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Protest & Sports: Athletes Who Have Used Their Platforms to Make a Difference Off the Field
When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality, detractors claimed athletes had no place in politics. But from Tommie Smith and John Carlos to Derrick Rose, athletes have always used their platforms and voices to bring visibility to causes and issues that exist beyond the boundaries of a field, court or ring.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, athletes — and entire sports teams and leagues — have shown solidarity with protesters and spoken out against police brutality, systemic racism and white supremacy that exist in the United States. Learn more about the athletes who enacted change in the past — as well as those who are speaking up today.
Tommie Smith & John Carlos Protest Racial Inequality at the 1968 Summer Olympics
Black athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised black-gloved fists during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Smith and Carlos earned gold and bronze medals respectively during the 200-meter running event. When “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, they faced the American flag and kept their hands raised.
Both athletes — as well as the silver medalist, Peter Norman — wore Olympic Project for Human Rights badges to further raise awareness of civil rights causes. At the time, a raised fist became a Black Power salute and symbol for the American Civil Rights Movement, though Smith later wrote that the gesture was a “human rights” salute.
Colin Kaepernick Kneels to Protest Police Brutality & Racial Inequality
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback, refused to stand for the national anthem. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” the civil rights advocate told NFL Media.
By kneeling, Kaepernick’s protest brought visibility to the rampant police brutality and racial inequality that plagues — and kills — Black and Brown folks in the U.S. Since the 2016–17 season, Kaepernick has gone unsigned by any of the 32 NFL teams. “I am not looking for approval,” he said. “I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
The WNBA Stands in Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement
According to The Washington Post, the WNBA rescinded its announcement that it would fine teams and players for participating in Black Lives Matter protests in less than 24 hours. Why did the fines come about? The Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury players wore black T-shirts during warmups in solidarity with Black Lives Matter — and were subsequently fined $5,000 per team and $500 per player.
Lisa Borders, the then-WNBA president, tweeted that “[We] appreciate our players expressing themselves on matters important to them” and rescinded the fines as a show of support. More recently, the WNBA showed solidarity again with Black Lives Matter and Black folks in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. As protesters across the country fight against police brutality, the WNBA, and its teams and players, have added to the conversation. “The time for change is now. Enough is enough,” the WNBA tweeted on May 29, 2020 along with an empowering photo that reads “ Bigger Than Ball .”
Liverpool Footballers and Other Players Protest Police Brutality in the Wake of George Floyd’s Murder
Taking a cue from Colin Kaepernick’s protest, Liverpool players knelt down at Anfield on Monday in a tribute to George Floyd, who was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin the week before.
Floyd’s murder was yet another display of police brutality in the United States and it’s clear that Liverpool’s actions were inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests taking place throughout America. Other footballers, like Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram and United States international Weston McKennie, offered their support by kneeling and wearing a “Justice for George” armband respectively.
Brittney Griner & Layshia Clarendon Advocate for the Rights of Transgender Folks
In 2017, WNBA players Brittney Griner and Layshia Clarendon published an op-ed that opposed Texas Senate Bill 3 (SB3), which aimed to regulate bathroom access based upon one’s “biological sex” and block local anti-discrimination bills that protect trans folks’ rights to use the bathroom that matches their gender.
Griner and Clarendon praised activist-athletes who paved the way for them, writing, “As beneficiaries of such brave efforts, we do not take our responsibility as activists lightly. We believe it is our moral duty to use the platform we have been given to speak out.” Since then, the two have been advocates for the LGBTQ community.
Derrick Rose Protests Police Brutality by Wearing a Shirt with Eric Garner’s Last Words
In December of 2014, NBA star Derrick Rose wore a black T-shirt with the words “I Can’t Breathe” printed on the front during a team warmup with the Chicago Bulls. The phrase referenced the last words of Eric Garner, a Black man who was murdered by Staten Island police officer Daniel Pantaleo in 2014.
Even though Garner’s murder was caught on video, Pantaleo was never indicted. Rose’s decision to wear the shirt is another example of an athlete using their platform to make a statement — this time about police brutality and the injustice Black people face every day in America.
The “Syracuse 8” Protest Racial Inequality in Sports, Education & Healthcare
The student athletes who boycotted the 1970 football season at Syracuse University were inaccurately dubbed the “Syracuse 8” when, in fact, nine athletes participated in the protest. The Black players met in secret to discuss how they could achieve racial equality on and off the field.
The players wanted better medical care, access to the same academic opportunities as their white teammates, a more transparent selection process and a more diverse coaching staff. “It’s dehumanizing,” Greg Allen told NPR. “My talents, my own personal desires and wishes and goals and dreams, take a back seat to this thing called race or racism.”
Sean Doolittle Advocates for the LGBTQ Community
MLB pitcher Sean Doolittle and his wife Eireann Dolan purchased hundreds of tickets to the Oakland Athletics Pride Night in 2015 and donated them to local LGBTQ groups so that the seats would be filled.
