In recent years, police actions, particularly police abuse, has
come into view of a wide, public and critical eye. While citizens worry
about protecting themselves from criminals, it has now been shown that they
must also keep a watchful eye on those who are supposed to protect and
serve. This paper will discuss the types of police abuse prevalent today,
including the use of firearms and receipt of private information. I will
also discuss what and how citizens' rights are taken advantage of by
police. For these problems, solutions will be discussed, focusing on
political reform, education, and citizen review boards. These measures are
necessary to protect ourselves from police taking advantage of their
positions as law enforcement officers with greater permissive rights than
private citizens. Because of this significant differential, all citizens
must take affirmative action from physical brutality, rights violations,
and information abuse.
Problems arise, however, when one side is told what to do by
another, as there is bound to be conflicting viewpoints.
In regard to
police abuse, there will be many officers who feel that their job of
fighting escalating street crime, gangs, narcotics violations, and other
violent crimes is difficult already, and that worrying about excessive
policy for abusive behavior will only further decrease their ability to
fight crime effectively, efficiently, and safely. Citizens, however, have
been caught up in this gung-ho attitude, and police are more and more often
crossing the line of investigation and interrogation with abusive behavior.
This abuse must be monitored so that police do not forget who they are
serving--not themselves, but the public. This means that even the
criminals, who are a part of the public, have certain rights, particularly,
civil rights. All citizens must be aware of these rights to protect
themselves against over-aggressive officers...