Modern Policing: Reality vs. Social Media

The advent of social networking and increased presence in the online world has brought a definite rise in cases involving aggressive policing, police brutality, or even ruthless and thoughtless murder by the police. Through better recording devices due to advancements in phone technology or social websites like Twitter, everyone can express their opinion; the previous statement does become a valid argument. However, even before the advent of social media, the newspaper would always base their views on bias because they preferred a good readership over the truth. Social media is not far from this, as controversy is the key to getting famous quickly online, so who says these cases are not manufactured to demean one side? Here we will look through some recent cases of aggressive policing and determine which side holds more truth over the other.

Two recent and famous examples are Amir Locke and Breonna Taylor, both victims of the infamous “no-knock” search warrant. The former, Amir Locke, was a 22-year-old man preparing to move to Dallas the following week. However, his ambition would be cut short by the very forceful intrusion of the police. The raid itself was part of a homicide investigation with a warrant not specified to Amir Locke; instead, it connected with Locke’s cousin. The Minneapolis Police were all to trigger happy with how they handled the encounter, though, as they approached the sleeping Locke, they kicked the couch he was sleeping on, effectively startling him. His reaction would be as one would expect from a person who believes his home was broken into while being half-conscious; he grabbed for his gun, to which he had a permit, to defend himself. The result; three bullets in an almost execution-like style, shot by one Mark Hannaman.

The latter, Breonna Taylor, was also subjected to similar injustice. The Louisville Metro Police Department was investigating Jamarcus Glover and Adrian Walker to sell controlled substances. While Jamarcus Glover did have an on-and-off relationship with the victim, Breonna Taylor, she was completely uninvolved in his activities. However, the police obtained a “no-knock” search warrant for Taylor’s apartment. The warrant itself had multiple reasons, which were discredited after new information came to light, leading to an internal investigation after the incident. The police arrived in plain clothes used a battering ram to break open the door. Even after Kenneth Walker (Breonna’s then-boyfriend and un-affiliated with Adrian Walker) asked the intruders for their identity, they did not respond. He then armed himself and gave a warning shot to the officers, who barrage the house with 32 successive rounds of fire. While Walker himself remained unharmed, Taylor was struck by six bullets with the final bullet shot by one Officer Cosgrove. She was pronounced dead on the scene, and the officers left the scene without searching the house. Through both of these examples, it can be seen that even though the “no-knock” warrant did allow an unfavorable reaction to the officers, instead of containing the situation, they chose a more aggressive approach leading to two innocent lives lost.

One defense that is often used by the police in its justification of either rushed process, excessive use of force, or even police brutality is excited delirium. It is most commonly diagnosed in black individuals, which already sounds like prejudice. The death of Elijah McClain is one example of excessive ketamine use to restrain a man who was already in custody. Whether this is a fault in the procedure, as in the case of repeated Taser use on Robert Dziekanski, or it is a particular miscalculation of officers in an emergency, excited delirium cannot be used as a justification for such lack of procedure.

Certain cases lead us to question the impact of public scrutiny and social media’s opinion on judicial proceedings and justice. Topics such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have been pushed to be brought to the truth due to social media uproar. Such as recent cases of Terence Crutcher[1], Officer Betty Shelby had fired at an unarmed man who failed to comply with her orders and was about to retrieve what she thought was a gun. She shot at him under fear for her life, and he died. In her opinion, her actions were due to her training and not based on racial prejudices that the public perceived it to be.

In an interview with the Australian program ’60 minutes’, she explained that as an officer on duty, there are specific protocols that a person must follow, and she had simply complied with it; the anticipation of danger then entitles her to use excessive force. The court of law also found the defense valid. Thus, it can be concluded by this case that while these protocols or ‘liberties’ allowed to law enforcement are controversial, they are not invalid as per law.

Similarly, Antwon Rose[2] was shot because he ran out of a car that the police believed matched the description of a vehicle involved in a shooting. A previous suspicion was mixed with an action taken out of intimidation, and 17-year-old Rose got shot. In such high alert situations, the police are directed to act in a way that restrains the offender and protects any bystanders around, whether that be other law enforcement officers. Thus, the jury found Michael Rosfeld not guilty on all counts. The judgments in these cases cannot always be right by all sociopolitical standards. One has to consider that these departments of law are given certain privileges and immunities that are essential to their proper functioning.

Consequently, it isn’t too far-fetched to assume that aggressive policing still occurs frequently but not so much fervently. There have been many cases where justice was always delayed for the law enforcers in question under the guise of “internal investigation,” while swift “justice” was given to the so-called lawbreakers.

I am not in a position to announce my judgment on this topic; rather, if this community of readers answers the following questions, we all might arrive at a more conclusive result.

  • Is it too far-fetched to assume that modern-day policing is inherently biased?
  • Statistics argue that non-white males are more likely to get jailed for crimes than the former, primarily African American people. Is it not because people from the improvised areas are populated with non-white people who have been stripped of the opportunity to make a decent living, forcing them to turn to a life of violent crime?
  • Recently, there has been a rise in non-authoritarian agenda amongst people, and some have resorted to taking out frustration on the police. Is it wrong to assume they would be on high alert against any non-compliance?
  • Although racial profiling is a long-standing issue, should we give in to fear and view the peacekeepers sworn to protect us as hostile?
  • A few bad peas in a pod certainly can’t mean the whole produce is rotten, or can it?

[1] CNN Editorial Research, Controversial Police Encounters Fast Facts (Jan, 2022) article available at

[2] CNN Editorial Research, Controversial Police Encounters Fast Facts (Jan, 2022) article available at

Help spread the message

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *