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Essay/Term paper: Police brutality

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Term Papers

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Police Brutality

Matt Howard

Peroid 1
Mrs. Kolar
December 20, 1996

Work Cited

Brancato, Gilda and Elliot E. Polebaum The Rights Of Police Officers New york, A.C.L.U. 1981

Streisand, Betsy " L.A. Chooses Sides : Cops vs. Aliens " U.S. News and World Report Aprill
1996 10

Bruning, Fred " Rogue Cops and Civillan Beatings" Newsday April, 1996 : 15.

Daher, Kate "Justice For Jonny" {htpp://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pshell/gammage/flyer.htlm October

Winters, Paul A. Policing The Police Greenville: David Benner,1991


" We were following are training as L.A.P.D. officers," said officer Stacey Koon who

was one of four officers accused of using excessive force against Rodney King.

{Brutality in Los Angles 7 } Koon along with fellow officers Timothy Wind, Lawrence Powell,

and Theodore Brines chased King through downtown Los Angles. King had allegedly committed

numerous traffic violations and was thought to be high on PCP. After a hour King pulled his car

over and the officers swarmed in to arrest him. King began to struggle then the beating began.

Little did the officers know a bystander was filming the whole thing.{Brutality in Los Angles 8}

The officers were tried for using active force and the tape were reviewed by experts

who found that king was struck with over 50 blows to the body by the officers.

{Brutality in Los Angles7} The officers were found not guilty of using excessive force

against Rodney King. This sparked a week long riot in Los Angles. There was looting and

building being torched. {Burning 14}

Following the riots it was announced that two officers Stacey Koon And Lawrence

Powell would stand trial yet again, but this time in federal court for violating Rodney

Kings civil rights. Both were convicted and sentenced to prison terms {Brutality In Los Angles 7}

The Rodney King video and trial sparked a question in many peoples mind through

out the nation, "How big of a problem is police brutality? Little did they know that this

would be the beginning of a streak of police related violence.

Sandra Antor a Miami, Florida residence was driving through South Carolina heading

north on vacation. When she was stopped by a South Carolina Highway Patrol officer.

{Bruning 15} He dragged her from the car and cursed at her. Once she was out of the car

He forced Ms. Antor to lay on the pavement handcuffed like a common thief , all because she had

had failed to see him with his lights on behind her . His on board camera recorded the whole

incident. {Bruning 15}

A couple weeks later we saw a example of police brutality again. This time a truck full

of illegal aliens from Mexico. Deputies in Riverside chased the pickup on the freeway. The illegal

immigrants threw beer bottles at the deputies. When the truck finally stopped, the immigrant in

the back of the truck fled. Three Riverside Deputies then went after the driver and his passenger.

The driver was thrown against the hood and handcuffed. The passenger, a pregnant women was

grabbed when she did not stop running, was clubbed repeatedly with a nightstick. The officers

didn"t even notice that a news helicopter was hovering above them recording everything live on

television. {Streisand 10}

Not every police beating is fortunate enough not to end without any major

injuries. Take Jonny Gammage for example, a cousin of Pittsburgh Steeler Defensive End

Ray Seals. Gammage had just finished having lunch with his cousin Seals. Seals let Gammage

borrow his brand new Jaguar to pick his mother up in Pittsburgh. While driving through

downtown Pittsburgh Gammage got out of the car and began to argue with the officers. He

allegedly was beaten to death by them. What makes it ironic is the only reason Gammage was

stopped is because he was riding his brakes to prevent from speeding. {Daher 1}

A tow tuck driver named Frank Beljack was a eyewitness to the beating. Beljack said

" I noticed they were hitting on him. It looked like one of the officers was on his back hitting

him. The officers are on trial now for involuntary man slaughter. {Daher 2}

Although police beatings like this have no logical explanation why they happen, some cops

have described a feeling of excitement during a high speed pursuit. This feeling now has a name.

It is called High-Speed Pursuit Syndrome. High-Speed Syndrome is described as a mix between

fear, excitement, and adrenaline. This syndrome cause the officer to vent all these emotions on the

suspect at the end of the pursuit.{A.C.L.U. 1} Police departments now are training their officers

how to control their emotions in the event of a high speed chase.{A.C.L.U. 2} Three of the four

police beatings above involved high speed pursuits.

The purpose of this research paper is took look at some police brutality cases and try to

determine how big of a problem it is. This is just four cases of thousands of cases all over

the world. So the answer is police brutality is a big problem and should be stopped by

whatever means necessary.


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