Friday, January 1, 2016

A victim's behavior is irrelevant in cases of police brutality

Whenever someone tries to talk about police brutality, there are always people who try to make it about what the victims should have done differently. Unless the officer or others were in danger (in which case the victim isn't really a victim), the victim's behavior is irrelevant.

It does not matter if the victim made disrespectful comments or questioned the officer's authority. It does not even matter if the victim was a suspect in a crime. Police officers are in a position of power, and they should be held to a higher, not lower, standard of behavior.

If a wife is beaten by her husband for saying something he found disrespectful, we would not excuse the husband's behavior, so, why do it for police officers? If an employee is beaten by their boss because they did not follow orders, we would not say the boss' behavior was justified. If someone suspects their neighbor stole their stereo and shoots them, we would not say whether the shooting was justified depends on whether the neighbor actually stole the stereo.

People who make incidents of police brutality about a victim's behavior, take the focus away from where the focus should be: What changes should be made throughout police forces to reduce the incidences of police brutality. Do not justify or shift focus away from police brutality by blaming the victims.

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