Johnson: Police brutality is still a problem

Columnist Matthew Johnson argues that it’s time for police brutality to come to an end.

Matthew Johnson

Police brutality is still a problem in the U.S. The purpose of police is to protect and serve, and while a vast majority of them do so, there are a lot of bad apples in the bunch. It’s time America take action. The recent murder of Daunte Wright was another reminder that this is a pressing issue that needs addressed, in memorial of George Floyd. There are many ways we can rectify the issue of police brutality, starting with education and better training. So, first, what is police brutality?

Police brutality is the use of extreme and unnecessary force by a law enforcement officer. Examples of police brutality involve shooting an unarmed person without proper reason or physical and arbitrary violence toward protesters, just to name just a few. So, what can be done in an attempt to stop this from happening in the future?

One way we can attempt to end police brutality is providing better training for the job. The officer who murdered Wright is a clear example of the need for better training. The police chief of Brooklyn Center Minnesota claimed that the officer who murdered Wright thought she was reaching for her taser, when in reality, she pulled her firearm. On that note, the Brooklyn Center Police Department clearly hasn’t properly trained their officers on the difference between tasing or shooting a suspect.

Another way we can start limiting the incidents of police brutality is to require higher education for the job. Police officers should have to take diversity and sensitivity courses to improve their understanding of different cultures and the fact that we are all equal. Many police departments around the country are beginning to take this measure. Psychology courses should also be a requirement for the job, so police are better equipped to handle an individual who is having a mental breakdown. This could help improve police officers’ ability to deal with a mentally unstable person instead of feeling compelled to use deadly force.

Some police officers seem to think that due to the fact that they have a badge, that they can do whatever they please and get away with it. While a good majority of officers don’t have this mindset, many do. It’s time we check the bad apples and make sure they know their place is to protect and serve, not to inflict violence or kill. Minoritized groups deserve better when it comes to public safety and shouldn’t have to worry about being the next victim of police brutality.