87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples

🏆 best police brutality topics for essays, 📌 most interesting police brutality essay topics, 👍 good research topics about police brutality, ❓ research questions about police brutality.

  • Police Deviance For the sake of this paper, the scope of this paper will only examine the code of conduct in reference to the relationship between the police force and the society.
  • Police Brutality: Internal and External Stakeholders To begin with, internal stakeholders such as police officers and judges have been observed to enforce the law discriminatively. Policymakers can be encouraged to propose and support powerful laws that have the potential to deal […] We will write a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts 808 writers online Learn More
  • Police Misconduct Actually, prosecutors are always reluctant to try these victims in the court of law for the following reasons; police officers, in most cases, are protected by the prosecutors.
  • Police Brutality: Dissoi Logoi Argumentation Under the influence of societal views, the majority of the representatives of the general public tend to perceive police officers as a safeguarding force that gathers individuals who perform their duties to ensure that the […]
  • Police Misconduct: What Can Be Done? Police officers are the individuals charged with the task of maintaining law and order and ensuring the security of the population.
  • Excessive Force by the Police On the other hand, the media reported on the severity of misconduct by police officers and cited the Blue code of silence as the key setback against the fight against police torture.
  • Police Brutality in the USA This paper aims to discuss the types of police brutality, the particularities of psychological harm inflicted by the police, and its consequences for the population affected by these forms of violence.
  • Police Brutality: Causes and Solutions If the criminal is armed and firing at the police, the use of force is acceptable. However, when the actions of the police are disproportionate to the committed crimes, the necessity of such measures is […]
  • Impact of Police Brutality on the Society in the United States The issue of racism is one that has led to police brutality that has been witnessed in the American society for a long time.
  • Excessive Force and Deviance, Police Brutality The events highlighting racial injustice could positively influence our society, maintaining an appropriate level of awareness regarding the issues encountered by African-Americans and prompting a change in police behaviors.
  • History of Police Brutality: The Murder of George Floyd Police officers strive to maintain order and ensure adherence to the laws of the state. The standards observed the right to democracy and addressed the need for representation.
  • Body-Worn Cameras Against Police Brutality in New York There is often a legal foundation to such a privileged position; the laws control the oppressed class and mitigate threats to the power of the ruling class.
  • Police Brutality: Social Issue This paper explores the issue of police brutality and seeks to shed light on the perceptions of the public, especially the black minority.
  • Police Brutality: Graham vs. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 In this essay, a summary of the Graham and Connor case and the decision of the court will be introduced. In case this suggestion is correct, Connor appears as a police officer who failed to […]
  • Police Brutality as a Law Enforcement Challenge The problem has persisted due to the ineffectiveness of different leaders. The number of unexplainable shootings, severe beatings, and mistreatments continues to be reported in the country.
  • Social Psychology: Police Brutality The first group of solutions to the problem of police brutality includes technical measures, such as the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras. Finally, another potential solution to police brutality is the diversification of […]
  • Technology Influences on Police Brutality Modern platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to inform and educate more people about the nature of police brutality.
  • Public Administration Issue: Police Brutality The trend is ongoing and is not expected to end any time soon because of the social structure and the culture that does not value the contributions of minorities and people of color.
  • Police in Law Enforcement Misconduct This creates a rift between the community and the police leading to further misconduct in the process of enforcing the law.
  • The Incidents Involving Police Brutality
  • The Infringement of Natural Human Rights Because of Police Brutality in the United States
  • Police Brutality and Its Effects on the United States
  • The Flaws of Police Officers and the Issue of Police Brutality on an Individual
  • The Suffering and Fight of African-Americans Against Police Brutality
  • The Image Serving as a Reminder of Police Brutality
  • The Negative Effects of Police Brutality
  • The Changing Patterns of Racism and Police Brutality in the United States
  • Police Brutality and the Death of Freddie Gray
  • The Issue of Police Brutality and Injustice in the Story of Kalief Browder
  • The Relation Between Police Brutality and Race in the United States of America
  • Police Brutality and Racism Against African Americans
  • The High Prevalence of Police Brutality Towards African America
  • The US Government Faces Different Challenges with Police Brutality
  • The Truth About Police Brutality Against Minorities
  • The Importance of Body Cameras for Solving the Problem of Police Brutality
  • Protesting Protest Against Police Brutality
  • The Solutions to the Issue of Police Brutality in the United States
  • Racism: Police Brutality and Racial Profiling
  • Prejudice, Police Brutality, Racism: The Three Things We Are Trying to Get Rid Off
  • Problems Caused by Police Brutality
  • Police Misconduct and Police Brutality
  • The Issue of Police Brutality Against People of Color in the United States
  • The Issue of Police Brutality Against the Colored People in the United States
  • The Effects of Violence on Police Brutality
  • The Deaths Caused by Hurricane Katrina and Police Brutality in America
  • Social Media Activism, Centered on Police Brutality
  • The Effects of Police Brutality on the Relationship
  • The Long Problem of Police Brutality in the United States
  • The Police Brutality Against Minorities
  • Race, Police Brutality, Crime, Education and Poverty
  • The Issue of Police Brutality in the United States and the Solutions to Curb Police Misconduct
  • The Influence of the Media and Social Class in Police Brutality
  • The Dangers of Racial Profiling and Police Brutality
  • The Effects of Police Brutality on Minority Communities
  • The Effects of Police Brutality and Racism English
  • The Drug Trade as the Cause of Police Brutality in Brazil
  • Police Brutality and Their Power Caught on Video by Bystanders
  • How to Deal with the Problem of Police Brutality in the United States?
  • What is the Relations Police Brutality and Its Contributors?
  • How Repressive Laws and Police Brutality Against Mexican Americans Stigmatized the Race as a Whole?
  • How Race and Ethnicity Affects Police Brutality Term?
  • Police Brutality Ends Here?
  • What Does the Media Cover up the Police Brutality?
  • How Does Police Brutality on Children Affect How Society?
  • Does Police Brutality Distort the Way People View Law Enforcement?
  • How Can We Help Prevent Police Brutality?
  • How to Stop Police Brutality Against Minority’s?
  • Has Been Police Brutality Alive for Too Many Years?
  • Has Police Brutality Increased Throughout the United?
  • What Is Wrong with Police?
  • How Police Corruption Remains a Tainted Reminder of Police Brutality in the US?
  • Does Police Brutality Affect the Mental Health of Black Youth?
  • Why Isn’t Outrage over Police Brutality Enough?
  • Are the Police Taking Advantage of People by Using Police Brutality?
  • Has Been Police Brutality Around for Decades?
  • Should There Be Direct Laws Against Police Brutality?
  • Can You Trust the Law?
  • What Is the Police Brutality Effect on African American Males?
  • When the Police Duty to Protect Fails Police Brutality?
  • Religious Profiling and Police Brutality: How They Affect Operations?
  • What Are the Effects of Police Brutality?
  • Police Brutality: What’s Really Going on?
  • What is the New York City Police Brutality?
  • How Does the Body Camera Increase Police Brutality?
  • The Causes of Police Brutality in America: Is It Due to Police Behavior?
  • When Excessive Force Becomes Police Brutality Sociology?
  • What is the Link Between Police Brutality and the Law Enforcement Officers?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2023, November 30). 87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/police-brutality-essay-examples/

"87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples." IvyPanda , 30 Nov. 2023, ivypanda.com/essays/topic/police-brutality-essay-examples/.

IvyPanda . (2023) '87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples'. 30 November.

IvyPanda . 2023. "87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples." November 30, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/police-brutality-essay-examples/.

1. IvyPanda . "87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples." November 30, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/police-brutality-essay-examples/.


IvyPanda . "87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples." November 30, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/police-brutality-essay-examples/.

