White Paper – capched

Working Hypothesis 1

  • The attention of police brutality has been heightened by social media during black lives matter.
  • New: social media has allowed the public to pay more attention to police brutality, as a result more police are being held accountable for their actions

Working Hypothesis 2

  • Police training needs revising as social media has exploited police officers and they’re true nature during black lives matter.
  • New: Social media is exploiting police officers on the job because they are not appropriately executing their job right by using unnecessary force

Academic Sources

Source 1. Friedersdorf, C. (2017, December 8). A Police Killing Without a Hint of Racism. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/a-police-killing-without-a-hint-of-racism/546983/. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/a-police-killing-without-a-hint-of-racism/546983/ 

Source 2. losangelestimes. (2017, December 8). Body-Cam Video Of Daniel Shaver Shooting | Los Angeles Times. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBUUx0jUKxc. 

  • Police officers have been killing people left and right. In this video, Daniel Shaver was shot and killed because he had complied with police instructions. The police had arrived at the scene due to a call claiming that Daniel Shaver had a gun. The gun was a pellet gun that he uses for work, but officers didn’t know that. Daniel was very compliant with the officers but the yelling and screaming may have gotten him scared. 
  • In situations like this, police officers should learn to control how they communicate with people because high emotions can lead to unexpected problems. Daniel Shaver was already a bit drunk so it added to his confusion of the situation. What is not understandable is that he didn’t have a weapon on him but officers still shot the man. 

Source 3. Smith, L. (2019, August 30). I Was a Cop for 18 Years. I Witnessed and Participated in Abuses of Power. Medium. https://gen.medium.com/i-was-a-cop-for-18-years-i-witnessed-and-participated-in-abuses-of-power-8d057c18f9ee. 

  • It’s surprising to see that a former police officer would admit to abusing their power while they were on duty. As the person stated, they didn’t have any training on how to use their power judiciously. They had to learn on the job and they made their own judgement during each situation. They were only taught the basics; driving, firearms training, report writing, and self-defense tactics. This person had arrested a man on Independence Day and had taunted the man about taking away his freedom. 
  • There’s no need for police to make statements like that when arresting someone. There was another incident where this former officer had threatened people with arrest if they didn’t move out of his way. This officer used his power on people just for the fun of it. When people have power, they often let that power get to their heads and it causes even greater problems.

Source 4. Dreyer, B. P., Trent, M., Anderson, A. T., Askew, G. L., Boyd, R., Coker, T. R., … Stein, F. (2020, September 1). The Death of George Floyd: Bending the Arc of History Toward Justice for Generations of Children. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/146/3/e2020009639. 

  • The killing of George Floyd has sparked a lot of tension with people around the world. It helped spark movements globally to reform police training and call to awareness of black lives being killed at the hands of police. George Floyd tried using a counterfeit $20 bill and officers came to the scene and placed the man in handcuffs. They had also forced him on his stomach and former officer Derek Chauvin had placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for about 9 mins. Floyd claimed he couldn’t breathe, but the former officer had ignored him. This had resulted in George Floyd’s death. Chauvin seemed to didn’t care about Floyd’s life, otherwise he would’ve let up from his neck. Luckily someone had recorded the entire incident so that the world could also see what’s going on. 

Source 5. Mitchell, M. (2020, August 29). Don’t make 17-year-old Kenosha shooter a hero. Times. https://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/2020/8/28/21406302/kenosha-kyle-rittenhouse-no-hero-jacob-blake. 

  • It seems counterintuitive that the police officers didn’t get aggressive with Kyle Rittenhouse. Kyle Rittenhouse was a 17 year old boy who shot 2 people at the Kenosha protest in August 2020. After the shooting he had walked by police while carrying the semi-automatic gun and police had given him a water bottle. There wasn’t any dispute that happened between Rittenhouse and police during the night. The boy was in possession of a firearm illegally and was able to go home that night even after people told officers about what had happened. 
  • This had upsetted a lot of people because they felt like if a black man had done the same thing, the officers’ reaction would have been different. Eventually, Rittenhouse was charged for his crimes that he had committed. 

Source 6. Cuncic, A. (2021, January 17). The Psychology Behind Police Brutality. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-psychology-behind-police-brutality-5077410. 

Source 7. Brooks, D. (2020, June 16). The Culture of Policing Is Broken. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/how-police-brutality-gets-made/613030/. 

  • It seems counterintuitive to say that all officers aren’t found guilty of police brutality. There are a lot of policemen and women that work to actually protect people and not fight them. But there is something that makes police officers act the way they do. In their training they are told repeatedly that the world is threatening. A person standing 21 feet away who’s holding a knife can stab an officer before they get the chance to pull out their gun. A lot of police officers end up having PTSD due to the situations that they are put in. Officers are faced with a lot of pressure when dealing with certain situations. They fight to protect others but at the same also want to protect themselves too.