In 2019, Doolittle continued his to show his allyship by painting his cleats with the transgender pride flag as well as the rainbow flag. Most recently, Doolittle refused a White House invitation after his World Series victory, stating, “My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance… At the end of the day, as much as I wanted to be there with my teammates…I can’t do it.”
Carlos Delgado Stayed in the Dugout to Protest the U.S. Invasion of Iraq
Following the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2004, first baseman Carlos Delgado undertook his own quiet protest against the war. That season, Toronto faced off against the New York Yankees a whopping 19 times — and the Yankees, unlike other teams, insisted on playing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch of every home game.
Vowing not to participate following the invasion of Iraq, Delgado hung back in the dugout instead of joining his teammates on the field. “I don’t [stand] because I don’t believe it’s right,” Delgado told the Toronto Star. “I don’t believe in the war.”
St. Louis Rams Players Protest Police Brutality & Stand in Solidarity with Michael Brown & Ferguson Black Lives Matter Protests
After 18-year-old Ferguson, Missouri, resident Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in August of 2014, months of protests ensued. And in November, just five days after a grand jury decided against indicting police officer Darren Wilson, five members of the St. Louis Rams showed their support for Brown and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Rams’ players — Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Tavon Austin — walked onto the field during their pregame introductions, hands raised. The gesture, later referred to as “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” was the same one that Brown made before he was murdered by Wilson.
Seattle Storm Organize a Rally for Planned Parenthood
Co-owned by three women — Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder and Dawn Trudeau — the Seattle Storm WNBA team came together to host a pre-game rally on July 18, 2017, to benefit Planned Parenthood. Some players missed out on warmups to attend the rally, and spectators were given “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” signs.
This event marked the first time a professional sports team partnered with Planned Parenthood — and the affiliation paid off. Thanks to proceeds from ticket sales, the Storm were able to donate around $42,000 to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI).
Eric Reid Kneels to Protest Police Brutality & Racial Inequality
Following in his former teammate Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps, the Carolina Panthers’ safety Eric Reid kneels every week during the national anthem to protest ongoing racial inequality, social injustice and police brutality in the U.S.
“If a day comes that I feel like we’ve addressed those issues, and our people aren’t being discriminated against or being killed over traffic violations, then I’ll decide it’s time to stop protesting,” Reid told the Charlotte Observer. “I haven’t seen that happen.” Off the field, Reid and Kaepernick have joined forces again, supporting Black and Brown folks with programs such as their Know Your Rights Camp .
Venus Williams & Serena Williams Fight for Equal Pay
In 2005, Venus Williams appealed to the Grand Slam governing board and then wrote an op-ed, fighting for equal monetary awards for men and women at Wimbledon and the French Open. Shortly after, Venus won at Wimbledon — and netted the same prize as the men’s champ.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams has vowed to fight for equal pay too — especially for Black women. “The cycles of poverty, discrimination, and sexism are much, much harder to break than the record for Grand Slam titles,” she wrote in Fortune. Both sisters are on the advisory board for the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative.
Enes Kanter Speaks Out Against Authoritarian Regime in Turkey
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter was born in Switzerland and raised in Turkey. But despite his family’s Turkish roots, Turkey’s government revoked his passport in 2017 and accused Kanter and his relatives of terrorism. That said, Kanter hasn’t visited the country in years — and his games are censored on Turkish television.
How’d this come about? Kanter has been openly — and often — critical of (authoritarian) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In September 2019, Kanter told Vox, “I think the NBA gives me a big platform, and so that’s why I’m trying to be a voice for all those innocent people who don’t have one.”
LeBron James Protests Police Brutality & Racial Inequality — & Advocates for Education
Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a written rule about standing for the national anthem — and the league made sure to remind players of this stipulation. But three-time NBA champ LeBron James said he “will not shut up and dribble.”
By speaking out about racial inequality, police brutality and the president’s bigotry, James has emboldened other players to take a stand as well. In addition to donating to various nonprofits and establishing his own foundation, James also helped establish the I Promise School, a public elementary school in Akron, Ohio, that aims to help struggling students.
Reggie Bullock Becomes an Advocate for Transgender Folks & the LGBTQ Community
In 2019, Vice Sports debuted a documentary about NBA star Reggie Bullock and his journey to becoming an LGBTQ activist in the wake of his sister’s murder in 2014. Bullock’s sister, Mia Henderson, was a transgender woman living in Baltimore and, one night, she was stabbed to death.
Bullock has made it his mission to speak out about how violence and murder disproportionately impact trans women of color. At games, he wears sneakers with “equality” written on them and with his sister’s name etched on the soles to honor her and the LGBTQ community.
U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Fights for Equal Pay
In 2016, several high-profile members of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) filed a complaint against U.S. Soccer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Among those members? Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Megan Rapinoe.