  • Police Questions
  • Human Rights Essay Ideas
  • Crime Ideas
  • Criminal Justice Essay Topics
  • Financial Crisis Paper Topics
  • Conflict Research Topics
  • Professionalism Research Ideas
  • Corruption Ideas
  • Gun Control Titles
  • Racial Profiling Essay Topics
  • Economic Inequality Questions
  • Government Regulation Titles
  • Accountability Titles
  • Prejudice Essay Topics
  • Constitution Research Ideas


Presentations made painless

  • Get Premium

122 Police Brutality Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

Inside This Article

Police brutality is a serious issue that has been a topic of discussion and debate for many years. It refers to the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against civilians, resulting in injury or death. This issue has sparked outrage and protests across the country, as people demand justice and accountability for those responsible.

If you are tasked with writing an essay on police brutality, it is important to choose a topic that is both relevant and engaging. To help you get started, here are 122 police brutality essay topic ideas and examples to consider:

  • The history of police brutality in the United States
  • The impact of police brutality on communities of color
  • The role of race in police brutality cases
  • The militarization of police forces
  • The use of body cameras to prevent police brutality
  • The role of social media in exposing police brutality
  • The psychological effects of police brutality on victims
  • The legal implications of police brutality cases
  • The role of police unions in protecting officers accused of brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on trust in law enforcement
  • The use of excessive force in policing protests
  • The role of systemic racism in police brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on mental health
  • The role of implicit bias in police interactions
  • The impact of police brutality on community-police relations
  • The role of technology in documenting police brutality incidents
  • The impact of police brutality on victims' families
  • The role of police training in preventing brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on trust in the criminal justice system
  • The use of force continuum in policing
  • The impact of police brutality on police officers' mental health
  • The role of political rhetoric in shaping attitudes towards police brutality
  • The impact of police unions on accountability for police brutality
  • The use of civil rights laws to address police brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on the public perception of law enforcement
  • The role of community policing in preventing police brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on minority communities
  • The role of federal oversight in addressing police brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on the legitimacy of law enforcement
  • The role of the media in shaping public perceptions of police brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on the mental health of officers
  • The role of police culture in perpetuating brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on the criminal justice system
  • The role of civilian oversight boards in addressing police brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on the use of force policies
  • The role of community activism in addressing police brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on the trust between police and communities
  • The role of police accountability in preventing brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on the relationship between law enforcement and the public
  • The role of police leadership in addressing brutality
  • The impact of police brutality on officer training
  • The role of legal reforms in addressing police brutality
  • The role of community engagement in preventing police brutality
  • The role of police unions in addressing brutality

These essay topics cover a wide range of issues related to police brutality, allowing you to explore different aspects of this complex and important topic. Whether you are writing a research paper, a persuasive essay, or a personal reflection on police brutality, these topic ideas can help you get started and develop a compelling argument or analysis. Remember to choose a topic that interests you and aligns with your goals for the essay, whether that be raising awareness, advocating for policy changes, or exploring the impact of police brutality on society.

Want to create a presentation now?

Instantly Create A Deck

Let PitchGrade do this for me

Hassle Free

We will create your text and designs for you. Sit back and relax while we do the work.

Explore More Content

  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service

© 2023 Pitchgrade

Police Brutality - List of Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas

Police brutality refers to the excessive or unnecessary use of force by law enforcement officers. Essays on this topic could explore the incidences of police brutality, its causes, and its impact on communities, particularly marginalized groups. Further discussions might extend to the legal frameworks governing law enforcement conduct, the calls for police reform, and the movements advocating for accountability and justice. We have collected a large number of free essay examples about Police Brutality you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Police Brutality and Racism

The Declaration of Independence was created to protect the inalienable rights that all Americans receive at birth, yet police brutality continues to threaten the rights of African Americans everywhere. Police everywhere need to be given mandatory psychological tests in order to gain awareness of racial bias in law enforcement and allow citizens to slowly gain trust for the officers in law enforcement. No one wants a child to grow up in a world filled with hate. As Martin Luther King […]

The Effects Police Brutality has on Society

Introduction There are many issues that can cause dysfunction in a society. Police brutality has become debatable and a major issue America faces today. Police brutality can be traced back all the way to the early 1870s. Police brutality is the use of excessive force by a police officer. Which can arrange from anything as far as assaults, lethal force, harassment and much more. The use of force has been around for decades as a way of solving conflicts and […]

Is Racism Still a Current Issue in America

Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. It is no secret that America has a racist past, with issues like hate crimes, police brutality, and slavery. However, the concern of racism is still apparent in American society today. Completely eliminating racism will be very hard. However, to start the process of eliminating this issue, we need to start by recognizing our own […]

We will write an essay sample crafted to your needs.

Police Brutality – most Serious Violations to the Black Community

Police brutality started in the early 70s, due to the lack of equal rights for African Americans. Over the last past several years, it has left citizens wondering if policemen are doing their jobs or just looking for another murder case. Due to all the unnecessary shooting, rough treatment, and beating upon black people three radical black organizers created Black Lives Matter. In the result of this injustice, African American lady, Korryn Gaines, a 23-year old woman, was pulled over […]

Police Brutality – Systemic Misuse of Authority and Abuse of Police Powers

Police brutality is the systematic misuse of authority and abuse of police powers through the unwarranted infliction of bodily or psychological pain to civilians by law enforcers during their official duties. The routine enforcement of law using excessive force against unarmed civilians and the correctional misuse of facilities to manipulate, inflict, injure or subject a civilian to torture amounts to police brutality. Militarily prisons and federal penal correctional facilities through the personnel operating the facilities can practice police brutality through […]

About Black Lives Matter Movement

The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution are inherent for all. There is no question that all people (blacks, Latinos, Indians, or white) were created free and equal with certain inalienable rights. This is a universally accepted principle. Segregation and racism against minorities in this country have been widely discussed, and prominent figures have taken a stand asking people to join in the fight for equality. This stand addresses the significance of black lives. However, contrasting opinions on […]

Defacement Reflecting on Police Brutality: a Jean Michel-Basquiat Story

Thesis statement: Art tends be a reflection of how an artist is feeling in a certain moment or time and at times it dives into the mind of the artist during the darkest periods of their lives. Artists tend to find inspiration in circumstances or instances that directly affect them on an emotional level. May that be as a result of a death or even a life altering incident that maybe they didn't experience in person but it still hit […]

Police Brutality Culture

The use of excessive force on civilians whether innocent or suspected is deemed as Police brutality. And everyone can attest to the fact that police brutality is ever on the rise. We see it every other day in the news, on the internet and some of us have even witnessed it just around the corners in our neighborhoods. Even if it is plastered all over the media, those officers seem to still remain in the lines of duties. Why? Do […]

Police Abuse of Power

Police brutality refers to systematic misuse of authority and powers through the unwarranted infliction of bodily or psychological pain to civilians by law enforcers during their official duties. The routine enforcement of law using excessive force against unarmed civilians and the correctional misuse of facilities to manipulate, inflict, injure or subject a civilian to torture amounts to police brutality. Militarily prisons and federal penal correctional facilities, through the personnel operating the facilities, can practice police brutality through extreme subjection of […]

Institutional Racism and Police Brutality in Education System

In today society there are several police brutality against black people, and in some institutional systems black people still experience racism from people who thinks they are superior. Racism is an issue which emerged from history till now and it has become a major problem in our society. This has affected some families to live their dreams and influences other people mindset towards each other. Institutional Racism is expressed in social and political institution which is governed by the behavioral […]

Police Brutality against Black Communities

Throughout the years, the issue of police brutality against black communities has been a major problem affecting many countries in the United States. Unjustified killings have taken place in the black community, which has clearly led to a national outcry for justice and equality. The issue has become particularly notable in recent years thanks to the numerous murders of young black people that have been committed by police officers. Research shows that young black men were nine times more likely […]

Does the Civil Rights Movement have an Effect on the Way Minorities are Treated by Authorities?

Abstract The civil rights movement was a mass popular movement to secure for African Americans equal access to and opportunities for the basic privileges and rights of U.S. citizenship. While the roots of this movement go back to the 19th century, its highlighted movements were in the 1950s and 1960s. African American men and women, along with white American’s and other minority citizens, organized and led the movement at national and local levels nationwide. The civil rights movement centered on […]

Police Brutality against Latinos in the U.S.

This research focused on the history of police brutality against Latinos in the U.S. and thedifferent types of police brutality. It starts off with an overview of what police brutality is and providing examples of police brutality in the different states. The examples intend to provide the reader with knowledge of how police brutality affects the Latino community and some other minority groups. Additionally, it talks about injunctions and the system of points (used in Boston), which allow police officers […]

Police Brutality – Aggressive Overuse of Power

Every 7 hours in the United States an individual life is taken by a police officer. Police brutality is defined as an aggressive overuse of power given to them as a status of a police officer. A 395 pound 6'2-foot man named Eric Garner was held in an illegal chokehold by officer Justin D'Amico. Eric Garner was selling illegal cigarettes on a street in Staten Island, New York. As police approach him four of the officers wrestled him to the […]

Police Brutality – Misconduct and Shootings

Abstract In the United States, Police brutality has been a source of concern for many years. Police officers have been known to use excessive and unnecessary force on innocent and unarmed civilians. There have been numerous instances of police officers killing civilians when such force was unwarranted. It is important to look at how police brutality affects the community as well as fellow police officers. There are a number of measures that should be taken to stop this menace. The […]

Police Brutality Towards African Americans

Dear Governor Brown, In this letter I wanted to discuss an epidemic that has occured in America these past few years, which would be police brutality towards African Americans. Police brutality dates as far back as the 1960's but recently there have been many cases towards black people where they do not pose a threat but are still beaten or even killed. Statistics show that police killed 1,147 people in 2017 and 25% of those killed were black people even […]

An American Lie the American Dream

“In recent years, thousands of Americans have died at the hands of law enforcement, a reality made even more shameful when we consider how many of these victims were young, poor, mentally ill, Black or unarmed” (Hill 1).  Minorities have struggled for years to be accepted into a society that excludes them. In “Nobody” by Marc Lamont Hill, he compares the injustices occurring today to those that happened years ago. African Americans are constantly suffering from racial discrimination and denial […]

Stop Police Brutality against Minority’s

Police abuse remains one of the most serious human rights violations in the United States. Over the past decades, police have acted out in ways that have made people wonder, are our officer really doing their jobs?. Unjustified shootings have contributed to the ever present problem of police brutality in America. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States mandated racial segregation in […]

Police Brutality: Hispanics, Asian, and African American

Almost everyone can be involved in police brutality including Hispanics, Asian, and African American. But, black people are most likely to be shot by police than their white peers. However, according to Vox news says, An analysis of the available FBI data by Dara Lind for Vox found that US police kill black people at disproportionate rates: Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012. In other words, that black people are accusing as a threat […]

Different Forms of Police Brutality

According to The Law Dictionary, police brutality is defined as the use of excessive and/ or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians. The brutality can come in several forms; ranging from nerve gas, guns, false arrests, racial profiling, and sexual abuse. Many black men and women fall victims to officers. Police killed 1,147 people in 2017. Black people were 25% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population (Daniliana 1). Since 1992, there has been an […]

Police Brutality – Prevalent Problem in American Society

America has on average one of the highest rates of police violence compared to other developed countries. While it is hard to determine the precise reason to why that is, many argue that it is directly related to racism that has, and still exists today. Until recent times, people of Caucasian decent have held much of the power in the United States government. Meaning that policies were made with white favoritism in mind. This is known as systemic racism. One […]

The Efforts of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Social Change: Police Brutality and The Efforts of the Black Lives Matter Movement CRM 328 Spring 2018 Rodney Morvan Introduction America is known as the land of opportunity and freedom, where equality prevails all across the country, and the justice system is said to protect each and every one of us equally and fairly. However, in 2012, neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman, while on patrol, shot and killed 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was subsequently taken to trial and, surprisingly, […]

Police Brutality in America

The rate has increased over the past years. They call America now a slaughter house; killings leading to uproars in the cities and mass shootings. Police brutality does not only happen to African American, but people of all ethnicities. Police officers were once called the peacekeepers of our community, but now we as people are scared to even leave our home. This is a problem beginning to grow more and more each day. The biggest issue right now is that […]

Police Brutality against Women

Police brutality is one of several forms of police misconduct, which involves undue violence by police officers. It seems to happen in several countries, but very often in the United States against African-Americans. Studies show that the US police kill more in days than other countries do in years. (The Guardian, 2018). Generally, when individuals discuss police violence against African-Americans; recurring names such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner continuously appear in broadcast media. It is very rare […]

Police Brutality and its Contributors

In the past two years, the United States has seen an extreme increase in the police use of deadly force. This deadly increase is speculated to have many contributing factors, some contributing factors are, internalized racism, knowing that if they do something they will not be punished, and the blue wall of silence. These are just a few of the many contributors to police brutality. People may believe that this is the way that we must live, and that nothing […]

Police Brutality and Racial Profiling

If you were stopped by police officers and all they saw was your race, imagine how that would have felt. Sadly, this happens in the real world to people of color daily. Racial profiling is a controversial and illegal form of discrimination, where people are targeted for suspicion based on their race or ethnicity rather than on evidence-based suspicious behavior. Racial profiling is a common practice used by law enforcement agencies in the United States. It is based on the […]

Black Lives Matter against Violence and Racism

Black Lives Matter is a movement that is originated by African-Americans. Black Lives Matter is against violence and racism towards black people. Police brutality is one of several forms of police misconduct which involves violence by police. Police brutality is also a part of why Black Lives Matter exist, because it is going on in many countries. While although illegal, it can be used under the color of law. Black Lives Matter was developed to protect black people from the […]

Police Brutality against Black People

The source of racial disparity that pervades the United States criminal justice system, and for African Americans in particular, lies within the bounds of racial discrimination. In order for this treatment to be stopped, members of society must make efforts to alter a mindset that draws it roots from a dark history of slavery and manipulation. Plan Addressing Diawara’s view that society views whiteness as the norm by objectifying races and creating economic and public policies, Barak Obama’s 2008 Father […]

History of Police Brutality

America’s history allows spectators to realize that police brutality is not a modern-day problem, however it is a rising issue. As a nation built up of diverse groups, it is not a surprise that this country has an interminable past of acts of brutality, especially when it comes to individuals who have been incarcerated which is a huge portion of America’s population. A rising amount of police officers are now unlawfully abusing their power, and many prisoners are not willing […]

US Police Brutality and African Americans

Police brutality is a major issue in the United States, with its target against African Americans being a longstanding problem. The history of police brutality closely relates to racism and discrimination in America. Many factors, such as institutional racism, poverty, education, and even the drug war, contribute to this issue. With these factors combined, there is an increased risk of violence from law enforcement officials toward African Americans. According to Schwartz and Jahn (2020), African Americans are three times more […]

Related topic

Additional example essays.

  • Should College Be Free: Pros And Cons
  • Racism in A Raisin in the Sun
  • Death And Suicide In Hamlet
  • How are Napoleon and Snowballs leadership styles different?
  • Compare and Contrast: Hamlet and The Lion King
  • The Tragic Flaw of Hamlet
  • African-Americans In The A Raisin In The Sun
  • Hamlet is a Political Tragedy
  • Hamlet And Ophelia Relationship
  • The Female Identities in Shakespeare's Hamlet
  • "Of Mice and Men" Minor Characters: Exploring the Emotions
  • Charles Manson's impact on cults in American society

How To Write an Essay About Police Brutality

Introduction to the issue of police brutality.

