New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

What is the psychology behind police brutality?

On Behalf of | Tuesday Oct 11, 2022 | Police Misconduct

Police misconduct and brutality is a common problem in New York. Sadly, it’s often directed at people of color, who are not treated the same way as those who are white. Here is how to understand the psychology behind the matter.

How police brutality impacts Black people

For years, police brutality has shown its ugly face against people of color (POC), especially those who are Black. Two notable cases involved George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who were both killed by police in 2020.

George Floyd was killed after an officer knelt on his neck for over nine minutes. Floyd pleaded and said he couldn’t breathe but was ignored. He died from asphyxiation.

Breonna Taylor, a paramedic, was sleeping in her own apartment when police conducted a no-knock search, startling her boyfriend, who fired a shot fearing intruders. The police fired multiple shots, hitting Taylor and killing her. The raid was conducted due to a drug search, but the police had the wrong apartment.

Racism and racial profiling

Black men are at a much higher risk of dying due to police brutality and excessive force. The problem is racial profiling, which carries the assumption that Black people are automatically guilty. The deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd show that the police involved showed significant indifference to their lives.

Back in 2018, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) started training officers on implicit bias. However, the validity of some of these programs has been questioned as there have been many more instances of police brutality in recent years.

More work needs to be done to ensure that police officers are fit for their jobs. While everyone experiences stress, officers should not have biased beliefs about Black people or any other POC. Psychological assessments and training in diversity and inclusion might help in terms of all potential suspects and non-suspects being treated equally and fairly.