Thanks to the 2019 World Cup, the USWNT’s fight for equal pay gained even more traction — and visibility. In July, the team celebrated their victory at a ticker-tape parade in New York City where legions of fans chanted “Equal pay!” and held signs. Just to reiterate: The USWNT won their fourth title whereas the men’s team’s best finish happened in 1930…when they placed third.
Muhammad Ali Protests the Vietnam War by Refusing the Draft
Muhammad Ali won a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics. A year later he turned pro and converted to Islam, which led him to take the name we know him by today. A few years later in 1966, “The Greatest” refused to be drafted into the military because he opposed the Vietnam War.
Ali was subsequently arrested, found guilty of draft evasion and stripped of his boxing titles. Although the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1971, the conscientious objector still sacrificed some of his best years as an athlete. Nonetheless, his activism turned him into a counterculture icon.
Jesse Owens Stands Up to Nazi Germany — & Wins Big
The New York Times dubbed Jesse Owens “perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history.” At the 1936 Summer Olympics, which were held in Nazi Germany, Owens achieved international fame by winning an impressive four gold medals.
These victories made him the most successful athlete at the Games. And being the most successful athlete at the Games, as a Black man, was taking a stand in and of itself. ESPN noted that Owens’ bravery and achievements “single-handedly crush[ed] Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy.”
Megan Rapinoe Kneels to Protest Police Brutality & Racial Inequality
The first professional athlete to kneel in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick was soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who knelt during the anthem prior to a Seattle Reign match. She wrote in The Players’ Tribune, “I am kneeling because I have to do something. Anything. We all do.”
During the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe stood with her arms at her sides, mouth unmoving while the anthem played. “I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street,” the two-time World Cup champ once wrote. “But I cannot stand idly by.”
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Holds True to Religious Beliefs, Refuses to Stand for Anthem
Denver Nuggets player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf converted to Islam in 1991 and, during a 1996 game, he refused to stand during the national anthem. He stated that the U.S. flag was a “symbol of oppression [and] of tyranny.”
“I don’t criticize those who stand [for the anthem], so don’t criticize me for sitting,” Abdul-Rauf said. “I won’t waver from my decision.” After he was fined and suspended for one game, Abdul-Rauf struck a deal with the NBA, allowing him to bow his head and close his eyes during the anthem. Just two years later, Abdul-Rauf left the league.
The Black 14 Plan to Protest Racism in the Mormon Church
The University of Wyoming kicked 14 Black players off the football team in 1969. During a game against Brigham Young University — a Mormon-owned and -operated school — said players were planning to protest a Mormon policy that forbade Black members from the priesthood.
Wearing black armbands, the players approached their coach before the game but were promptly dismissed — which caused other student athletes to take up the cause. Unfortunately, the Black 14 were not reinstated, but, nine years later, the Mormon church finally allowed Black members to attain leadership positions.
Indiana Fever Become the First Entire Team to Kneel to Protest Police Brutality & Racial Inequality
In September of 2016, the Indiana Fever WNBA team joined other athletes — inspired by Colin Kaepernick — to kneel during the national anthem to protest ongoing police brutality against Black folks in America. But this protest was unique.
The players took action just before a WNBA playoff game — a high-stakes event with higher viewership — and every single member of the Fever knelt, arms linked. This marked the first time an entire team protested during the anthem. The team’s coach, Stephanie White, said that she was proud of her players.
Aly Raisman Speaks Out About Being a Survivor
Gymnast Aly Raisman won six Olympic medals and was captain of both the 2012 “Fierce Five” and 2016 “Final Five” U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams. Off the floor, Raisman has also set an example by speaking her truth.
In 2017, she came forward as one of the many young women who were sexually abused by the former Olympic team physician Larry Nassar. Raisman later filed a lawsuit against U.S.A. Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee, claiming both organizations “knew or should have known” about the abuse. The Olympian and other survivors received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Adam Rippon Becomes the First Openly Gay Athlete to Win for the U.S. at the Winter Games
In 2015, Adam Rippon publicly came out as gay and, three years later, he was one of three men selected to represent the U.S. in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Long before his events aired, a lot of pressure — and attention — were placed on the skater.
Rippon also aired his concerns about Mike Pence being chosen to lead the U.S. delegation at the Games due to Pence’s long history of anti-gay legislation and homophobia. At Pyeongchang, Rippon won the bronze for a team event, making him the country’s first openly gay athlete to win a medal at a Winter Olympics.
Albert Wolff, Milton Green, Norman Cahners, Halet Çambel & Suat Fetgeri Așani Among Athletes to Protest the 1936 Olympics
Although fencer Albert Wolff qualified for the French Olympic team, he chose to boycott the 1936 Summer Games due to his Jewish heritage. That year, the games were were being held in Nazi Germany. Wolff said, “I cannot participate in anything sponsored by Adolf Hitler, [not] even for France.”