When approaching the sensitive and complex topic of police brutality for an essay, it is crucial to start with a clear definition and understanding of what police brutality encompasses. This term generally refers to the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers, often tied to a broader discussion of systemic issues within policing institutions. In your introduction, provide context for the essay by highlighting the significance of this issue, its impact on communities, and its relevance in the current social and political climate. This opening segment sets the stage for a deep and thoughtful exploration of the various dimensions of police brutality, including its causes, effects, and the ongoing debates surrounding it.

Analyzing the Causes and Manifestations

The body of your essay should delve into a detailed analysis of police brutality. This includes examining the root causes, such as systemic racism, lack of adequate training, and issues within the criminal justice system. Discuss different manifestations of police brutality, from physical violence to psychological tactics, and consider how these actions affect not only individuals but also communities and public trust in law enforcement. Utilize specific examples, case studies, or statistical data to support your points, ensuring that your argument is grounded in factual information. This section should be structured to provide a comprehensive and balanced exploration of the topic.

Addressing Solutions and Reforms

In this part of your essay, focus on the potential solutions and reforms aimed at reducing instances of police brutality. Discuss various proposals such as increased accountability measures, police training reforms, community policing strategies, and systemic changes in law enforcement agencies. Analyze the effectiveness of these solutions, drawing on examples from different jurisdictions where reforms have been attempted or implemented. Consider the challenges and barriers to implementing these changes, including political, institutional, and social factors. This segment should highlight the complexity of solving the issue of police brutality and the need for multifaceted approaches.

Concluding Thoughts on Police Brutality

Conclude your essay by summarizing the main points discussed, and reflect on the broader implications of police brutality on society and the justice system. This is an opportunity to reiterate the importance of addressing this issue and to encourage ongoing dialogue and action. Offer a perspective on the future of policing and community relations, considering the current trends and movements. A strong conclusion will not only wrap up the essay effectively but also leave the reader with a deeper understanding of the complexities of police brutality and the necessity for continued attention and effort in combating it.

1. Tell Us Your Requirements

2. Pick your perfect writer

3. Get Your Paper and Pay

Hi! I'm Amy, your personal assistant!

Don't know where to start? Give me your paper requirements and I connect you to an academic expert.

short deadlines

100% Plagiarism-Free

Certified writers

90 Police Brutality Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on police brutality, 🌶️ hot police brutality essay topics, 💡 simple police brutality essay ideas, 📌 easy police brutality essay topics, ❓ police brutality research questions.

  • Essay on Police Brutality in the United States
  • Police Brutality: The Rodney King Case
  • Police Brutality: Reasons and Countermeasures
  • Police Brutality: The Killing of Daunte Wright
  • American Society Police Brutality Causes and Effects
  • Police Brutality During COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Force Diversification as a Way of Addressing Police Brutality in the US
  • George Orwell and Occupy Wall Street and Police Brutality The statement in Friedersdorf article, ‘the length authority figures will go to avoid derisive laughter’ is in agreement with George Orwell’s perspective.
  • Race and Police Brutality in American History Racism and police violence since the time of colonization has had intense effects on Black and Indigenous communities.
  • US Police Brutality and Human Resources Connection Police brutality is one of the most pressing crisis problems in the United States, it requires additional research and immediate solutions.
  • Police Brutality on African Americans Police brutality against African Americans has been on the rise even after several constitutional and legal reforms made by the country to control it.
  • Police Brutality Toward Black Community The black community needs help since they suffer due to police brutality, receive various kinds of injuries, and experience traumas.
  • Police Brutality Against African Americans in America The purpose of this article is to describe the different approaches to researching the problem of police brutality against African Americans.
  • Inequalities and Police Brutality Against the Black This paper aims to research racial inequality and hostile police attitudes towards the black population in the United States.
  • Police Brutality Against African Americans The issue being examined refers to the problem of police brutality on African Americans. The mentioned problem is a burning one and is vividly expressed in modern society.
  • Police Brutality and Impunity for Police Violence The overall purpose of this paper is to explore the topic of police brutality and police impunity as it is discussed in modern studies.
  • Police Brutality Against African Americans and Media Portrayal Police brutality toward the African-American population of the United States is an issue that has received nationwide publicity in recent years.
  • Rodney King’s Police Brutality Case: What Went Wrong Rodney’s case remains a historic example of police brutality. The interplay of several factors might have led to the acquittals of the officers in the first trial.
  • Beyond “Police Brutality”: Racist State Violence and the University of California – Article Review The article highlights the issues with police attitudes toward the application of seemingly extreme measures to non-violent perpetrators.
  • Police Brutality: Analysis of the Problem Police brutality is directed towards racial minorities and poor immigrants who cannot protect their rights in the courtroom and have no money to file a law case against officers.
  • Police Brutality and Mental Health of African Americas The authors hypothesize that the effect of experiencing blackness has a twofold impact on the young African Americans’ mental health
  • Police Brutality Increasing: Support for Black Males Police brutality experienced by the African-American male population is critical, and the emergency of this situation requires immediate response from the state.
  • Police Brutality Toward African-American Males People from a poor economic and financial background are targeted by the police as prospective criminals and, therefore, remain under a consistent threat of police brutality.
  • The Issue of Police Brutality in Community Police brutality is a rampant in many communities. Tthere is a lot of animosity between the police and the public.
  • The Rise of Police Brutality against African-American Males The rise of police violence directed to African-American males is a phenomenon which is discussed by both public and authorities.
  • History and Reasons Behind Police Brutality Against African Americans
  • Media and the Construction of Police Brutality
  • Approaches to Dealing With the Problem of Police Brutality in the United States
  • Effective Training Methods for Mitigate Police Brutality
  • The Causes and Solutions to the Problem of Police Brutality
  • Race and Police Brutality: Roots of an Urban Dilemma
  • The Suffering and Fight of African-Americans Against Police Brutality
  • Historical Context of Police Brutality Issue
  • The Relation Between Race and Police Brutality
  • Institutional Racism and Police Brutality in Education System
  • Police Brutality and Its Effects on African American Communities
  • The Correlation Between Racial Profiling and Police Brutality
  • Police Brutality: Pervasive Problem or Rare Anomaly
  • History of the Movement Against Police Brutality in Nigeria
  • Police Brutality and Its Effects on the Lives of Young Men
  • Anti-police Brutality Claims as a Predictor of Police Repression of Protest
  • Bifurcation of Civil Rights Defendants: Undermining Monell in Police Brutality
  • Patterns of Injustice: Police Brutality in the Courts
  • The Circumvention of Just Sentencing for Police Brutality
  • Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States
  • The Failure of Local and Federal Prosecutors to Curb Police Brutality
  • Police Brutality: Distortion of the Way People View Law Enforcement
  • Reasons of High Prevalence of Police Brutality Toward African Americans
  • Impact of Social Media on Police Brutality Awareness in Nigeria
  • Anticipation of Racially Motivated Police Brutality and Youth Mental Health
  • The Legal Complex in the Struggle to Control Police Brutality in India
  • Race and Power Perspective on Police Brutality in America
  • Inequities in Anticipatory Stress of Police Brutality and Depressed Mood Among Women
  • Basic Rights Caught in the Web of Racism, Classism and Police Brutality
  • Why Police Brutality Is a Matter of Public Health?
  • Police Brutality and the Disciplining of Race, Gender, and the “Human”
  • How Failed Reforms Allow Continued Police Brutality and Racism
  • Ghetto Assessments of Police Brutality, Protection and Authority
  • Nature of the Problem of Police Brutality
  • Public Acquiescence of Police Brutality and Extrajudicial Killings in São Paulo, Brazil
  • Capturing Police Brutality on Mobile Phones in South Africa: Is This the Way?
  • Compariosn of Police Brutality in the United States, England & Canada
  • Racism, Police Brutality and the Trial of Terrence Johnson
  • Police Brutality and Human Rights Violations in Belarus
  • Municipal Liability for Police Brutality Under Respondeat Superior
  • Are the Police Taking Advantage of People by Using Police Brutality?
  • Would Better Training of Police Reduce Police Brutality?
  • How Does Police Corruption Remain a Tainted Reminder of Police Brutality in the US?
  • Does the Media Cover up the Police Brutality?
  • Can Police Self-Defense Be Mistaken for Brutality?
  • How Do Race and Ethnicity Affect Police Brutality?
  • When Does Excessive Force Become Police Brutality?
  • How Did Repressive Laws and Police Brutality Against Mexican Americans Stigmatize the Race as a Whole?
  • When Does the Police Duty to Protect Fail Police Brutality?
  • Is Police Brutality the Same as Excessive Force?
  • How Does Police Brutality Affect Society?
  • Does Job Stress Contribute to Police Brutality?
  • Is Police Brutality Against Minorities, Juveniles, or the Poor a Serious Problem?
  • How Does the Body Camera Increase Police Brutality?
  • Why Is Outrage Over Police Brutality Not Enough?
  • How Has the Black Lives Matter Movement Brought Attention to Police Brutality?
  • Is Racism a Factor in Police Brutality?
  • How Can the Extent of Police Brutality Be Measured?
  • What Are the Causes of Police Brutality?
  • How Can Police Brutality Be Reduced?
  • Would Community Policing Reduce Police Brutality?
  • How Does Police Brutality Violate Human Rights?
  • Does Education Reduce Police Brutality?
  • How Many Types of Police Brutality Are There?
  • What Are the Elements of Police Brutality?

