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Everyone is affected by police brutality, but it can be stopped

There are times when police officers must use force. Someone they're arresting may be fighting with them or have a weapon that they won't drop. Officers may have no choice but to use their K9 to capture someone who is fleeing, or they may have to pin someone down with their bodyweight to arrest them because of the individual's aggression toward them.

In many situations, it's true that the police have to use force. That force may be justified. However, there is also a point where some people go too far. Injuring a compliant individual, using force to intentionally injure someone who was not a threat and other situations could amount to police brutality.

What kinds of actions are considered to be police brutality?

Police brutality has ranged from cases of assault and battery to torture and murder. False arrests, verbal abuse and intimidation may also fall under police brutality. Anyone who suffers serious injuries or who is falsely arrested should consider taking legal action and to assert their rights. No police officer should be using more force than is necessary for an arrest, no matter the situation.

Who suffers from police brutality?

It's important to understand that anyone can be a victim of police brutality. All races, ethnicities, genders, classes and ages have been victimized in the past. A majority of victims are African American or part of minority groups.

What kinds of steps are being taken to address police brutality around Chicago?

There are many steps that can be taken to address police brutality cases in Chicago and beyond. A few ideas that have been suggested among major universities include:

  • Increasing accountability by changing the terms of police department contracts. For example, police departments with university contracts may need to abide by specific policies to obtain revenue from the schools.
  • Cutting ties with police departments that refuse to adjust to new contacts or policies.
  • Banning aggressive police tactics within campus safety departments.
  • Demilitarizing campus police.

In the larger community, seeking changes in laws, such as encouraging legislation that restricts actions like using choke holds or other dangerous movements against others may help. Similarly, further training on how to deescalate a situation and encouraging better community interactions can make a difference in reducing brutality cases and improving the communication between police departments and the communities they serve. Good training and education are key components to helping communities and police departments connect in a more positive way.

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