Essay on Police and News Outlets

Submitted By taffyandjack
Words: 1257
Pages: 6

Luis E. Avila
Mr. Salvador Martinez
RHT 102

Media Coverage
In recent years police brutality has increased in the United States, after the last events in Ferguson, MO, and some others in New York, NY. Santa Fe, NM, and Los Angeles, CA. it seems that instead of serving and protecting, police departments have become departments of violence. This is what the media have instilled us. Police brutality is not a novelty, it already existed from years ago but unnoticed until now. Ferguson, MO was just the beginning, soon we know by means of communication that not a single police department in the United States had been exempted from police brutality. These events happened often in areas where there is a very high rate of crime and poverty.
We can ask ourselves why the news outlets in United States put so much emphasis on some events such as those that occurred in Ferguson, MO, and ignore others similar of police brutality, such as the one occurred in Utah, were a minority police officer shoot and killed Dylan Taylor, half white, half Latino. The news outlets ignored completely this incident but give a special coverage to the news in Ferguson MO. Armstrong Williams an entrepreneur and conservative commentator said that ultimately the news outlets executives are those who made the decision (Frazao). They are the ones who create this images, they are the ones who give the OK to publish them and not necessarily do so because they care. Looks like they are trying to sell a high commodity, a commodity called “RACIAL PROFILE”.
We are forgetting that police departments were created in the United States to serve and protect. According to the Labor Department there are active in the United States until 2014 780,000 policemen and detectives ("Summary"), to serve and protect 321,362,789 inhabitants in the United States of America ("United States Census Bureau"). That means that we have a police officer per every 412 inhabitants.
A study by Criminal Justice and Behavior, "Police Education, Experience and the Use of Force," made in the year 2007 found that more educated and experienced police officers are those who use less violent methods or no violence at all. (Wihbey and Kille). In the same study they got to the conclusion that the media distort and sometimes come to influence to justify possible allegations of police brutality. Based on these data we can see that not all the police departments are of mistrust. The police departments must be tough but professional, show authority without violence. The media have made us believe that the majority of police departments are of distrust, when in reality "bad" are just a few policemen with lack of training or education, or sometimes both, making it look bad the police departments and resulting in erroneous decisions.
We have to take in consideration the economic situation that exists in the country and the racial situation that exist nowadays. The media have instilled us with a false fear towards police forces, making us reluctant to trust the police when more need it. After what happened in September 11, 2011, police departments have been boosting their respective departments with military armament, the Department of Defense awarded vehicles and weapons that only the army uses in order to combat terrorism. Some police departments have gone too far by taking advantage of this situation, we can see small police departments that are equipped with the most sophisticated and advanced vehicles and safety devices that cost millions of dollars to protect people in very small towns, that most of the time do not represent one percent of the population.
Thanks to this, the media have manipulated the news and have made us believe that we are in a state of fear. Statically, where there is poverty there is higher crime and delinquency, lack of education and opportunities made these areas more prone to closed surveillance by police departments. There is a link between poverty and crime that makes this problem