Police Brutality


Police brutality is the wanton (deliberate and unprovoked) use of excessive force, usually physical, but also common in forms of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer.

Some Important Facts

  • In 2011 approx. 62.9 million people had come in contact with law enforcement, and in 2008 an estimated 1.4% of people had force used, or threatened to be used on them.
  • 4,861 – Unique reports of police misconduct tracked*

  • 6,613 - Number of sworn law enforcement officers involved (354 were agency leaders such as chiefs or sheriffs)
  • 6,826 - Number of alleged victims involved
  • 247 – Number of fatalities associated with tracked reports
  • $346,512,800 – Estimated amount spent on misconduct-related civil judgments and settlements excluding sealed settlements, court costs, and attorney fees.

Video of Eric Garner NYPD Chokehold

Raw footage of officers taking down Eric Garner

Ways to prevent further police brutality

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has released their opinions on what should be done when it comes to police brutality.

"We’ve always been concerned about the privacy-invading potential of body cameras. Balanced against these privacy dangers, however, is the significant need to increase oversight in light of the long record of abusive and illegal behavior by police officers (and other law enforcement agents like Border Patrol officers). Police in specific circumstances are given the authority to shoot to kill, to use brutal force, and to arrest citizens—and all too often, officers abuse those powers."