Jewish athletes from the U.S., including world-class hurdler Milton Green and track and field athlete Norman Cahners, also boycotted the Games that year. Other athletes protested differently: Fencers Halet Çambel and Suat Fetgeri Așani, the first Turkish women to participate in the Olympics, refused an invitation to meet with Hitler due to their political viewpoints.
Caster Semenya Challenges IAAF’s New “Sex Verification Testing”
Caster Semenya, a South African middle-distance runner, is an Olympic gold medalist and has won several World Championship titles. However, her time as a world-class athlete has been plagued by invasive “sex verification testing” since 2009. In 2018, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced new “differences of sex development” rules.
Essentially, this meant that women and people who have higher testosterone levels and a certain androgen sensitivity would be required to take medicine to adjust those levels. Semenya announced that she would challenge this ruling, even bringing it to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.
Dutee Chand Challenges Hyperandrogenism Ruling & Comes Out Publicly
Despite winning two gold medals at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in 2014, Chand was disqualified from the Commonwealth Games in a last-minute decision by the Athletic Federation of India. The Federation determined that Chand’s hyperandrogenism — her high levels of naturally occurring androgens — made her unable to compete in women’s sports.
Chand appealed the ruling and was eventually allowed to compete again, but she still stands in solidarity with friend Caster Semenya, who is still fighting the testosterone rule change. Moreover, Chand also became India’s first-ever openly LGBTQ athlete in 2019 when she came out about her same-sex relationship.
Arthur Ashe Educates the Public About HIV & AIDS
Three-time Grand Slam winner Arthur Ashe became the first Black man to win singles titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. Off the court, Ashe used his platform to educate others about HIV and AIDS and founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
In the 1980s, Ashe reportedly contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery and publicly announced his illness in 1992. Tragically, he passed the following year but was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton.
Jackie Robinson Breaks Down Racial Barriers On & Off the Field
Famously, Jackie Robinson became the first Black baseball player to play in the MLB when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Before then, professional baseball had been segregated, relegating Black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s.
Robinson has been quoted as telling younger player Hank Aaron that “the game of baseball is great, but the greatest thing is what you do after your career is over.” A vocal supporter of the civil rights movement, Robinson was in a unique position: He advocated for change and became a symbol of it. Posthumously, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Bronson Koenig Stands in Solidarity with Protestors at Standing Rock
Currently, Bronson Koenig plays for the NBA G League team the Erie BayHawks — the New Orleans Pelicans affiliate. Although his platform may not be as far-reaching as those of NBA players, Koenig, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, is still aiming to make a far-reaching difference.
In September 2016, Koenig and his brother joined the protest at Standing Rock. After driving 14 hours from Madison, the brothers stood in solidarity with those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Moreover, Koenig has been outspoken in his opposition to using Native names and mascots, particularly when it comes to the Washington football team’s offensive name.
The Phoenix Suns & Los Angeles Clippers Take Part in Very Uniform Protests
When it comes to uniforms, some teams have added new meaning to the phrase “statement piece.” In 2010, the Phoenix Suns wore uniforms that read “Los Suns” to protest Arizona’s new immigration law. Then-star Steve Nash said the bill “opens up the potential for racial profiling and racism.”
In 2014, the Los Angeles Clippers used their pregame warmup uniforms as a form of silent protest. After the team’s owner, Donald Sterling, made racist remarks, the players wore their warmup shirts inside-out so that the Clippers’ logo didn’t show. Chris Paul, the star guard, was heard telling his teammates “we’re all we got.”
Bruce Maxwell Becomes First MLB Player to Kneel
On September 23, 2017, Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem. The former Oakland Athletics’ catcher made history protesting racial inequality and police brutality on the diamond — and the decision certainly had ramifications.
While Maxwell knelt, teammate Mark Canha put a hand on the catcher’s shoulder as a show of support. The A’s issued a statement, saying the team “[prides itself] on being inclusive.” Even if the team supported Maxwell’s constitutional rights, it’s also true that Maxwell has since gone unsigned by an MLB team and now plays for a Mexican League team.
Pat Tillman Trades One Uniform for Another
In the aftermath of 9/11, the Arizona Cardinals’ Pat Tillman left the NFL to enlist in the U.S. Army in June of 2002. While serving with the Army Rangers, Tillman was killed in Afghanistan under nebulous circumstances. In the end, the Department of Defense admitted Tillman was killed by friendly fire.
After right-wing bloggers misappropriated Tillman’s legacy in response to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel, Pat’s wife, Marie, said “The very action of self expression…is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for.” Jon Krakauer, Tillman’s biographer, agreed, adding “I have no doubt if he was in the NFL today, he would be the first to kneel.”
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The video that recorded the death of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers shook the world. It brought the spotlight on the public issue of police brutality. Following the incident, there were widespread protests across America where demonstrators demanded sweeping police reform. George Floyd’s death was one of many recent high-profile killings of the unarmed Black person by the police.
