Literature Review and Research Design/Methods

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How Police Brutality has Changed Over the Years?

Write: In your essay of at least 5 pages, complete the following:

  • Synthesize prior political science research studies related to your research topic.
  • Explain how your research is original.
  • Discuss your research design/methods.
  • Explain how your research design/methods are the appropriate approach to your research topic.
  • Describe how examples from prior political science research studies support your research design/methods choice.

The Literature Review and Research Design/Methods Paper

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  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use at least 4 appropriate sources.
  • Must document all sources in APA style
  • Must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis statement .
  • Must include a conclusion (. that summarizes the main points and restates the thesis.
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style

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Running head: POLICE BRUTALITY 1 Police Brutality Institutional Affiliation Date POLICE BRUTALITY 2 Introduction Police brutality has been an issue since the establishment of the police force. For a long time, police brutality is an issue that has been reported trending on social media. The police department has done a tremendous job through crime prevention, maintaining law and order in society. However, the prevalence of police brutality has been reported to escalate across the country. Various people and human rights have been in the front-line castigating and demonizing police brutality. In contrast, the police head of department has been defending their counterparts. According to Lendman (2010), police brutality refers to as the excessive use of force by the police officers on the people regardless of being suspects, innocent or criminals. Brutality involves torturing people physically or psychologically, use of verbal means. Police officers may threaten, intimidate or even use abusive words to their subjects. Additionally, assault involves beating, molesting and punishing a suspect as a means of obtaining evidence or even causing pain. Other police officers may decide to shoot a subject when he or she is unarmed or nonviolent. In this paper, I will be discussing how the police brutality changed over the numbers of years. Research Question Has police brutality and its effects increased or decreased over the years? Feasibility of the research questions According to Chaney, & Robertson, (2013), the feasibility of the research question involves the degree to which the research questions are practical. The Feasibility of the above research question is guaranteed in the following ways. First, the research will cover a broad number of participants who are selected randomly, and thus the research restricted to a few POLICE BRUTALITY 3 participants. Secondly, the feasibility of the research question is enhanced through the use of reliable information sources. The information is derived from reliable resources such as journals, and police reports. Also, the information was also obtained from online sources which are credible such as human rights organizations websites, university sites, and the police department. Hypothesis Police brutality cases are still high, and there are no substantive changes over the years. Reasons why the hypothesis is appropriate Police brutality is one of the serious cases over recent years, and it violates human rights across the world. It is the role of the police officer to main order, detect and prevents crime. Police officers are supposed to arrest the suspects or accused and arraign them in the court. The court should determine the verdict of the accused or the suspect. It has been noted that the number of cases of police brutality has been increasing over the years. According to, every police officer takes a life of a person every seven hours. Ironically, only less than one percent of the police officers are indicted for excessive use of force against members of the public. People according to, police officers use excessive force towards unarmed and surrendered individuals. Its apparent cases of brutality are rising. According to the research done by, the number of people who lose their lives in the hands of officers either through shooting, battery or assault remains so high though it has shown a slight decrease over the years in the United States of America. In 2014, the number of people who were killed by police officers was 1,149. In 2015, 1,307 people lost, their lives in the hands of the police officers. In 2016 the number of people who lost their lives POLICE BRUTALITY 4 due to police brutality decline to 1,152. In 2017, 1,147 people also died as a result of police. Although the statistics show a substantial decline, the number of people who die in the hands of the police officers is still very high. 92 percent of police killings occurs through shooting. The other 8 percent happened using physical force, Tasers and so forth. 