Police Brutality – Research Proposal

Posted: March 14, 2013 by gambini7 in Uncategorized

Police brutality has occurred all across the world and is still a major concern amongst society and police organizations. Police brutality can come in many forms. The police officer can be a meat-eater meaning that he has dirty means and dirty goals. Dirty Harry’s meaning they use dirty means to achieve a rightful end. Whenever an incident of police brutality reaches the media, the public has an out roar. The blame ends up being placed upon the police officers involved and are believed to have been bad cops who should have never slipped through the recruitment process. Majority of incidents regarding police brutality are viewed as ‘bad apples’ and the individual police officers take all the blame. Police organizations are never held to blame. ‘Bad barrels’ are never seen as the reason for police brutality. ‘Bad barrels’ means a group of police officers or the organization are corrupted. Police brutality is not very well recorded within Canada. It is almost impossible to see trends, or how much police brutality actually occurs. I would like to present a research program that can address these issues and allow for reliable data to be collected with regards to police brutality.

I am proposing a research program that would allow easier tracking of police force and police brutality within British Columbia. When police officers use force, there is only accurate data when they use a weapon (ex.taser) and if physical force was used, it can go unrecorded. I recommend the implementation of a use of force section within the police reports, which can then be recorded and tracked all across British Columbia. If a police officer is found to have used excessive force, that should also be recorded into a central data base, along with what kind of force the police officer used.

With regards to complaints regarding police brutality, I am proposing funding to investigate complaints that reported improper police use of force. A team of researchers will be made that will look at all the complaints made towards police officers in British Columbia within a period of multiple years. Interviews and case studies will be used, which will help determine if they are valid and involve improper police use of force. Once the data has been collected, we can make a rough estimate in regards to police brutality. Since multiple years will have been reviewed, we can compare how many times certain incidents occurred and if there was any fluctuation from one time period to the other. These results will not be completely accurate because lots of police incidents go unrecorded and many victims of police brutality choose not to start a formal complaint.

I believe that my project should receive funding because there is no data in regards to police brutality within the province of British Columbia. This research project will provide data on police brutality and allow for year to year comparisons to see if this phenomenon is rising, falling, or staying the same.

  1. Mike Larsen says:

    Interesting post.

    It is important to be clear about the various categories associated with typologies of police deviance. For example, the ‘Dirty Harry’ category, which overlaps with ‘noble cause corruption’, involves the use of means known to be dirty to achieve ends believed to be morally correct, especially when faced with a dilemma where an officer is convinced about a person’s guilt. Perception is important here – the officer must perceive the ends to be moral or ‘good’ and he or she must believe (with certainty) that the person in question is guilty. Note that there can be disagreement about the ‘good ends’ of policing.

    In terms of your proposal, note that police officers are already expected to record use-of-force incidents on their reports.

    The idea of creating an up-to-date database of use-of-force trends and incidents is excellent – a necessary step for such a research project. Who would create this resource? Who would maintain it? How would you guarantee that police use-of-force incidents were entered into the database?

    The investigative component of your proposal is also reasonable, but I am curious about the details. Who would be interviewed? How would you ensure that your findings were regarded as authoritative, and not dismissed as anecdotal?

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