There is sufficient evidence to show that police brutality disproportionately impacts people of color. Historical data and research indicate that African Americans, Native Americans, and Latino people are at a higher risk of getting shot and killed by police compared to their white counterparts. Systemic racism and prejudice among the majority-white police departments are a big reason why minorities are the victims in most police violence cases.
Many believe that the United States Police Force is yet to leave behind its origin as “slave patrollers.” Back in 1704, when the first policing system was established to track down enslaved people, the so-called “patrollers” were not shy about using violence against them. By the time the first official police department was established in 1838, racism was already institutionalized in the policing system. The police in the Southern states focused on the controlling slave system, while the ones in the North targeted Eastern European immigrants.
The racialized nature of the policing system continues to be prevalent in the 21st century. The deaths of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Dion Johnson, Michael Brown, Stephon Clark, Tamir Rice, and hundreds of others drive home the fact that POC is more vulnerable to police shootings and violence. Most police officers involved in these shootings have been acquitted of the murder or manslaughter charges.
In fact, many of them involved in these civilian deaths have had a long history of aggressive and violent behavior. The lack of accountability in law enforcement has enabled guilty police officers to continue serving in the force. In quite a few cases, fellow officers and their departments have defended the actions of the involved policemen.
One of the four officers implicated in Floyd’s murder, Derek Chauvin, had 18 complaints on his official record. He had previously been reprimanded and twice disciplined for his overkill tactics. Unfortunately, he is not alone; instead, this behavioral pattern is far too common among police officers.
Campaigns like Black Lives Matter and civil rights organizations NAACP are working at the grassroots level to bring police brutality to an end. They are calling for profound policing reform that would address issues of racial profiling, violent encounters, and police misconduct among others. It also includes appeals to defund the police and divert their funds to other systems like Social Services. The passing of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a small legislative victory that could pave the way for more significant, bolder changes in the future.
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Racism and Police Brutality in America
What, if any, changes have occurred in the nation's police departments 21 years after the Rodney King beating? To answer this question, this study examined findings provided by the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP). An additional goal of this study was to examine how the public generally perceive police and how race and racism shape this discourse. To answer this secondary question, we examined narratives provided by 36 contributors to the NPMSRP site. The following two questions were foundational to this study: (1) What do findings from the NPMSRP suggest about the rate of police brutality in America? (2) How do individuals perceive the police department, and what implications do these perceptions hold for Black men in America? In general, fatalities at the hands of police are higher than they are for the general public. Grounded theory analysis of the data revealed that individuals perceive members of law enforcement in the following ways: (a) contempt for law enforcement, (b) suspicion of law enforcement, (c) law enforcement as agents of brutality, and (d) respect for law enforcement. Supporting qualitative data are presented in connection with each of the aforementioned themes.
Undergraduate Research Journal
This study presents a review of cases reported in the news media regarding unarmed black men shot and killed by police in the United States (U.S.) between the years 2011 and 2016. In the sampled cases, all police officers involved were acquitted following decisions from grand juries or district attorneys. This research comprises cases involving deaths of unarmed African-American males. Case data were collected from two prominent newspapers: The Washington Post and The New York Times. Analyzing these articles allows for a better understanding regarding the outcomes, effects, and the repercussions of the incidents in the African American community. By incorporating Critical Race Theory (CRT), this research will provide individuals with a better understanding of racism and discrimination that has been historically propagated by police forces, and its negative effect on Western society. By investigating police policies and procedures, as well high-profile incidents of police coercion, t...
Attitudes of Black Americans, Towards Police Misconduct in an Urban Area by Demetric Rayshawn Armstead MS, Troy University, 2008 BS, Delta State University, 2002 Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Criminal Justice
One of the most controversial issues in policing concerns allegations of police abuse of members of minority groups. This article examines African Americans' and whites' perceptions and experiences of three types of police misconduct: unjustified street stops of citizens, verbal abuse, and use of excessive force. The study is based on in-depth interviews with residents of three neighborhoods in Washington, DC, which vary in racial and class profile. Findings support the thesis that neighborhood context conditions resi-dents' attitudes and reported experiences with the police. Residents of both the white and the black middle-class neighborhoods were less likely to perceive or experience police abuse in their neighborhoods than were residents of the black lower-class neighborhood. Neighborhood class position thus may be an important, but often overlooked, factor shaping citizens' attitudes and experiences. In encounters with the police outside the neighborhood , however, individuals' race becomes salient. Implications are discussed for understanding the rote of race, class, and neighborhood context in police-citizen relations. An unresolved issue in policing is the relative influence of race and class on citizens' attitudes and experiences regarding the police. Race is one of the strongest predictors of attitudes toward the police (African Americans are more likely than whites to negatively evaluate various aspects of policing), 1 but much less is known about the effects of social class. In this article I examine race and class
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Police Brutality - List of Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas
Police brutality refers to the excessive or unnecessary use of force by law enforcement officers. Essays on this topic could explore the incidences of police brutality, its causes, and its impact on communities, particularly marginalized groups. Further discussions might extend to the legal frameworks governing law enforcement conduct, the calls for police reform, and the movements advocating for accountability and justice. We have collected a large number of free essay examples about Police Brutality you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.
