Sometimes, police officers may feel the need to use excessive force against their victims. When a law enforcement official intentionally uses unnecessary and excessive force against a perpetrator, he or she has committed an act of police brutality. Police brutality is considered to be a violation of civil rights and is therefore against the law. Any law enforcement agent – a police officer, prison guard, or any other authority figure of this sort – may commit this crime. In recent years, there has been an increase in reported cases of police brutality.
Causes of Police Brutality
The driving factors behind incidents of police brutality vary from case to case. However, trends have shown that often times, law enforcement authorities may feel the unnecessary need to use excessive force for the following reasons:
- Becoming personally involved in their work
- Succumbing to the high stress and emotional duress of their work
- Feelings of personal protectionism, due to the underlying notion of “kill or be killed”
- Pressure to return “results”
- Cultural pressures of the police community
Despite the fact that all police forces have codes of conduct to which their officers are expected to conform, some officials do still violate these contracts.