Cite this post

  • Chicago (N-B)
  • Chicago (A-D)

StudyCorgi. (2022, August 27). 90 Police Brutality Essay Topics. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/police-brutality-essay-topics/

"90 Police Brutality Essay Topics." StudyCorgi , 27 Aug. 2022, studycorgi.com/ideas/police-brutality-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . (2022) '90 Police Brutality Essay Topics'. 27 August.

1. StudyCorgi . "90 Police Brutality Essay Topics." August 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/police-brutality-essay-topics/.


StudyCorgi . "90 Police Brutality Essay Topics." August 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/police-brutality-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . 2022. "90 Police Brutality Essay Topics." August 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/police-brutality-essay-topics/.

These essay examples and topics on Police Brutality were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

This essay topic collection was updated on January 8, 2024 .

Welcome to Broward College Libraries

Police Brutality

About police brutality, narrow the topic.

  • Articles & Videos
  • MLA Citation This link opens in a new window
  • APA Citation This link opens in a new window

Child holding protest sign

Police brutality is the use of unnecessary, excessive force by police in their encounters with civilians. The force used is beyond what would be considered necessary in the situation at hand. This may involve the use of a weapon—a baton, Taser, or gun—when such force is not warranted by the situation. In some cases, the use of tear gas, nerve gas, or pepper spray may be considered police brutality if the people targeted are gathered in a peaceful assembly. Police brutality can also involve psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, false arrests, and sexual abuse.  ( Opposing Viewpoints )

  • How has the Black Lives Matter movement brought attention to police brutality?
  • Is police brutality against minorities, juveniles or the poor a serious problem?
  • How can the extent of police brutality be measured?
  • What are the causes of police brutality?
  • Is racism a factor in police brutality?
  • Does job stress contribute to police brutality?
  • Can police self-defense be mistaken for brutality?
  • How can police brutality be reduced?
  • Should civilian review boards supervise police misconduct?
  • Would community policing reduce police brutality?
  • Would better training of police reduce police brutality?
  • Should TASER electroshock weapons be used on children?
  • Next: Library Resources >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 8, 2024 12:56 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.broward.edu/policebrutality

Featured Topics

Featured series.

A series of random questions answered by Harvard experts.

Explore the Gazette

Read the latest.

Bernie Sanders speaks in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School.

Bernie Sanders sees red lights flashing for election

I. Glenn Cohen in office.

Up next for Supreme Court on abortion: Idaho

Panelists Daniel Ziblatt, (from left) Harvard, Manisha Sinha, Univ. of Connecticut, Gary Gerstle, Univ. of Cambridge, Carol Anderson, Emory.

Historian sees a warning for today in post-Civil War U.S.

Protesters take a knee in front of New York City police officers during a solidarity rally for George Floyd, June 4, 2020.

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Solving racial disparities in policing

Colleen Walsh

Harvard Staff Writer

Experts say approach must be comprehensive as roots are embedded in culture

“ Unequal ” is a multipart series highlighting the work of Harvard faculty, staff, students, alumni, and researchers on issues of race and inequality across the U.S. The first part explores the experience of people of color with the criminal justice legal system in America.

It seems there’s no end to them. They are the recent videos and reports of Black and brown people beaten or killed by law enforcement officers, and they have fueled a national outcry over the disproportionate use of excessive, and often lethal, force against people of color, and galvanized demands for police reform.

This is not the first time in recent decades that high-profile police violence — from the 1991 beating of Rodney King to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 — ignited calls for change. But this time appears different. The police killings of Breonna Taylor in March, George Floyd in May, and a string of others triggered historic, widespread marches and rallies across the nation, from small towns to major cities, drawing protesters of unprecedented diversity in race, gender, and age.

According to historians and other scholars, the problem is embedded in the story of the nation and its culture. Rooted in slavery, racial disparities in policing and police violence, they say, are sustained by systemic exclusion and discrimination, and fueled by implicit and explicit bias. Any solution clearly will require myriad new approaches to law enforcement, courts, and community involvement, and comprehensive social change driven from the bottom up and the top down.

While police reform has become a major focus, the current moment of national reckoning has widened the lens on systemic racism for many Americans. The range of issues, though less familiar to some, is well known to scholars and activists. Across Harvard, for instance, faculty members have long explored the ways inequality permeates every aspect of American life. Their research and scholarship sits at the heart of a new Gazette series starting today aimed at finding ways forward in the areas of democracy; wealth and opportunity; environment and health; and education. It begins with this first on policing.

Harvard Kennedy School Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad traces the history of policing in America to “slave patrols” in the antebellum South, in which white citizens were expected to help supervise the movements of enslaved Black people.

Photo by Martha Stewart

The history of racialized policing

Like many scholars, Khalil Gibran Muhammad , professor of history, race, and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School , traces the history of policing in America to “slave patrols” in the antebellum South, in which white citizens were expected to help supervise the movements of enslaved Black people. This legacy, he believes, can still be seen in policing today. “The surveillance, the deputization essentially of all white men to be police officers or, in this case, slave patrollers, and then to dispense corporal punishment on the scene are all baked in from the very beginning,” he  told NPR  last year.

Slave patrols, and the slave codes they enforced, ended after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th amendment, which formally ended slavery “except as a punishment for crime.” But Muhammad notes that former Confederate states quickly used that exception to justify new restrictions. Known as the Black codes, the various rules limited the kinds of jobs African Americans could hold, their rights to buy and own property, and even their movements.

“The genius of the former Confederate states was to say, ‘Oh, well, if all we need to do is make them criminals and they can be put back in slavery, well, then that’s what we’ll do.’ And that’s exactly what the Black codes set out to do. The Black codes, for all intents and purposes, criminalized every form of African American freedom and mobility, political power, economic power, except the one thing it didn’t criminalize was the right to work for a white man on a white man’s terms.” In particular, he said the Ku Klux Klan “took about the business of terrorizing, policing, surveilling, and controlling Black people. … The Klan totally dominates the machinery of justice in the South.”

