Police Brutality among Blacks and How it Increases Morbidity





Police Brutality among Blacks and How it Increases Morbidity

The article explores the cases on police brutality towards the blacks and the use of technology in recording such cases so that there can be public scrutiny. Often police brutality involves use of physical force such as forceful arrest, beatings or shootings that we mostly see but scholars are now involving emotional, verbal violence as well as psychological intimidation so part of the police brutality. Police brutality has been fueled by factors such as White supremacy as often one will find the white police officers will tend to exert more force while dealing with the blacks, it is the white privilege that has led to the devaluation of blackness. There is a link that exist between health care and police brutality and this may be because after harm has occurred or when an individual is harmed due to police brutality they are likely to go to the hospital for medical care.

The article points out the lack of empirical evidence that exists pointing out the link between police brutality and poor health group among the targeted race. There ae five ways that has been presented in the research article on how police brutality contributes to morbidity among both at the communal and individual level. The first ways are the fatal injuries that are inflicted on African Americans such as gun shots or broken limbs from forceful arrests or beatings which increases mortality rate. The second is the adverse psychological issues arising from the brutality which increases morbidity. The other reason is the racist public reaction that exist an example is how people will assume black man is guilty of a crime and this increases stress. Another factor is the high rate of incarcerations as well as arrests, high legal fees from paying bond or bail and other legal charges, funeral expenses in case of death and these factors causes financial strain on the family. Lastly we have the integrated oppressive structure, most of the system in place are still racist and this results in systematic disempowerment (Alang, pg. 662).

Physical injuries and death may be the closes effect of police brutality. According to a research that was conducted by the Guardian an African American male is nine times more likely to be killed by law enforcers (Swaine, et.al). The brutality is often fueled by the pence of certain stereotypes that exists for example most people believe that Blacks are more likely to commit crimes. Police brutality has led to increased mistrust and strain among the law enforcers. In cases where death does not happen. Injuries are likely to occur often due to use of too much force. An example is the case of Dondi Johnson who was arrested in Baltimore and suffered injuries from police including broken limbs that he later succumbed from these injuries (Alang, pg.663). There are far too many stories that are similar to this case. Police officers tend to be too aggressive with blacks and this is due to racism.

Psychological stress which is also a medical issue arises from police brutality. People living in areas with high police brutality cases are likely to experience psychological stress this is because most live in fear to the fact that they do not know if they may be next or their family members may be affected. Experiencing or witnessing a police brutality ma have adverse psychological effect on a person especially a child. If a child witnesses their father being beaten or shot by law enforcement, this is an occurrence that is likely to linger on their minds and affect them. Racist public relations also contribute also contributes to stress. An example is where one tries to stand up against police brutality they may five scrutiny and even get accused of violence. White institutions may judge Black people without really understanding where they are coming from. For most Black people they often have to chin up and continue with their life as if nothing is happening yet there is the issue of police brutality and this may result in stress build up (Alang pg. 663).

Economic and financial strain contributes to health decline among Blacks because police brutality may take away the life of a person who was a bread winner to the family. The cost of also treating injuries or funeral expenses are cost that a family may be inclined to bear even though they may have not have planned for it. Police brutality takes away the resources that are already limited in a black community and this partially explain why certain black neighborhoods are still in deplorable conditions (Alang, pg. 664). There is also black community’s disempowerment for example most cases that are presented in court are often dismissed and most of these officers resume work or just transferred. This often makes it hard for people who have gone through police brutality to seek justice because they know eventually nothing much will be done and justice will not be done.

Public health scholars may be a great contribution into understanding the extent of effect of police brutality. Most of the time people address the deaths and the injuries but there are far much more effects that increases morbidity including stress, financial constraint and racist systems that have disempowered black people. The health scholars need to be also on the forefront t in condemning all sorts of oppression. American Public Health Association has been on the forefront in doing so. They have proposed certain measures that may help in fighting police brutality including decriminalization of certain offences such as loitering as it may help in fighting racialized stops and frisking. Racial equality can only be achieved if everyone is ready to have the conversation on how the system is still unfair to minorities.

Works Cited

Alang, Sirry, et al. “Police brutality and black health: setting the agenda for public health scholars.” American journal of public health 107.5 (2017): 662-665.

Swaine, Jon, et al. “Young Black Men Killed by US Police at Highest Rate in Year of 1,134 Deaths.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 31 Dec. 2015, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men.