In recent years there have been numerous protests all over the United States focused on the over-policing of African Americans by law enforcement. Those involved are protesting against a term known as over-policing, the blatant brutality and senseless murders, that have taken place for decades but have been made ever more visible by our modern media channels. “Over-policing allows police to use excessive force and brutalize disenfranchised neighborhoods and target people of color indiscriminately. Ironically, as politicians take a “tough on crime” stance, violence has actually gone down, but police budgets and presence have increased. The American criminal justice system was never based on rehabilitation but punitive and on capitalism” (Lee, 2020). Furthermore, over-policing tactics have been rampant in this country for centuries, “Police brutality is nothing new. In the 1960s, police attacked civil rights protesters with dogs and water hoses in the name of “law and order.” In the 1970s and 80s, it was well-known that the Chicago Police Department engaged in torture tactics. Under Police Commander Jon Burge, over 100 black men were tortured into confessing to crimes they never committed under the guise of a traffic-violation pullover. The lynch mobs of the south were replaced by a law enforcement system that targets and profiles black people for no reason or minor infractions (jaywalking, failure to signal while turning) that result in their injury, incarceration, or death” (Lee, 2020). While these horrible incidents act as a catalyst for powerful movements, they fail to acknowledge the fact that the lack of police presence in African American communities is, just as, if not more harmful than these scattered incidents of police brutality.
Dr. Michael King, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Emily Brissette, Committee Member
Dr. Francisco Alatorre, Committee Member
Hession, Margaret. (2022). Over-Policing and Under-Protecting in American Cities. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 580. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/580
Copyright © 2022 Margaret Hession