48 percent of the police officers who killed a person had killed someone before. According to, in 2017 African American were more likely to be killed by a police officer, more likely to be unarmed and less likely to threaten someone before being killed. Primary Academic Fields of Study Related to The Topic Lee (2004) notes that police brutality has been an issue that the police department has struggled with it over a long period. Various people and human right groups have been in the front-line opposing police force from using the excessive force towards innocent people, suspects, or unarmed criminals (Lee, 2004). Those people who have found violating the law should be arrested and arraigned in the court. The job of law enforcement agencies is to provide order and prevent crimes. When police officers engage in the brutality, they violate human rights. The accused or suspects should not be subjected into the psychological or physical torture by the police officers (111). According to Lendman (2010), police brutality occurs when police officers use excessive force towards public members. Police brutality has been reported to escalate overs. Chaney, & Robertson, (2013) also notes that the police officers take a life of a person twice a day in the United States. Police brutality has seen to incline more to minority societies and migrants (Worden, 2015). Police brutality has been a concern, and it remains a significant issue for minority societies. Over the past few years, African American have endured police brutality in various ways. Majority of African American have lost their lives shootings, and terrible beatings POLICE BRUTALITY 5 in the hands of police officers. In 2014, the percentage of African Americans killed as a result of police brutality was 24 percent almost twice as much as their population. According to Chaney, & Robertson, (2013), 92 percent of people were killed through shootings and the other 8 percent through the use of Tasers, polices vehicles, and physical forces. Only 13 police officers charged with brutality cases which mark to only one percent. This shows the reluctance in the side of the police department in arresting and arraigning their counterparts who were found guilty. The government has formulated various policies which are aimed at reducing the level of police brutality. Some of the measures include of body camera, equipping the officers with light weapons, training officers to apply alternative means instead of the use of excessive forces. However, these policies have proved to be ineffective, and the cases of police brutality remained unchanged (Lee, 2004). Research designs In this research, both qualitative and quantitative designs will be applied. First, the qualitative design will seek to answer the question why the police brutality cases tend to remain constant over the years to answer the question effectively. In order to derive information about the police brutality, I will use questionnaires. According to Christensen, Johnson, Turner, & Christensen, (2011), a questionnaire is a structured forms form in which the participants are supposed to fill. The questionnaires that will be used in the research will brief and the questions straight forward. They will not emphasize more of the “text” data, and therefore they will focus more on the numerical rating like 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The questions formulated in the questionnaires should be very brief and straightforward. The questionnaires will target to cover POLICE BRUTALITY 6 40 participants. Only 20 questionnaires will be hand delivered, and the rest will be sent to participants through emails. The online questionnaires will cover various states in the US. The participants will be chosen randomly, and the research will include participants from all genders, cultures, ethnicities. The filled questionnaires will be sent through pager and the information obtained will be treated with a high level of confidentiality. Various secondary sources will be used in this research. The secondary journals selected should be reliable. A researcher can access police department archive to investigate cases reported concerning police brutality. It's important to access secondary resources which are written by credible and professional authors. Use of such credible sources will enhance the reliability and validity of data. Lastly, a researcher will access local libraries to research on books, journals or other articles which conducted similar research regarding police brutality. The data obtained will be used in supporting a hypothesis on the research. Benefits of Studying This Topic By learning about the police brutality, it will be very beneficial not only to an individual but also countrywide. It helps in formulating policies which can be used to minimize the extent of force applied by the police officers towards other people of the society. Secondly, it helps in tracking the changes that the police department have undergone since the inception of the police force. The police department has formulated various internal and external forces which helps in controlling the use of excessive power by the police officers. It also helps in eradicating racism within the police department. It has been reported that the police department becomes harsher when handling the African American people. POLICE BRUTALITY 7 Conclusions According to the report released December 2014 by justice department report, police officers applied deadly excessive force including unnecessary shootings, striking the suspects on the head using weapons, using retaliatory powers such as chemical spray, Tasers, and fists. It is important the issue of police brutality be addressed earlier enough before it gets out of hands. POLICE BRUTALITY 8 References Chaney, C., & Robertson, R. V. (2013). Racism and police brutality in America. Journal of African American Studies, 17(4), 480-505. Christensen, L. B., Johnson, B., Turner, L. A., & Christensen, L. B. (2011). Research methods, design, and analysis. Lee, J. J. (2004). Comparing institutional relationships with academic departments: A study of five academic fields. Research in Higher Education, 45(6), 603-624. Lendman, S. (2010). Police brutality in America. Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel. Worden, R. E. (2015). The causes of police brutality: Theory and evidence on police use of force. Criminal justice theory: Explaining the nature and behavior of criminal justice, 204. 