re allowing the worst people to become policemen.

@Gatovicolo -- As long as the 1st amendment stands, I have the right to complain about anything I want to. Just because I'm not jouncing around everywhere all at once, righting all the wrings in this world, doesn't mean that I am allowing anything.

You do have the right to complain and I have the right to point out just how unjust you’re being with your complaints.


The December issue of the "Smithsonian" is about America's greatest new ideas. One of the visionary's is Ava Duvernay who directed the video 13th which is now on Netflix (and I just finished watching it).

If you watch it watch it alone because you might beat up the person next to you! It is a kick in the gut.

Walmart is the biggest gun dealer in the country and the world's biggest seller of bullets.


I would suggest taking a citizens academy if your area departments have them, a lot can be learned from the course and they are relatively short. one thing that would most likely help would be shorter shifts. instead of 2 12 hour shifts have 3 8's rotating through out. Mandatory counseling there is a stigma within law enforcment that we will be fired or looked down on for attempting to get mental help. I've been working corrections for over 11yrs and bounced a bar for 2 before that. I live with a term now called professional paranoia. more than likely stemming from PTSD due to what I've seen inside the walls as well as prior incidents from bouncing, and yes i'm one of the few that do get counseling. as a side note I opened up this thread and found exactly what I thought I would see.
Suicide Rates for 2016:
General public 13/100,000
Police: 12/100,000
Army 20/100,000

Myranta Level 5 Dec 28, 2017

Until the police start to police themselves, and honest judges start handling cases, I'm afraid not much. Our government no longer listens to the people, so until they are replaced or what ever it takes. Not much will change.


Bailiff. Wack their pee pees!

godef Level 7 Dec 28, 2017

OH MY... most of these comments are completely ridiculous and stupid. according to many LIBERAL Professors form EIVY league schools there is ZERO evidence of racial bias among police, there are actual reports from both the FBI and OBAMA administration that suggest police are MORE likely to shoot a white suspect that a black. There is countless studies by LIBERAL university's that say there is NO evidence to suggest American police force is excessively violent or racist. Apart from the few exceptions which are prosecuted and punished by law, the vast majority of cases are found to be justified by a jury or peers (everyday civilians) who looked at body cam footage and evidence and found the officer to be doing his JOB in the best of his ability and within the complete boundary's of reason. The American judicial system is not perfect, However, It is by FAR more just and fair than most of the worlds. so suggesting that we are evil. I suggest you move to a country without our laws and protection.

bmtruett Level 3 Dec 28, 2017

Care to back any of that up with facts?

yes I don't agree at all either

blacks, latinos and natives make up 85% of the prison population but only 50 % of the general population . How is that possible if your stance is correct ????

Some Facts
this is strait from the Washington post 2016 statistics of shootings by police. If you care to look it says 953 were male, 42 were female. 497 were white, 259 black, 192 hispanic, 38 other, and 29 unknown. (that’s 497 white suspects being shot, and 498 non-whites) 776 of the suspects had a deadly weapon, only 94 were unarmed

Harvard Professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr published July 2016 a study that suggest a white man is 20% more likely to be shot than a black man in the same situation
supporting evidence by Professor Peter Moskos, of John Jay College
Lets look at Chicago, 9920 police officers, only 3504 white. Year to date 623 shot and killed, 2922 shot and wounded. Only 11 shot and killed by police. And ruff statistics from several sources say about 75% murdered were black and 71% of murderers were black. And 24% of all murderers were Hispanic. Doesn’t sound like a police officer killing black people is a big problem in these areas. It sounds like people are killing each other in their own neighborhoods. Not to mention in 544 or these there was no suspect charged.

As far as who is in Prison. About 80-90% of the prison population is male. Dose that mean it is sexist, should we arrest more female to make it more fair, or just not arrest as many males to balance the population. No you are arrested and tried and convicted by your peers. People of all sexes and colors, they decide you are guilty. Not some racist system hell bent of keeping minorities in jail.


I hate to ask the stupid question but... What are we doing about Criminal Brutality?

Criminal brutality should be dealt with by both citizens and police. I doubt if anyone here is "soft on crime." Murderers, muggers, bank robbers, rapists, child abusers - they must be locked up to keep us a lot safer. In my city, we have a Citizens Patrol called "MAD DADS". They patrol a predominately black neighborhood. They catch miscreants. They give guidance and discipline to badly behaved youth and they meet regularly with the police who patrol the area. Brutal criminals - the common folks can organize and make a difference.

@SusanHilde Thank You, It is just I feel as if criminals are getting a pass in many things they do and brag about. Like a mother addressing her murderous 14 year as "my child".

with 50% of the population missing the happiness gene and poverty left to damage the kids permanently never mind the 7% who hear voices. perhaps we should treat crime as a mental health issue instead of the calvinist bull crap. what is it with people who want violence to solve violence.[ incarceration is truly violent]


Something has to be done through Congress-perhaps after the bloodbath election of 2018 and tRUMPs impeachment Congress will come to their senses and pass some law against police brutality and fund sensitivity training.

I don't believe Congress will come to their senses even after a possible impeachment. I am saddened that so few people have taken to the streets or called their LOCAL officials. We need ALL citizens to be outraged by what is going on, and ALL citizens to call their LOCAL officials. This is aggravated by the hostility between groups of citizens, liberals and conservatives, white and non-white, rich and poor, etc. Becoming politically active, as much as possible, is one way things can change. Organization is how unions got paid vacations for workers, along with a 5-day work week to name two benefits which we have because of unions.


"Innocent until proven guilty" no longer exists. Attract the attention of the police, by, say, breathing, clearly you deserve a beating...if you are lucky.
I never gave a thought to my race, I am Incredibly grateful to be an old white woman, and it makes me want to vomit that this is so.


take on the judges who side with the calvinists and bigots. appoint them instead of voting for them . that might remove the money from the process. jails are big business. the states have 32 million people who are or have been in jail and 4 million of those are in for 30 years or more. A higher rate of incarceration than Stalin's soviet union !


Surveilance and unbeatable lie detection has a lot of highly placed, and regular folk, scarred shitless now. We're even seeing laws "upgraded" to help AND hinder these technologies. Main thing is you can relax to some degree. It won't be much longer in big cities that any crime can go unknown. The more outback people in rural areas is another thing.

FynTul Level 6 Dec 28, 2017

The US has been a police state since before I was born. A small town not far from me now has a 9pm curfew. What is strangest is so many people find this a bad thing and actually support all the negativity propagandized about it.

If you called the cops and turned in every crime you know about... and each of them gave up someone for leniency... etc, etc, etc... how long would it take where you live to become a ghost town? lol

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