Police Brutality and Racism
The Declaration of Independence was created to protect the inalienable rights that all Americans receive at birth, yet police brutality continues to threaten the rights of African Americans everywhere. Police everywhere need to be given mandatory psychological tests in order to gain awareness of racial bias in law enforcement and allow citizens to slowly gain trust for the officers in law enforcement. No one wants a child to grow up in a world filled with hate. As Martin Luther King […]
Police Brutality – most Serious Violations to the Black Community
Police brutality started in the early 70s, due to the lack of equal rights for African Americans. Over the last past several years, it has left citizens wondering if policemen are doing their jobs or just looking for another murder case. Due to all the unnecessary shooting, rough treatment, and beating upon black people three radical black organizers created Black Lives Matter. In the result of this injustice, African American lady, Korryn Gaines, a 23-year old woman, was pulled over […]
Is Racism Still a Current Issue in America
Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. It is no secret that America has a racist past, with issues like hate crimes, police brutality, and slavery. However, the concern of racism is still apparent in American society today. Completely eliminating racism will be very hard. However, to start the process of eliminating this issue, we need to start by recognizing our own […]
The Effects Police Brutality has on Society
Introduction There are many issues that can cause dysfunction in a society. Police brutality has become debatable and a major issue America faces today. Police brutality can be traced back all the way to the early 1870s. Police brutality is the use of excessive force by a police officer. Which can arrange from anything as far as assaults, lethal force, harassment and much more. The use of force has been around for decades as a way of solving conflicts and […]
Defacement Reflecting on Police Brutality: a Jean Michel-Basquiat Story
Thesis statement: Art tends be a reflection of how an artist is feeling in a certain moment or time and at times it dives into the mind of the artist during the darkest periods of their lives. Artists tend to find inspiration in circumstances or instances that directly affect them on an emotional level. May that be as a result of a death or even a life altering incident that maybe they didn't experience in person but it still hit […]
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About Black Lives Matter Movement
The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution are inherent for all. There is no question that all people (blacks, Latinos, Indians, or white) were created free and equal with certain inalienable rights. This is a universally accepted principle. Segregation and racism against minorities in this country have been widely discussed, and prominent figures have taken a stand asking people to join in the fight for equality. This stand addresses the significance of black lives. However, contrasting opinions on […]
Police Brutality against Women
Police brutality is one of several forms of police misconduct, which involves undue violence by police officers. It seems to happen in several countries, but very often in the United States against African-Americans. Studies show that the US police kill more in days than other countries do in years. (The Guardian, 2018). Generally, when individuals discuss police violence against African-Americans; recurring names such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner continuously appear in broadcast media. It is very rare […]
Police Brutality and its Contributors
In the past two years, the United States has seen an extreme increase in the police use of deadly force. This deadly increase is speculated to have many contributing factors, some contributing factors are, internalized racism, knowing that if they do something they will not be punished, and the blue wall of silence. These are just a few of the many contributors to police brutality. People may believe that this is the way that we must live, and that nothing […]
Does the Civil Rights Movement have an Effect on the Way Minorities are Treated by Authorities?
Abstract The civil rights movement was a mass popular movement to secure for African Americans equal access to and opportunities for the basic privileges and rights of U.S. citizenship. While the roots of this movement go back to the 19th century, its highlighted movements were in the 1950s and 1960s. African American men and women, along with white American’s and other minority citizens, organized and led the movement at national and local levels nationwide. The civil rights movement centered on […]
Police Brutality – Systemic Misuse of Authority and Abuse of Police Powers
Police brutality is the systematic misuse of authority and abuse of police powers through the unwarranted infliction of bodily or psychological pain to civilians by law enforcers during their official duties. The routine enforcement of law using excessive force against unarmed civilians and the correctional misuse of facilities to manipulate, inflict, injure or subject a civilian to torture amounts to police brutality. Militarily prisons and federal penal correctional facilities through the personnel operating the facilities can practice police brutality through […]
Police Brutality against Black Communities
Throughout the years, the issue of police brutality against black communities has been a major problem affecting many countries in the United States. Unjustified killings have taken place in the black community, which has clearly led to a national outcry for justice and equality. The issue has become particularly notable in recent years thanks to the numerous murders of young black people that have been committed by police officers. Research shows that young black men were nine times more likely […]
New York City History : Abner Louima Case
This agreement established a new standard of compensation for victims of police violence. The agreement resolved an issue that had strained relations between the NYPD and the general public. Civil rights groups continue to accuse the NYPD of racial profiling. Americans and people worldwide have been calling for police reform for years, citing problems such as racial profiling, excessive force, and the murders of several innocent people. Every year, thousands of unarmed people are murdered by police officers via gunfire, […]
Police Brutality in America
