Police brutality signifies the use of any force beyond what is believed to be practically required to carry out a legitimate police objective. There have been numerous cases of police shootings or brutal victimizing during prosecutions motivated by prejudice, both in the United States and around the world. Many other instances show how promptly police resorted to force in reaction to protests or confrontations. Hong Kong police frequently used illegal force against protestors in 2019 and 2020, such as the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Too frequently, cops who shoot or injure individuals after abusing power are not charged.

Police Brutality Undermines Human Rights

Police brutality in Los Angeles is the inappropriate, unnecessary, and frequently unlawful use of power by American cops against people. Police brutality has taken several different forms over the years, including violent attacks, destruction, humiliation, and even assassination. In some wider meanings of the term “police brutality,” other types of misconduct such as verbal harassment, extortion, and harassment (even wrongful imprisonment) are also included. Police brutality is the unjustified and/or illegal usage of force by police officers that infringes on people’s civil and basic rights.

Wednesday’s commemoration of the 1991 assault stands as a harsh recall for some Los Angeles citizens of the aspects that the cruel and racial law enforcement actions of the 1990s are still alive today. The Los Angeles police force is being made accountable for its failure to stop the brutality, systemic racism, and police misconduct since the historic rebellion thirty years after the brutal attack on Rodney King. A new generation of activists who campaigned against police shootings of people, unfair arrests and traffic stop, persecution and espionage of Black and Latino citizens, and armed tactics to protests have been scathing for the Los Angeles Police Department in recent years.

An African American man was killed by Los Angeles Police Officers

An African American man named Rodney Glen King, who was killed on June 17, 2012, was the victim of police shootings. He was arrested for driving while intoxicated on March 3, 1991, and was beaten while being taken into custody by Los Angeles Police Department officers. George Holliday, an eyewitness, recorded the incident from his nearby balcony and forwarded the clip to the KTLA news station. The film depicts King being assaulted on the ground after the first eluding arrest. The incident triggered a national outcry and was reported by media organizations worldwide. This was one of the first recordings to expose this type of violence, which was so prevalent.

Jody David Armor, a law professor and specialist on police misconduct at the University of Southern California, recounted how rapidly all television stations across the country began airing footage of the incident. Mass rallies were not sparked by the footage itself. As a result of the policemen’s verdict in April 1992, however, outrage over police brutality and racial oppression in South Los Angeles erupted, leading to riots that left more than 60 people dead and more than 1,000 properties badly damaged. Four white Los Angeles Police Department officers brutally beat and assaulted 25-year-old Rodney King on the sidewalk after pulling him over on March 3, 1991, just after nightfall. King was lying face down when the police hit him 56 times with their Tasers.

The 4 police officers involved will be punished for using unreasonable force, and 3 would be convicted of crimes, according to Los Angeles police commissioner Daryl Gates, who announced the decision at a press conference. The felony evading allegation against King was later dropped by the Los Angeles Police Department. After being released, he talked to reporters while seated in a wheelchair. His wounds were apparent, including a badly broken right leg in a cast, a seriously wounded and bruised face, body scars, and a burn patch on his chest from being fired with a stun gun. He described how he had knelt, stretched his hands out, and then attempted to move slowly so as not to make any dumb moves, only to be shocked and hit in the face by a Billy club. He stated that when they came closer to him, he was frightened for his life.

Post-arrest activities and consequences

Following the arrest, King was transferred to Pacifica Hospital where it was found that he had multiple injuries and lacerations, a fractured right ankle, a cracked face bone, and other wounds. King said he had experienced 11 skull injuries, chronic brain damage, broken teeth and bones, renal failure, and psychological and physical trauma in a carelessness lawsuit he filed with the city. King was given urine samples and blood five hours after being arrested. King’s blood alcohol concentration test result was 0.075%, which indicates he was not highly intoxicated according to California law at the moment of his arrest. The legal limit as per California law is 0.08%. Marijuana was discovered in the lab tests in minute amounts i.e. (26 ng/ml).

Caregivers at Pacifica Hospital stated that the police officers who lead the King openly made jokes and laughed about how many times they had hit King. King’s identification was then collected by the police officers from his clothes pockets. King later lodged a complaint against the city for injuries, and a court agreed to give him $3.8 million as well as $1.7 million for court fees and other expenses. King was not prosecuted by the city for evading arrest and driving under the influence. Ira Reiner, the state’s attorney, claimed that there wasn’t enough evidence to file complaints. Gil Garcetti believed that the limitation period for driving while intoxicated had run out by December 1992 and that there had been too much time passed for King to be prosecuted with evading arrest.

The Rampart scandal incident sparked federal supervision and control, as well as several reform campaigns including de-escalation methods, implicit bias training, community work, quality audit, improved data gathering, tutoring on community policing, and greater diversity of the force, which were embraced in the following years. However, 2 years later, the improvements may not have gone far enough or even been working as planned. Black and Latinos are pulled over and searched by Los Angeles Police Department officers at significantly higher proportions than white ones, according to current statistics. Officers have been accused of illegally classifying civilians as members of terrorists and gangs in registries over the last two years by using false information.

However, in the late 1990s, the Los Angeles Police Department was entangled in a rampant corruption, brutality, and drug-dealing affair in which officers falsely reported incidents and wrongfully accused innocent people, resulting in more than 100 false prosecutions. When using force against protesters, the Los Angeles Police Department appeared to have frequently disregarded its regulations, as reported by the LA Times last year, in certain cases severely injuring protesters. Moreover, the Los Angeles Police Department has been forced to issue two different public statements of regret in the previous month: first, after it was asserted that police officers had circulated an aggressive meme mocking George Floyd, and second after the chief accepted supplying erroneous data to the LA Times that suggested a marked drop in confrontational traffic stops. Advocates believe that the newly appointed LA district attorney, George Gascón, who was endorsed by liberal organizations and vowed to hold police accountable and reinvestigate the cases of killings by police officers, would bring about some improvements.


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