When, during what became known as the Great Migration, millions of African Americans fled the still largely agrarian South for opportunities in the thriving manufacturing centers of the North, they discovered that metropolitan police departments tended to enforce the law along racial and ethnic lines, with newcomers overseen by those who came before. “There was an early emphasis on people whose status was just a tiny notch better than the folks whom they were focused on policing,” Muhammad said. “And so the Anglo-Saxons are policing the Irish or the Germans are policing the Irish. The Irish are policing the Poles.” And then arrived a wave of Black Southerners looking for a better life.

In his groundbreaking work, “ The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America ,” Muhammad argues that an essential turning point came in the early 1900s amid efforts to professionalize police forces across the nation, in part by using crime statistics to guide law enforcement efforts. For the first time, Americans with European roots were grouped into one broad category, white, and set apart from the other category, Black.

Citing Muhammad’s research, Harvard historian Jill Lepore  has summarized the consequences this way : “Police patrolled Black neighborhoods and arrested Black people disproportionately; prosecutors indicted Black people disproportionately; juries found Black people guilty disproportionately; judges gave Black people disproportionately long sentences; and, then, after all this, social scientists, observing the number of Black people in jail, decided that, as a matter of biology, Black people were disproportionately inclined to criminality.”

“History shows that crime data was never objective in any meaningful sense,” Muhammad wrote. Instead, crime statistics were “weaponized” to justify racial profiling, police brutality, and ever more policing of Black people.

This phenomenon, he believes, has continued well into this century and is exemplified by William J. Bratton, one of the most famous police leaders in recent America history. Known as “America’s Top Cop,” Bratton led police departments in his native Boston, Los Angeles, and twice in New York, finally retiring in 2016.

Bratton rejected notions that crime was a result of social and economic forces, such as poverty, unemployment, police practices, and racism. Instead, he said in a 2017 speech, “It is about behavior.” Through most of his career, he was a proponent of statistically-based “predictive” policing — essentially placing forces in areas where crime numbers were highest, focused on the groups found there.

Bratton argued that the technology eliminated the problem of prejudice in policing, without ever questioning potential bias in the data or algorithms themselves — a significant issue given the fact that Black Americans are arrested and convicted of crimes at disproportionately higher rates than whites. This approach has led to widely discredited practices such as racial profiling and “stop-and-frisk.” And, Muhammad notes, “There is no research consensus on whether or how much violence dropped in cities due to policing.”

Gathering numbers

In 2015 The Washington Post began tracking every fatal shooting by an on-duty officer, using news stories, social media posts, and police reports in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Brown, a Black teenager in Ferguson, Mo. According to the newspaper, Black Americans are killed by police at twice the rate of white Americans, and Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.

Such efforts have proved useful for researchers such as economist Rajiv Sethi .

A Joy Foundation Fellow at the Harvard  Radcliffe Institute , Sethi is investigating the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers, a difficult task given that data from such encounters is largely unavailable from police departments. Instead, Sethi and his team of researchers have turned to information collected by websites and news organizations including The Washington Post and The Guardian, merged with data from other sources such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Census, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Joy Foundation Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Rajiv Sethi is investigating the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers,

Courtesy photo

They have found that exposure to deadly force is highest in the Mountain West and Pacific regions relative to the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, and that racial disparities in relation to deadly force are even greater than the national numbers imply. “In the country as a whole, you’re about two to three times more likely to face deadly force if you’re Black than if you are white” said Sethi. “But if you look at individual cities separately, disparities in exposure are much higher.”

Examining the characteristics associated with police departments that experience high numbers of lethal encounters is one way to better understand and address racial disparities in policing and the use of violence, Sethi said, but it’s a massive undertaking given the decentralized nature of policing in America. There are roughly 18,000 police departments in the country, and more than 3,000 sheriff’s offices, each with its own approaches to training and selection.

“They behave in very different ways, and what we’re finding in our current research is that they are very different in the degree to which they use deadly force,” said Sethi. To make real change, “You really need to focus on the agency level where organizational culture lies, where selection and training protocols have an effect, and where leadership can make a difference.”

Sethi pointed to the example of Camden, N.J., which disbanded and replaced its police force in 2013, initially in response to a budget crisis, but eventually resulting in an effort to fundamentally change the way the police engaged with the community. While there have been improvements, including greater witness cooperation, lower crime, and fewer abuse complaints, the Camden case doesn’t fit any particular narrative, said Sethi, noting that the number of officers actually increased as part of the reform. While the city is still faced with its share of problems, Sethi called its efforts to rethink policing “important models from which we can learn.”

Fighting vs. preventing crime

For many analysts, the real problem with policing in America is the fact that there is simply too much of it. “We’ve seen since the mid-1970s a dramatic increase in expenditures that are associated with expanding the criminal legal system, including personnel and the tasks we ask police to do,” said Sandra Susan Smith , Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice at HKS, and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. “And at the same time we see dramatic declines in resources devoted to social welfare programs.”

“You can have all the armored personnel carriers you want in Ferguson, but public safety is more likely to come from redressing environmental pollution, poor education, and unfair work,” said Brandon Terry, assistant professor of African and African American Studies and social studies.

Kris Snibble/Harvard file photo

Smith’s comment highlights a key argument embraced by many activists and experts calling for dramatic police reform: diverting resources from the police to better support community services including health care, housing, and education, and stronger economic and job opportunities. They argue that broader support for such measures will decrease the need for policing, and in turn reduce violent confrontations, particularly in over-policed, economically disadvantaged communities, and communities of color.

For Brandon Terry , that tension took the form of an ice container during his Baltimore high school chemistry final. The frozen cubes were placed in the middle of the classroom to help keep the students cool as a heat wave sent temperatures soaring. “That was their solution to the building’s lack of air conditioning,” said Terry, a Harvard assistant professor of African and African American Studies and social studies. “Just grab an ice cube.”

Terry’s story is the kind many researchers cite to show the negative impact of underinvesting in children who will make up the future population, and instead devoting resources toward policing tactics that embrace armored vehicles, automatic weapons, and spy planes. Terry’s is also the kind of tale promoted by activists eager to defund the police, a movement begun in the late 1960s that has again gained momentum as the death toll from violent encounters mounts. A scholar of Martin Luther King Jr., Terry said the Civil Rights leader’s views on the Vietnam War are echoed in the calls of activists today who are pressing to redistribute police resources.

“King thought that the idea of spending many orders of magnitude more for an unjust war than we did for the abolition of poverty and the abolition of ghettoization was a moral travesty, and it reflected a kind of sickness at the core of our society,” said Terry. “And part of what the defund model is based upon is a similar moral criticism, that these budgets reflect priorities that we have, and our priorities are broken.”

Terry also thinks the policing debate needs to be expanded to embrace a fuller understanding of what it means for people to feel truly safe in their communities. He highlights the work of sociologist Chris Muller and Harvard’s Robert Sampson, who have studied racial disparities in exposures to lead and the connections between a child’s early exposure to the toxic metal and antisocial behavior. Various studies have shown that lead exposure in children can contribute to cognitive impairment and behavioral problems, including heightened aggression.

“You can have all the armored personnel carriers you want in Ferguson,” said Terry, “but public safety is more likely to come from redressing environmental pollution, poor education, and unfair work.”

Policing and criminal justice system

Alexandra Natapoff , Lee S. Kreindler Professor of Law, sees policing as inexorably linked to the country’s criminal justice system and its long ties to racism.

“Policing does not stand alone or apart from how we charge people with crimes, or how we convict them, or how we treat them once they’ve been convicted,” she said. “That entire bundle of official practices is a central part of how we govern, and in particular, how we have historically governed Black people and other people of color, and economically and socially disadvantaged populations.”

Unpacking such a complicated issue requires voices from a variety of different backgrounds, experiences, and fields of expertise who can shine light on the problem and possible solutions, said Natapoff, who co-founded a new lecture series with HLS Professor Andrew Crespo titled “ Policing in America .”