The rate has increased over the past years. They call America now a slaughter house; killings leading to uproars in the cities and mass shootings. Police brutality does not only happen to African American, but people of all ethnicities. Police officers were once called the peacekeepers of our community, but now we as people are scared to even leave our home. This is a problem beginning to grow more and more each day. The biggest issue right now is that […]
Police Brutality – Prevalent Problem in American Society
America has on average one of the highest rates of police violence compared to other developed countries. While it is hard to determine the precise reason to why that is, many argue that it is directly related to racism that has, and still exists today. Until recent times, people of Caucasian decent have held much of the power in the United States government. Meaning that policies were made with white favoritism in mind. This is known as systemic racism. One […]
Police Brutality Towards African Americans
Dear Governor Brown, In this letter I wanted to discuss an epidemic that has occured in America these past few years, which would be police brutality towards African Americans. Police brutality dates as far back as the 1960's but recently there have been many cases towards black people where they do not pose a threat but are still beaten or even killed. Statistics show that police killed 1,147 people in 2017 and 25% of those killed were black people even […]
Institutional Racism and Police Brutality in Education System
In today society there are several police brutality against black people, and in some institutional systems black people still experience racism from people who thinks they are superior. Racism is an issue which emerged from history till now and it has become a major problem in our society. This has affected some families to live their dreams and influences other people mindset towards each other. Institutional Racism is expressed in social and political institution which is governed by the behavioral […]
Police Brutality Culture
The use of excessive force on civilians whether innocent or suspected is deemed as Police brutality. And everyone can attest to the fact that police brutality is ever on the rise. We see it every other day in the news, on the internet and some of us have even witnessed it just around the corners in our neighborhoods. Even if it is plastered all over the media, those officers seem to still remain in the lines of duties. Why? Do […]
Police Brutality – Misconduct and Shootings
Abstract In the United States, Police brutality has been a source of concern for many years. Police officers have been known to use excessive and unnecessary force on innocent and unarmed civilians. There have been numerous instances of police officers killing civilians when such force was unwarranted. It is important to look at how police brutality affects the community as well as fellow police officers. There are a number of measures that should be taken to stop this menace. The […]
Police Brutality against Latinos in the U.S.
This research focused on the history of police brutality against Latinos in the U.S. and thedifferent types of police brutality. It starts off with an overview of what police brutality is and providing examples of police brutality in the different states. The examples intend to provide the reader with knowledge of how police brutality affects the Latino community and some other minority groups. Additionally, it talks about injunctions and the system of points (used in Boston), which allow police officers […]
Police Brutality – Aggressive Overuse of Power
Every 7 hours in the United States an individual life is taken by a police officer. Police brutality is defined as an aggressive overuse of power given to them as a status of a police officer. A 395 pound 6'2-foot man named Eric Garner was held in an illegal chokehold by officer Justin D'Amico. Eric Garner was selling illegal cigarettes on a street in Staten Island, New York. As police approach him four of the officers wrestled him to the […]
Racial Disparity Amongst Caucasian Americans, African Americans and other Minority Group
Federal government officials in the United States have noted there is a great racial disparity amongst Caucasian Americans, African Americans and other minority group entering or already in the juvenile justice system (karger stoesz 2018, p.365). Recovery from slavery is a massive task for most African Americans in America because they were considered non-citizens which further increased ethnic disparity (karger stoesz, 2018). The Native Americans and Latino Americans were not spared from segregation in addition the treaties serving the Native […]
Different Forms of Police Brutality
According to The Law Dictionary, police brutality is defined as the use of excessive and/ or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians. The brutality can come in several forms; ranging from nerve gas, guns, false arrests, racial profiling, and sexual abuse. Many black men and women fall victims to officers. Police killed 1,147 people in 2017. Black people were 25% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population (Daniliana 1). Since 1992, there has been an […]
Stop Police Brutality against Minority’s
Police abuse remains one of the most serious human rights violations in the United States. Over the past decades, police have acted out in ways that have made people wonder, are our officer really doing their jobs?. Unjustified shootings have contributed to the ever present problem of police brutality in America. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States mandated racial segregation in […]
Police Brutality: Hispanics, Asian, and African American
Almost everyone can be involved in police brutality including Hispanics, Asian, and African American. But, black people are most likely to be shot by police than their white peers. However, according to Vox news says, An analysis of the available FBI data by Dara Lind for Vox found that US police kill black people at disproportionate rates: Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012. In other words, that black people are accusing as a threat […]
Police Brutality and Racial Profiling
If you were stopped by police officers and all they saw was your race, imagine how that would have felt. Sadly, this happens in the real world to people of color daily. Racial profiling is a controversial and illegal form of discrimination, where people are targeted for suspicion based on their race or ethnicity rather than on evidence-based suspicious behavior. Racial profiling is a common practice used by law enforcement agencies in the United States. It is based on the […]
Police Abuse of Power
