Police Brutality and African-Americans

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Throughout the course, we have talked about many topics. When we were reading March Book Three and learning about the mistreatment of minorities. I found the content to be incredibly interesting. Police brutality is the use of any force exceeding that reasonably necessary to accomplish a lawful police purpose. Police brutality against African Americans is a societal problem that affects many states across the United States. March Book Three is a book that I found incredibly interesting, I am writing about the hardships that African-Americans had to face during this time period, and the hardships that African-Americans face today regarding police brutality.

I was able to find articles that give specific details about cases regarding police brutality and the mistreatment of African-Americans. My first article speaks about Eric Garner, a man who was killed by police officers despite letting them know he could not breath. Another article that I found spoke about the case of Michael Brown, who was a teenager that was maliciously killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson. These articles make the similar argument that in certain cases, police officers abuse their power.

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In July 2014, a 43-year-old African-American man named Eric Garner was put into a chokehold by a police officer and he died because he could no longer breath. Garner was approached by policemen because they had suspicion that he was selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner had already been arrested several times for the same charge, a police office tried to make the arrest while another officer wrestled Garner to the ground. Eric Garner repeatedly told the officers that he could not breath, yet they continued to press his face into the sidewalk. The medical examiner determined that Eric Garner’s death was a homicide however the policeman was only stripped of his badge and his gun. One of the nine principles of policing is “to recognize always that the power of the police is to fulfill their function and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions, and behavior and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect” (Friedersdorf). It is clear to see that unnecessary force was used in the killing of Eric Garner. While he was committing a crime, it was a petty crime and better action should have been taken.

Another example of police brutality against African-Americans would be the case involving Michael Brown. Brown was an 18-year-old man from Ferguson, Missouri who was shot and killed on August 9th, 2014. Michael Brown as a suspect in a robbery of a convenient store and was shot by former police officer Darren Wilson (Shin). Brown was believed to have his hands up to surrender to the policeman who killed him. The medical examiner determined that Brown was shot at least six times and evidence shows that he was also shot two times in the head. This is just another example of an immoral act committed by a police officer. Now that I have talked about these cases that have taken place in modern times, I would like to talk about how they apply to March Book Three.

March Book Three takes an in-depth look at the struggles of African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. A common theme that was expressed in this book was the mistreatment of people of color. As time progressed, it seems that nothing has changed regarding police brutality and African-Americans. People of color are still being scrutinized by the police force in America. A key event that took place in March Book Three was Bloody Sunday, which was a day filled of hardship. African-Americans began to march because they wanted their voices to be heard. Local police put a halt to the march, police officers began to beat marchers with their sticks (Klein). Police officers were doing whatever they could to put a halt on the marching. For example, police officers on horseback chased the marchers as they swung their weapons to hurt the marchers. Officers were using whips and rubber tubing that was wrapped in barbed wire to injure the marchers (Klein). Despite the protestors being brutally beaten, they did not fight back.

The issue of policy brutality and African-Americans is incredibly important because it is an issue that our society has been facing for a long time. This issue connects to American memory because it was a reoccurring theme that was talked about in our class. This is such an important topic because it is a societal issue that will never go away.

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Police Brutality and African-Americans. (2022, Jul 11). Retrieved from


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