The stated purpose of law enforcement is to serve and protect the public. Police officers help support people after criminal activity and can sometimes intervene to stop a crime in progress. Unfortunately, the stress of working as a police officer can affect the performance of individual cops.
Police officers can become angry, bitter or traumatized by what they see on the job. Others go into law enforcement specifically because they want the power and authority. Whether someone has experienced trauma on the job or they crave power, they might abuse the authority that comes with their career.
Some officers will become far too confrontational or violent when interacting with members of the public. A recently leaked video serves as a painful reminder of how officers sometimes take their anger out on the very public that they should serve and protect.
Officers should only use the amount of force necessary for safety
The general rule that applies to the use of force in law enforcement situations is that police officers should use as little force as possible to ensure their physical safety and the safety of other individuals. The use of physical violence or deadly force is only appropriate in certain situations.
However, police officers can sometimes get emotional during interactions and become far too aggressive with the people they encounter. A recent viral video of a police encounter in Georgia shows a male police officer seemingly kicking a woman in the head while she is already in handcuffs and face down on the ground.
Given that the woman was already restrained and that there was more than one officer present, that force, at least upon initial review of the video, seems to be entirely inappropriate. Thankfully, the police department implicated by that video has responded appropriately. They suspended the officers involved, and the woman subject to that unnecessary force will not face criminal charges from the incident.
Those hurt by police officers need to stand up for themselves and for others
When the police have hurt you or violated your rights, you may lose what faith you have in the criminal justice system. However, if those subject to police brutality do nothing, then unethical officers will continue to run rampant, possibly leading to more altercations or even deadly interactions in the future.
Fighting back if you have experienced police brutality can help compensate you for the injuries and trauma you’ve suffered and can hold the police officers involved accountable for their actions against you.