Definition

  • Police brutality is when people are violated of their basic rights by a police officer. Police officers would tend to use unnecessary excessive force to deal with people. Sometimes the excessive force isn’t needed, but some officers don’t understand that. Some officers feel like what they’re doing is the right way to handle certain situations.

Causal

  • Police brutality happens because some officers feel entitled to abuse their power. Police officers could sometimes feel threatened and want to reassure the victim that the officer has the power and the victim should respect that and not try anything funny. Some police officers may have PTSD and change their behavior depending on the person that they’re dealing with. Not all police officers just wake up and choose violence. They could probably be going through some problems in their life that make who they are.

Rebuttal

  • Police brutality happens because some victims may end up resisting and not corresponding smoothly with police officers’ demands.Some people could cause some officers to use excessive force because they may end up fleeing from the scene. Such as during a car chase. The victim is driving away while officers are chasing after them. Then once the chase is over, police officers may end up being aggressive so they can prevent the victim from fleeing again and putting other people’s lives in danger. Social media doesn’t really show this side of police officers. It mostly shows the negative actions police officers commit.

Current State of the Research

I feel very good about the progress I made so far. This is only the beginning and there’s more progress to be made. The paper sounds like it can be strong depending on how I go about writing it. After looking more into my topic I had uncovered some things that I had no idea about. My opinion on police has changed after doing research. I realized that they really do go through a lot and it changes their mentality at times. I anticipate my outcome to express my thoughts on social media and police brutality and to shine a light on some police officers.

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7 Responses to White Paper – capched

  1. davidbdale says:

    Working Hypothesis 1
    The attention of police brutality has been heightened by social media during black lives matter.

    This is too obvious to be a Hypothesis. It names three important elements of a social argument, but it’s the equivalent of saying “when fans were allowed to return to live baseball games, more people observed the game from the seats.” A good hypothesis would focus on the RESULT of more fans in the seats, more eyes on the police. Did the players’ performance change? Did cops start interacting differently with suspects?

    Working Hypothesis 2
    Police training needs revising as social media has exploited police officers and their true nature during black lives matter.

    Too vague. “Training needs revising” could mean police need to be more assertive and brutal in the first seconds of an encounter. “Their true nature” could mean “cops are natural peacemakers and require additional weapons to counter their innate submissiveness.” Or they could mean something quite different.

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  2. davidbdale says:

    I had a hard time distinguishing where one source ended and the next began, so I reorganized and numbered them.

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  3. davidbdale says:

    The first two sources, both about the Daniel Shaver killing, don’t mention that both the officer and the shooting victim were white, which was an essential component of the Atlantic story. Their race may be irrelevant to your argument, or it may be crucial. I can’t tell from your analysis which is true, but the fact that you named Black Lives Matter in one of your Hypotheses demands that you consider race as a factor in violent encounters IF you pursue that angle.

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  4. davidbdale says:

    Sources 3 and 4 may be extremely relevant to your eventual thesis, but since you don’t seem to have settled on one yet, it’s hard to tell how relevant. At a minimum, you need to DECLARE your point of view AT THIS TIME as you interact with your sources. Hypotheses evolve, but they need to be CLEAR at all times.

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  5. davidbdale says:

    In Source 5 you focus on the race of Rittenhouse, whereas in 1 and 2, you neglected to mention race at all. The sooner you decide whether your hypothesis focuses on police violence IRRESPECTIVE of race, or whether you want to focus on the RACIAL OVERTONES of police brutality, the sooner you can start writing short arguments that focus on primary issues.

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  6. davidbdale says:

    Source 7 appears to take a race-neutral position on police training. You might want to consider this approach, never naming the race of the police or their suspects in the encounters you cite as anecdotal evidence. If so, you won’t need or benefit from mentions of Black Lives Matter except, perhaps, to explain that it was BLM that first focused the nation’s attention on generalized brutality. Just don’t try to cover BOTH generalized brutality and racial bias. The combination is too broad.

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  7. davidbdale says:

    Your Short Argument descriptions are race-neutral. This may indicate the natural progression of your thinking in away from a racial focus. If so, make that choice as quickly as possible and drill down on the basics of training that result in brutal police behavior.

    REBUTTAL ARGUMENTS are hard to describe. You need to do it better here. I cannot tell what claim you want to REFUTE. Is someone who says, “Suspects can avoid violence if they just comply” a person you want to REFUTE? Your mention of social media further confuses the question. MAYBE you mean “social media show only the brutality when suspects provoke the violence by their own actions.” And perhaps THAT’s the implied CLAIM you want to dispute. I can’t tell.

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