In recent weeks the pair have hosted Zoom discussions on topics ranging from qualified immunity to the Black Lives Matter movement to police unions to the broad contours of the American penal system. The series reflects the important work being done around the country, said Natapoff, and offers people the chance to further “engage in dialogue over these over these rich, complicated, controversial issues around race and policing, and governance and democracy.”

Courts and mass incarceration

Much of Natapoff’s recent work emphasizes the hidden dangers of the nation’s misdemeanor system. In her book “ Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal ,” Natapoff shows how the practice of stopping, arresting, and charging people with low-level offenses often sends them down a devastating path.

“This is how most people encounter the criminal apparatus, and it’s the first step of mass incarceration, the initial net that sweeps people of color disproportionately into the criminal system,” said Natapoff. “It is also the locus that overexposes Black people to police violence. The implications of this enormous net of police and prosecutorial authority around minor conduct is central to understanding many of the worst dysfunctions of our criminal system.”

One consequence is that Black and brown people are incarcerated at much higher rates than white people. America has approximately 2.3 million people in federal, state, and local prisons and jails, according to a 2020 report from the nonprofit the Prison Policy Initiative. According to a 2018 report from the Sentencing Project, Black men are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated as white men and Hispanic men are 3.1 times as likely.

Reducing mass incarceration requires shrinking the misdemeanor net “along all of its axes” said Natapoff, who supports a range of reforms including training police officers to both confront and arrest people less for low-level offenses, and the policies of forward-thinking prosecutors willing to “charge fewer of those offenses when police do make arrests.”

She praises the efforts of Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins in Massachusetts and George Gascón, the district attorney in Los Angeles County, Calif., who have pledged to stop prosecuting a range of misdemeanor crimes such as resisting arrest, loitering, trespassing, and drug possession. “If cities and towns across the country committed to that kind of reform, that would be a profoundly meaningful change,” said Natapoff, “and it would be a big step toward shrinking our entire criminal apparatus.”

Retired U.S. Judge Nancy Gertner cites the need to reform federal sentencing guidelines, arguing that all too often they have been proven to be biased and to result in packing the nation’s jails and prisons.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photo

Sentencing reform

Another contributing factor in mass incarceration is sentencing disparities.

A recent Harvard Law School study found that, as is true nationally, people of color are “drastically overrepresented in Massachusetts state prisons.” But the report also noted that Black and Latinx people were less likely to have their cases resolved through pretrial probation ­— a way to dismiss charges if the accused meet certain conditions — and receive much longer sentences than their white counterparts.

Retired U.S. Judge Nancy Gertner also notes the need to reform federal sentencing guidelines, arguing that all too often they have been proven to be biased and to result in packing the nation’s jails and prisons. She points to the way the 1994 Crime Bill (legislation sponsored by then-Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware) ushered in much harsher drug penalties for crack than for powder cocaine. This tied the hands of judges issuing sentences and disproportionately punished people of color in the process. “The disparity in the treatment of crack and cocaine really was backed up by anecdote and stereotype, not by data,” said Gertner, a lecturer at HLS. “There was no data suggesting that crack was infinitely more dangerous than cocaine. It was the young Black predator narrative.”

The First Step Act, a bipartisan prison reform bill aimed at reducing racial disparities in drug sentencing and signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2018, is just what its name implies, said Gertner.

“It reduces sentences to the merely inhumane rather than the grotesque. We still throw people in jail more than anybody else. We still resort to imprisonment, rather than thinking of other alternatives. We still resort to punishment rather than other models. None of that has really changed. I don’t deny the significance of somebody getting out of prison a year or two early, but no one should think that that’s reform.”

 Not just bad apples

Reform has long been a goal for federal leaders. Many heralded Obama-era changes aimed at eliminating racial disparities in policing and outlined in the report by The President’s Task Force on 21st Century policing. But HKS’s Smith saw them as largely symbolic. “It’s a nod to reform. But most of the reforms that are implemented in this country tend to be reforms that nibble around the edges and don’t really make much of a difference.”

Efforts such as diversifying police forces and implicit bias training do little to change behaviors and reduce violent conduct against people of color, said Smith, who cites studies suggesting a majority of Americans hold negative biases against Black and brown people, and that unconscious prejudices and stereotypes are difficult to erase.

“Experiments show that you can, in the context of a day, get people to think about race differently, and maybe even behave differently. But if you follow up, say, a week, or two weeks later, those effects are gone. We don’t know how to produce effects that are long-lasting. We invest huge amounts to implement such police reforms, but most often there’s no empirical evidence to support their efficacy.”

Even the early studies around the effectiveness of body cameras suggest the devices do little to change “officers’ patterns of behavior,” said Smith, though she cautions that researchers are still in the early stages of collecting and analyzing the data.

And though police body cameras have caught officers in unjust violence, much of the general public views the problem as anomalous.

“Despite what many people in low-income communities of color think about police officers, the broader society has a lot of respect for police and thinks if you just get rid of the bad apples, everything will be fine,” Smith added. “The problem, of course, is this is not just an issue of bad apples.”

Efforts such as diversifying police forces and implicit bias training do little to change behaviors and reduce violent conduct against people of color, said Sandra Susan Smith, a professor of criminal justice Harvard Kennedy School.

Community-based ways forward

Still Smith sees reason for hope and possible ways forward involving a range of community-based approaches. As part of the effort to explore meaningful change, Smith, along with Christopher Winship , Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and a member of the senior faculty at HKS, have organized “ Reimagining Community Safety: A Program in Criminal Justice Speaker Series ” to better understand the perspectives of practitioners, policymakers, community leaders, activists, and academics engaged in public safety reform.

Some community-based safety models have yielded important results. Smith singles out the Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets program (known as CAHOOTS ) in Eugene, Ore., which supplements police with a community-based public safety program. When callers dial 911 they are often diverted to teams of workers trained in crisis resolution, mental health, and emergency medicine, who are better equipped to handle non-life-threatening situations. The numbers support her case. In 2017 the program received 25,000 calls, only 250 of which required police assistance. Training similar teams of specialists who don’t carry weapons to handle all traffic stops could go a long way toward ending violent police encounters, she said.

“Imagine you have those kinds of services in play,” said Smith, paired with community-based anti-violence program such as Cure Violence , which aims to stop violence in targeted neighborhoods by using approaches health experts take to control disease, such as identifying and treating individuals and changing social norms. Together, she said, these programs “could make a huge difference.”

At Harvard Law School, students have been  studying how an alternate 911-response team  might function in Boston. “We were trying to move from thinking about a 911-response system as an opportunity to intervene in an acute moment, to thinking about what it would look like to have a system that is trying to help reweave some of the threads of community, a system that is more focused on healing than just on stopping harm” said HLS Professor Rachel Viscomi, who directs the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program and oversaw the research.

The forthcoming report, compiled by two students in the HLS clinic, Billy Roberts and Anna Vande Velde, will offer officials a range of ideas for how to think about community safety that builds on existing efforts in Boston and other cities, said Viscomi.

But Smith, like others, knows community-based interventions are only part of the solution. She applauds the Justice Department’s investigation into the Ferguson Police Department after the shooting of Brown. The 102-page report shed light on the department’s discriminatory policing practices, including the ways police disproportionately targeted Black residents for tickets and fines to help balance the city’s budget. To fix such entrenched problems, state governments need to rethink their spending priorities and tax systems so they can provide cities and towns the financial support they need to remain debt-free, said Smith.

Rethinking the 911-response system to being one that is “more focused on healing than just on stopping harm” is part of the student-led research under the direction of Law School Professor Rachel Viscomi, who heads up the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program.

Jon Chase/Harvard file photo

“Part of the solution has to be a discussion about how government is funded and how a city like Ferguson got to a place where government had so few resources that they resorted to extortion of their residents, in particular residents of color, in order to make ends meet,” she said. “We’ve learned since that Ferguson is hardly the only municipality that has struggled with funding issues and sought to address them through the oppression and repression of their politically, socially, and economically marginalized Black and Latino residents.”