Police brutality refers to systematic misuse of authority and powers through the unwarranted infliction of bodily or psychological pain to civilians by law enforcers during their official duties. The routine enforcement of law using excessive force against unarmed civilians and the correctional misuse of facilities to manipulate, inflict, injure or subject a civilian to torture amounts to police brutality. Militarily prisons and federal penal correctional facilities, through the personnel operating the facilities, can practice police brutality through extreme subjection of […]
Police Brutality against Black People
The source of racial disparity that pervades the United States criminal justice system, and for African Americans in particular, lies within the bounds of racial discrimination. In order for this treatment to be stopped, members of society must make efforts to alter a mindset that draws it roots from a dark history of slavery and manipulation. Plan Addressing Diawara’s view that society views whiteness as the norm by objectifying races and creating economic and public policies, Barak Obama’s 2008 Father […]
History of Police Brutality
America’s history allows spectators to realize that police brutality is not a modern-day problem, however it is a rising issue. As a nation built up of diverse groups, it is not a surprise that this country has an interminable past of acts of brutality, especially when it comes to individuals who have been incarcerated which is a huge portion of America’s population. A rising amount of police officers are now unlawfully abusing their power, and many prisoners are not willing […]
US Police Brutality and African Americans
Police brutality is a major issue in the United States, with its target against African Americans being a longstanding problem. The history of police brutality closely relates to racism and discrimination in America. Many factors, such as institutional racism, poverty, education, and even the drug war, contribute to this issue. With these factors combined, there is an increased risk of violence from law enforcement officials toward African Americans. According to Schwartz and Jahn (2020), African Americans are three times more […]
Social Media and Law Enforcement
Understanding Social Media In considering, the ubiquity of social media and the benefits that it has with reaching communities, one can show and promote positive actions or bring about positivity or change that come with negative actions. Social media has a wide array of followers from platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, television, newspapers and magazines. It is always growing. There are even more platforms popping up every day. There are blogs and vlogs day that report on current […]
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Over the past few decades, police brutality has been a hot debate topic in America. Moreover, high school and college students also get to write about this social issue and express their views. Yet, essay topics like these are complex, and compositing your police brutality essay will require prior research. Whether you’re accusing or defending the police, you must structure your work properly to support your opinion. In short, it must follow the outline of typical academic papers. Ensure the essay introduction gives a background for police violence and how important dealing with this issue is for contemporary society. In this part, you will also place your thesis statement that poses the underlying concern you’ll try to find solutions to. Similarly, your thesis for police brutality can focus on the reasons or consequences of the problem. The research paper outline can include several arguments and a counter argument to show you can handle both aspects of the matter. This segment can refer to case studies or press reports to reveal true stories and evidence that back up your position. Ideally, you should select events that happened in the United States for reliability and credibility. Finally, use the conclusion to suggest further research on how to stop brutality from happening or provide a summary of your findings with a call for action. The subject is controversial, so you’d better avoid phrases like “black lives matter.” Instead, take an objective and unbiased approach and base your work on facts. Your essay can answer questions focusing on the psychological, physical, and social impact of police brutality. The topic is quite disturbing, particularly for a speech example, because it often addresses the black community. It also touches upon gender inequality and its effects on the minds and bodies of the vulnerable. If you fear your research paper about police brutality won’t be up to the teacher’s standards, don’t despair. Students who haven’t had the chance to write academic work before or lack the skills will have to do some lengthy reading to get the main idea. That’s why we suggest checking our argumentative essay examples on police brutality. PapersOwl offers an extensive range of cause-and-effect and persuasive essays on police racism, misconduct, abuse of power, and the punitive system.
Essay on Police Misconduct One of the most controversial social debates today concerns police brutality. The term refers to an abuse of authority from the part of law enforcement personnel who, while performing their official duties, end up unnecessarily using excessive force to restore order. In recent years, this has become a prevalent problem with many incidents that led to public outrage. A research paper about police brutality must show how highly publicized incidents demonstrate that police misconduct has severe adverse effects on victims of abuse and diminishes public trust in law enforcement. An example of this phenomenon is a policeman causing physical or psychological harm to a person suspected of a crime by using tactics beyond the official procedure. Usually, this occurs even when the suspect doesn’t pose any danger to the policeman, so their forces are unequal in the policeman’s favor. This scenario has led to shocking statistics with over 1300 people killed in the United States per year from 2000 until today. However, similar incidents are common in other developed countries, yet with fewer fatal outcomes due to much rarer use of guns. Research suggests that police brutality in the United States is heavily linked with racial profiling and the most common victims of police violence are African Americans with many incidents leading to the death of innocent citizens. For an in-depth analysis, including solutions to police brutality, see our examples of a persuasive essay or a research paper on this issue. Also, a good argumentative essay on police brutality will outline important aspects such as statistic findings, racism among law enforcement officials or effective ways to combat violence. Explore our essay examples to learn more.
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