Violation of US Citizens’ Rights by the Police
Police brutality and homicide by police in the United States over several decades, has particularly directly or indirectly affected the African-American community of the country. According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, three times as many adult black males are killed by the police than whites. Police committed roughly 8% of all U.S. homicides involving adult male victims between 2012 and 2018, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Police brutality in America threatens the citizen’s rights of individuals.
According to statistics, only a minority of white police officers who have committed homicide against black people are ever convicted in court.
In view of research carried out on 15 homicide case files from 2014 to 2016, the New York Times writes that the police action has been unjustified and only in a few cases the officers involved have provided explanations, while in most shootings that result in homicide by police, no legal justifications have been provided. Also the New York Times points out that Officers were indicted or charged in eight of the cases. Three cases resulted in convictions, one of which came with a prison sentence after a guilty plea. No charges were brought up against the officers in the other 7 homicides.
With regards to the violation of citizens’ rights in a BBC report on 4 October 2018, Hundreds of people are killed by police in the US each year, and much attention has been paid recently to the high proportion that are black. But there's another disturbing trend that is rarely discussed – individuals with mental and physical disabilities. It was shortly after 05:00 when three West Milwaukee police officers broke into the home of 22-year-old Adam Trammell to find him naked and bewildered, standing in his bathtub as water from the shower ran down his body.
Adam, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was having some form of breakdown. A neighbour had called 911 to report that she had seen him naked in the corridor, talking about the devil. She thought Adam's name was Brandon, and told police this when they arrived at the building.
According to his father, Larry Trammell, Adam often had delusions and hallucinations. He would take showers to help him calm down when he felt anxious. Adam was not armed and he did not appear to behave in a threatening manner. But he did not leave the shower as the police commanded. The officers then fired their Tasers at him 15 times, administering long, painful electric shocks as he screamed and writhed in the bathtub.
Then more officers arrived, and after dragging him, still naked, from his apartment, they held him down and he was injected with sedatives - midazolam at first, and then ketamine. Moments later, Adam stopped breathing. He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead soon after arrival. The date was 25 May 2017. There was no national media attention and there were no riots or protest marches. Almost unnoticed.
The report continues, conservative estimates suggest that about a quarter of those who die in these interactions have a disability - whether mental, intellectual or physical. But other research indicates that the proportion may be far greater.
Already in 2018, across the US, at least 136 people with a disability are known to have been killed by police officers, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post and analysis of local media reports.
In many countries the police would be the last resort when people are going through mental health crises but in the US, they are often the first to respond because of the lack of more specialised agencies.