149- Running head: POLICE BRUTALITY EXAGGERATION How has police brutality changed over the years? Rodrick Idrogo POL480: Methodology in Political Science Dr. Rob Mellen Jr. 10/1/2018 1 2 POLICE BRUTALITY EXAGGERATION Introduction For a long time, police brutality has been a controversial issue all over the world. The citizens and human rights group are always on the forefront to rise against the police brutality claims and occurrences. Police brutality is defined as the use of excessive force on members of the public whether they are criminals, suspects or innocent people. The concepts of this brutality come in several forms which include physical assault, mental torture or through verbal means. In verbal and mental pain, the brutality is characterized by abusive words, intimidation of the subject or issuing threats to a person. The physical assault may be seen in various ways such as beating by the police, throwing a person to the ground and many other attacks. The brutality may also include shooting the suspects or criminals. The use of force by the police has come under criticism. The police have a role in making decisions about when to use force and when not. Not all forms of police actions should be termed as brutality. The paper will address the issue of how the problem of police brutality is exaggerated despite its cases decrease over many years. Feasibility of the study The research will investigate the following concerns (Worden, 2015); • Are police more brutal than before? • Do police use extra force on suspects more recently? • Are police biased when dealing with suspects? • Are police officers justified to use force against the suspects and public? POLICE BRUTALITY EXAGGERATION 3 Title influence The title of the paper will influence the reader to read more on the topic since it touches a common controversial issue. The issue of police brutality comes up often, and most people would be interested. The study of this research would be vital in helping the readers to understand the other side of police use of force while on the job. Research question The research seeks to understand whether the police brutality should be condemned entirely or not and whether brutality cases are high. Here is the research question; Is there a possibility that the issues of police brutality are exaggerated in most cases more recently? Discussion As the police brutality issues remain a controversy, various pieces of evidence support the fact that there is an exaggeration of the amount of brutality. Over the years, the problem has decreased thanks to reforms in the units. There are many times that the police are required to use force to take on their operations successfully. Generally, the police are mandated to ensure there remain law and order. Additionally, they must protect the citizens from all forms of criminal activities. In the case of life-threatening situations, they decide to use their last option: force 4 POLICE BRUTALITY EXAGGERATION (Worden, 2015). For instance, when dealing with armed criminals who do not agree to surrender, law enforcement is forced to use deadly force. Many people see the use of force as the most natural method of operation. The purpose of force has guided the way scenarios, environments and events turn out at a given time. In fact, in most cases, the tough decisions made by the officers owes to their mandate to ensure that the innocent people are safe (Andersen & Gustafsberg, 2016). Exaggeration evidence is seen in the claims shown by statistics on police brutality. The activities suggest that the police usually use force on certain minority groups of peoples. These minority groups may include minority and the poor groups of people. In the USA, there are claims that blacks are harassed more than the whites. The statistics claimed to focus on the high probability that a black would face police brutality more than whites. In ten years, over 2100 people of the white race died as opposed to 1100 blacks in cases that related to police brutality. Based on the statistics from the United States Department of Justice, they show that less than 10% of the complaint cases on police brutality were justified and not seen as wrongdoings by the police (Van Brunt et al., 2016). The table below represents a summary of the complaint results. Justification status Rate Officer not guilty for the action 34% Unfounded claims 25% Claims that occurred 23% Undecided cases 9% Proven assault and guilty 9% POLICE BRUTALITY EXAGGERATION 5 The statistics, in this case, proved that the claims of rampant police brutality were untrue. There are fewer cases that would fall under the brutality categories. Many claims, amounting to 25 % of all cases indicate that they had never occurred. Police use of force is not dependent on any race or group. The claims of the choice to use force are inconsistent with the work performed by the officers. Many cases have had video footages to try to prove that brutality claims are rampant. The supporters of these claims make inaccurate arguments. For instance, suggesting that the police should hold back on a situation dealing with a suspect is unreasonable. First, the suspect is not only a threat to the public but also the officers (Worden, 2015). In the case where the police are subdued, the suspected criminals would pose a higher danger to the public. If the police refrain from taking quick action, they are accused of being lazy in their duties (Walzer, 2015). An example of a controversial case where police were said to use extra force occurred in California in 2010. A female suspect stole an ambulance and drove towards a police officer. As a manner of defense the officer quickly shot at the vehicle killing the suspect instantly. The investigation into the matter indicated that the police took a justified action considering the situation. Evidence shows that the need to use force against suspects and criminals is the need for safety. The loss of an officer in an unsafe situation is likely to lead to loss of lives and destruction to those under the officer's protection. The law enforcer's job is more at risk than most of the other roles (Gray, 2018). Those who consider most of their actions as brutal ignore the results of the police refraining from