If you have ever been brutalized by the Denver police, you are no stranger to true terror. Being shot, beaten or otherwise roughed-up by those whose stated mission is to “protect and serve” is definitely no laughing matter. Your focus narrows to surviving the incident with all your bodily functions intact, as you know that many in other jurisdictions did not fare so well against police brutality.
But, did you ever wonder how you wound up in this situation in the first place? Others have, and have concluded that there is a three-pronged problem that leads to police brutality.
Racial profiling is a major cause
Not just in Denver, but all over the United States, racial profiling plays a major role in the beatdowns of innocent citizens by police officers. One writer who focuses on this topic notes that when an abuse of police power occurs, it is typically toward minorities, specifically African Americans and Hispanics.
In their studies of a police force in a major city on the East Coast, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) determined that racially biased street encounters happen with the most frequency to young African-American men. This demographic group is subject to more observation, police stops, frisks, searches and interrogations than any other group.
Corrupt law enforcement is a contributing factor
Make no mistake — there are decent and honorable police officers on the force, men and women who are dedicated to the true ideals of law enforcement. But, unfortunately, there are all too many who slip through the cracks and get onto the force who see their badges and guns through the lens of a power trip to abuse all against whom they have personal biases.
Then, the notorious Blue Wall of Silence closes ranks around the abusive officers. Even decent cops are loathe to report or testify against one of their own even when they privately may acknowledge that officer’s inherent unfitness.
Inadequate training rounds out the trio
Here, the focus of the problem is less on the individual officers’ actions than on the bureaucratic lapses that turned them loose on the community ill-prepared for the myriad challenges they will face.
Inadequate training lowers morale and foments distrust even among fellow officers. The street cops may be unsure that their partners or team members will truly “have their backs” in a life-or-death situation. It sets the stage for a harrowing experience for the citizens these badly trained officers will encounter.
Did you experience police brutality?
Denver residents who have been abused by the cops typically may be afraid to report it, thinking that could open the door to more of the same type of abuses of power. But you can — and should — seek justice in such cases. A Colorado attorney who handles police brutality cases is a good resource to turn to after such a frightening incident.