Summary and Analysis

The country's rules and police responsibilities

The country's rules require the police to uphold law and order in all areas of society. The cops must uphold the law while protecting the lives of both the victim and the offender in order to fulfill this mandate. Additionally, every accused person is considered innocent under the Bill of Rights until proven guilty by a court of law. However, there have been more instances of police brutality against Americans and extrajudicial murders by the police in recent years. The degree of trust that the public has in the police has been impacted by these unfortunate incidents. The aim of this essay is to analyze three newspaper articles on the current police crisis affecting United States of America.

The article from the Los Angeles Times

The article is on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's condemnation against San Francisco police for the violence against minorities. The bureau goes further to recommend two hundred and seventy two (272) reforms. The San Francisco police department is accused on racial discrimination against people of color most especially the African American people. As per the findings of the inquiry conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation "thirty-seven (37) percent of the people whom city police use force against were African American" (Queally and Mozingo). According to the United States Justice Department, the San Francisco police department applied force that was disproportionate to the crime committed. This use of force was mostly applied to people of color compared to the white people (Queally and Mozingo).

The violation of the right against discrimination

The right against discrimination is guaranteed by various international as well as local legal instruments such as the Constitution of United States of America and the International Convention on Economic and Social Rights (ICESR). The rights protected under these legal documents promote equality which includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and fundamental freedoms. The San Francisco Police Department violated the right that ensures that every person is equal before the law and enjoys the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. This is evident by the 2015 extra-judicial killing of Mario Woods, a suspected criminal. The investigation conducted by the Federal officials was highly praised as it revealed the cracks and loop holes that engulf the San Francisco Police Department (Queally and Mozingo).

The investigation also unveiled the state of San Francisco Police Department whereby, the police relied on traditional techniques such as the writing of use-of-force reports on paper logs. This outdated system hindered the efficient investigation on police officers suspected of using too much force. The Mayor conceded to the report and promised that the San Francisco Police Department would implement all the recommendations laid forward by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The article from the Atlantic

The article talks about the near certainty of anti-police violence that has been reported in several states. The author tries to make a connection between discrimination of the African Americans by the police and the spread of violence in the society. He states "a community consistently subjected to violent discrimination under the law will lose respect for it, and act beyond it. When such actions stretch to mass murder it is horrific but also predictable" (Coates). As result the police lack legitimacy in communities that belong to people of color especially the Black communities. They are viewed as objects of fear and not respect due the fact that they always get away with the murder of innocent African Americans (Coates).

The objectivity is real to the extent that one police officer, Eric Holder warns his children to be skeptical of other police officers. Coates avers that most of these atrocious acts of violence against unarmed individuals are "recorded, uploaded, live-streamed, tweeted, and broadcast". Yet with all this, the government seems powerless, or unwilling to intervene. The force emitted by the police against black people depicts the police as a gang which results to the growth of criminal groups that seek to counteract the power of the police. According to Coates such relationship leads to lack of appreciation for the good police officers.

In order to change the bad perception of the police the police reforms need to be implemented with the full consideration of the minority people in the society. This essentially means that by focusing solely on the actions of police officers and omitting everything that precedes these actions, we are only looking at the tip of the iceberg. As Coates puts it "analyzing the present crisis in law enforcement solely from the contested street, is like analyzing the Iraq War solely from the perspective of Abu Ghraib". The discriminatory policies carried out by the police force were drafted and outlined by the same government that prides itself as the greatest democracy in the history of the world. Therefore unless the policies are changed there will be an increase in violence against the same police officers who uphold the prejudiced rules.

The article from the Wall Street Journal

The article by Stringham seeks to answer the question of whether America is experiencing a police crisis. This is due to the recent public uproar on the rising cases of extra-judicial killings and police violence targeted on people of color. Several cases have been outlined against the police however in most instances; the accused police officers go scot free. As a result, members of the public do not respect policemen as overseers of the rule of law. It is estimated that in 2015, forty one (41) officers of the law were killed while in the line of duty (Stringham). This ideally means that with the current occurrences, it is very dangerous being a police officer.

The fact of the matter is that the thin line that protected the police is gone and as a result the people have resorted to defending themselves by dealing with the brutal force applied by the police in the way they know possible. This brings out the sad truth that the law is no longer meaningful to victimized communities. According to Stringham, "citizen confidence in the police has dropped among Americans of all ages, education levels, incomes and races". However one is left to ponder on how the society will be if the people meant to serve and protect are the ones that people do not trust.


The outright fact is that every American, irrespective of the color of the skin, is equal before the law hence should enjoy the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. The police have the sole mandate of upholding the law without favoring a specific race over another. The policies governing the police force should be re-evaluated so as to lead the way for effective police reforms. The country can only be internally safe when the people change their perception of the police officers and the government respects the rights of all Americans.

Works Cited

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The near certainty of anti-police violence. Atlantic, 2016, violence/490541/. Accessed 10 Feb. 2017

Queally, James and Joe Mozingo. Feds fault San Francisco police for violence against minorities and recommend 272 reforms. Los Angeles Times, 2016, story.html. Accessed 10 Feb. 2017

Stringham, P. Edward. Is America facing a police crisis? Wall Street Journal, 2016, Accessed 10 Feb. 2017

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