quick responses. It is evident in communities where the public supports the police, dealing with the suspected criminals becomes easier and may eliminate the use of force. The officers are supposed to arrest the criminals and again testify POLICE BRUTALITY EXAGGERATION 6 against them in court. An officer cannot let a criminal free to avoid brutality, and in cases like this, excessive force is necessary. When dealing with violent riots by the public, the officer's life may be threatened even in the case where they use pepper spray and tear gases. They may resort to shooting in the air to scare the masses away. Conclusion The use of force that is termed as brutality is sometimes necessary. In most cases, the officers are forced to use all means to protect the citizens. The cases of brutality have significantly reduced today. The pieces of evidence on brutality claims are biased in most cases. For instance, video footage would only show the brutality claim portion leaving the other parts that would justify why the police ended using force. The issue of dealing with criminals does not consider race, group or any other factor but is guided by the actions of the suspects. The claims of a high rate of police brutality are an inaccurate measurement. 7 POLICE BRUTALITY EXAGGERATION References Andersen, J. P., & Gustafsberg, H. (2016). A training method to improve police use of force decision making: a randomized controlled trial. SAGE Open, 6(2), 2158244016638708. Gray, C. (2018). International law and the use of force. Oxford University Press. Van Brunt, A. A., Bedi, S. A., Bowman, L. E., & Futterman, C. B. (2016). Complaint Submitted to the United States Department of Justice Documenting the Role of the Independent Police Review Authority in Perpetuating a Code of Silence and Culture of Violence in the Chicago Police Department. Walzer, M. (2015). Just and unjust wars: A moral argument with historical illustrations. Basic Books. Worden, R. E. (2015). The causes of police brutality: Theory and evidence on police use of force. Criminal justice theory: Explaining the nature and behavior of criminal justice, 149-204. Running head: HOW POLICE BRUTALITY HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS How Police Brutality has Changed Over the Years Rodrick Idrogo POL480: Methodology in Political Science Dr. Rob Mellen Jr. 10/22/2018 1 HOW POLICE BRUTALITY HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS How police brutality has changed over the years The police force has undergone multiple reforms throughout history. Its primary purpose is to enforce the law, prevent crime, and make arrests of those who commit crimes. However, their actions are supposed to align with the Constitution. Unfortunately, the police force has lately been on the limelight for increased cases of excessive use of force and brutality. For instance, Williams (2015) reports that a very large number of people lose their lives, get injured, or undergo hospitalization as a result of the use of force or brutality in the hands of the police officers. This is a form of injustice for an agency that is meant to promote justice among the people. In the current project, the primary purpose is to explore the changes that have taken place in police brutality over the years. In this paper, however, a comprehensive discussion of the purpose will be discussed alongside a justification of the project, a brief annotated bibliography of key resources, and a definition of the limitations of the research. Purpose of the research The purpose of the research is to explore whether or not there have been a change in police brutality and excessive use of force and the nature of these changes. In this regard, the research will explore various resources including journals, books, and reliable websites and augment the data from these sources with primary data collected through surveys. This will help in formulating a more reliable report about the topic as well as a set of recommendations of what needs to be done so as to raise the efficiency of the police force. Rationale of the research The selected topic is of great significance to the police force as an agency and the community as well. The research will provide vital information on whether cases of police brutality have been on the rise or on the decline. This will provide a more informed 2 HOW POLICE BRUTALITY HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS understanding of the agency and whether or not it serves its intended purpose within the community. By providing a summary of the nature of changes of the police force, the results of this research could be used as a way of formulating reforms that are meant to improve the police force. In fact, this could also serve as a way to inform policymakers on the kind of policies that they should formulate to guide the police force. For instance, should a negative change be identified, this will be an indication that the policy changes that have been made in the recent past have been ineffective and new ones should be formulated. In fact, the research will also be a way of tracking the changes that have happened in the police force in the past years and their effectiveness. This will provide a ground for policymakers and other stakeholders to identify the areas that may need improvement and the potential source of problems within the agency. Finally, the results of this project will help in identifying ways to minimize police brutality and other social injustices such as racism and other forms of segregation. The research will provide many examples of these cases and the affected members of the population, which will then help in identifying the people at risk of police brutality and the identification of the need for training or educating the police officers. Challenges encountered in research A number of challenges could occur when conducting this research. One of these is unreliable data. The research utilizes surveys to