Police contracts, she said, also need to be reexamined. The daughter of a “union man,” Smith said she firmly supports officers’ rights to union representation to secure fair wages, health care, and safe working conditions. But the power unions hold to structure police contracts in ways that protect officers from being disciplined for “illegal and unethical behavior” needs to be challenged, she said.

“I think it’s incredibly important for individuals to be held accountable and for those institutions in which they are embedded to hold them to account. But we routinely find that union contracts buffer individual officers from having to be accountable. We see this at the level of the Supreme Court as well, whose rulings around qualified immunity have protected law enforcement from civil suits. That needs to change.”

Other Harvard experts agree. In an opinion piece in The Boston Globe last June, Tomiko Brown-Nagin , dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute and the Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at HLS, pointed out the Court’s “expansive interpretation of qualified immunity” and called for reform that would “promote accountability.”

“This nation is devoted to freedom, to combating racial discrimination, and to making government accountable to the people,” wrote Brown-Nagin. “Legislators today, like those who passed landmark Civil Rights legislation more than 50 years ago, must take a stand for equal justice under law. Shielding police misconduct offends our fundamental values and cannot be tolerated.”

Share this article

You might like.

Vermont senator warns of growing income, wealth, and political inequality

I. Glenn Cohen in office.

Justices to hear case on near-complete ban amid shifting legal landscape after overturn of Roe

Panelists Daniel Ziblatt, (from left) Harvard, Manisha Sinha, Univ. of Connecticut, Gary Gerstle, Univ. of Cambridge, Carol Anderson, Emory.

Past is present at Warren Center symposium featuring scholars from Harvard, Emory, UConn, and University of Cambridge

Harvard announces return to required testing

Leading researchers cite strong evidence that testing expands opportunity

When will patients see personalized cancer vaccines?

Sooner than you may think, says researcher who recently won Sjöberg Prize for pioneering work in field

Finding right mix on campus speech policies

Legal, political scholars discuss balancing personal safety, constitutional rights, academic freedom amid roiling protests, cultural shifts

Home / Essay Samples / Government / Law Enforcement / Police Brutality

Police Brutality Essay Examples

Essays on police brutality address a critical and pressing issue within societies around the world. These essays aim to shed light on instances where law enforcement officers abuse their power, using excessive force and causing harm to individuals they are meant to protect. Writing an essays on this topic serves several significant purposes, and studying examples of such essays is crucial for fostering awareness and driving change. One of the primary goals of essays on police brutality is to raise awareness about the existence and prevalence of this issue. Through in-depth analysis and presentation of cases, these essays bring attention to instances where police misconduct has led to violence, injuries, or even fatalities. Awareness is the first step toward acknowledging the problem and advocating for reform. Accountability and Justice in Police Brutality Topics Essays about police brutality can play a role in holding law enforcement agencies accountable for their actions. By examining specific cases and the outcomes of investigations, these essays contribute to the call for justice. They encourage transparency in investigations, court proceedings, and the establishment of consequences for officers found guilty of misconduct. Studying examples of essays on police brutality can inspire readers to become advocates for reform within law enforcement systems. Essays often highlight systemic issues that contribute to police misconduct, such as lack of training, inadequate oversight, and biased practices. Readers can be motivated to push for changes that address these root causes. Essays on police brutality serve as a means to shine a light on a deeply important issue and ignite conversations that lead to change. By studying examples of these essays, individuals can gain insights into the experiences of affected communities, the need for reform, and the potential for creating a safer and more inclusive society.

Black Lives Matter - We Shouldn't Be Afraid of the Police

When it comes to the black community, it leads a more delicate conversation - that's why I chose black lives matter as my argumentative essay topic. The way the police abused them should be conducive to the black community. Police officers have no right to...

Breaking the Cycle of Police Brutality: Solutions for a Safer Society

Imagine yourself as an African American individual your walking down the street to your friends house. A police officer pulls up to the side of you and stops you, they begin pestering you with questions, they then tell you your under arrest. You begin to...

Police Brutality Research on Nigeria Case

Within Phe police brutality research paper we will analyse the given topic and discuss it via different perspectives like: the definition, causes, real cases and main issues. So what is police brutality? Police Brutality is the use of excessive andor unnecessary force by police when...

Finding Answers Whether not All Cops Are Really Bad

The issue of police conduct and police brutality has been a highly debated topic in recent years, especially in the United States. While it is true that there have been cases of police officers acting inappropriately, it is also important to remember that not all...

The Issues of Police Brutality and Wrongful Sentencing in the Us Criminal Justice System

What is the Criminal Justice system? “The Criminal Justice system is a set of agencies established by the government to control crime and impose penalties on those who violate the laws”. The Criminal Justice system has been facing a significant amount of issues as a...

Police Brutality in Movies

Straight Outta Compton is a movie that came out in 2015. It was directed by Felix Gary Grey. The hegemony in this movie shown was police harassment/brutality. This movie is about young rappers trying to become big in the rap industry while a rough period...

Discussion on Whether Police Officers Have a Racial Motive Within the Black Community

On seeing your own precious child die wrongfully in the hands of four racially motivated police officers, Loretta Prater started to feel fear and distrust against police officers. In “Excessive Use of Force: One Mothers Struggle against Police Brutality and Misconduct, ” Prater explained that...

Dallas Police Officer Could Face Stiffer Charge for Killing Unarmed Neighbor

According to the CNN’s article that I’ve read, Amber Guyger — a Dallas Police Department’s officer — has committed a manslaughter while she was off-duty, returning back from her shift late. “How everyday racial profiling hurts everyone,” says Amber Guyger, who was already involved in...

The Urgent Issue of Police Brutality in the United States

The Rule of Law’s principle of due process states that “laws must be administered impartially”; there must be procedures in place to ensure fair treatment between all people (Fox). The current debate surrounding police brutality violates the principle of due process through its inconsistency between...

Criminal Justice in Police Brutality

When you think of a case involving police brutality you don’t usually think of a police officer getting off scot-free. But in the Case of Escondido v Emmons, we see the police officer is not charged for his crimes, but the actions of officers were...

Trying to find an excellent essay sample but no results?

Don’t waste your time and get a professional writer to help!

You may also like

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Global Governance
  • Gun Control Essays
  • Community Policing Essays
  • Taxation Essays
  • Democracy Essays
  • Abraham Lincoln Essays
  • Donald Trump Essays
  • Free Speech Essays
  • Communism Essays
  • Voting Essays

About Police Brutality

Police brutality is the excessive and unwarranted use of force by law enforcement against an individual or a group.

Police brutality is the modern form of violence by the state against civilians. The origin of modern policing can be traced back to the 18th century France. By the 19th and early 20th centuries, many nations had established modern police departments. Early records suggest that labor strikes were the first large-scale incidents of police brutality in the United States, including events like the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, the Pullman Strike of 1894, the Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912, the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, the Great Steel Strike of 1919, and the Hanapepe Massacre of 1924. The term "police brutality" was first used in Britain in the mid-19th century, by The Puppet-Show magazine(a short-lived rival to Punch).

The causes and issues contributing to the incidence of police misconduct are numerous and complex, and in many instances, probably not entirely understood. Some of the problems we see that contribute to a culture of police misconduct include improper training and a lack of accountability. The main are Inadequate Institutionalized Training, Lack of Accountability and Prosecution,Overall Stress of the Job

The highest number of police killings is in Brazil, amounting to 6,160. 55% of Americans said they are not confident that police are trained adequately to avoid excessive use of force. From 2013 to 2020, police killed more than 9,000 civilians in the US, at an average of nearly 1,100 per year. 28% of those killed by police in 2020 were black Americans despite making up only 13% of the population.

samplius.com uses cookies to offer you the best service possible.By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .--> -->