collect primary data from members of the community. Cases of bias could occur and particularly among those who have been affected by police brutality over the past. The reliability of the results of the research process relies heavily on the correctness of the survey results, and that rely on the perception of the respondents towards the police. According to Williams (2015), the police force has been demonized greatly in the recent past especially in areas where these cases are common. This could mean that the perceptions of the respondents will vary from one individual to the next. Further, some respondents could be unwilling to participate in this research and particularly 3 HOW POLICE BRUTALITY HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS those whose surveys will be posted by mail. However, the researcher will put in place various measures to ensure that the research is a success. Key resources A key resource is a peer-reviewed journal authored by Alpert and Smith (1999). In this journal, the authors explore the history of police brutality, changes that had occurred by the end of the 20th century, and the progress that the police force ought to have achieved by the end of the century. Despite being published close to two decades ago, this article provides rich historical information about the topic and could thus serve as a foundation for the research and provide data to compare with the current state of events. The second resource is an online article by Hardy (2015) published on the Washington State University website. In this article, the author explores the police brutality of the police force in the post-slavery era and the perceptions of the public. The author notes that police brutality is still on the rise despite measures to harness this social injustice. This article could serve as an important source of data about the history of police brutality and the way that this affects the community. The third resource is a peer-reviewed journal by Smith and Holmes (2014). In this journal, the authors explore the use of excessive force by the police against minorities in the US including the African Americans and marginalized communities. By testing some hypotheses that they formulate for their study, the authors identify that cases of police brutality are more common among the minorities in the US as compared to other communities and have been on the rise in the recent past. This research paper will provide data about cases and the prevalence of police brutality in modern times and how these injustices vary from one community to another. 4 HOW POLICE BRUTALITY HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS Limitations This paper will collect data from just 40 participants. While this may seem like a small number to represent the entire population, a mixed research approach has been selected so as to provide qualitative data to reinforce the reliability of the results. At the same time, cases of bias could occur based on the perception of the research. However, the research process will involve random selection of participants to ensure that these cases are reduced as much as possible. Conclusion Cases of police brutality are still common. However, it is not clear whether or not the current state amounts to a positive or negative change. With this research, however, a mixed research approach will be used to collect data that could help in understanding the topic. The research could serve as an important reference point towards improving the police force or formulating policies that govern the actions of the police. 5 HOW POLICE BRUTALITY HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS References Alpert, G. P., & Smith, M. R. (January 01, 1999). Police Use-Of-Force Data: Where We Are And Where We Should Be Going. Police Quarterly, 2(1), 57-78. Hardy, C. (2015). Public Perceptions of Police Brutality in Post-Slavery America. Washington State University. Available from Smith, B. & Holmes, M. (February 01, 2014). Police Use of Excessive Force in Minority Communities: A Test of the Minority Threat, Place, and Community Accountability Hypotheses. Social Problems, 61(1), 83-104. Williams, J. C. (August 01, 2017). Luke Cageand Police Brutality. American Journal of Psychiatry Residents' Journal, 12(8), 12. 6
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Running Head: How Police Brutality has Changed Over the Years?

How Has Police Brutality changed over the Years?
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Brutality meted against civilians by police officers has been an issue that dates back to
the time police force established. The policing department has given the responsibility to
maintain law and order, and their work cannot be overlooked especially in crime prevention and
maintenance of the laws of various nations (Smith 2014). They have done an excellent job,
thumbs up, it's commendable. Well, the police force should only guard the laws of any given
nation without going against the very law. By this, I mean that their actions and operations
should be in alignment with constitutional laws set in each and every country.
It is unfortunate that the police force has been on the spot and ion the limelight owing to
increased cases of brutality and going against human rights they are supposed to guard. Police
brutality can be defined I layman's language as the excessive use of force while conducting their
operations. For some time, brutality meted against citizens has been reported o social media at a
trending rate. The problem of brutality is real because we have seen and heard human rights
groups and agencies on the battlefront in the fight against police force brutality. Reports have
shown that there are a significant number of individuals that have lost their lives or getting
injured with some of them getting hospitalized of long periods of t...

Really great stuff, couldn't ask for more.


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