In the immediate wake of the Daniel Shaver shooting in Arizona, many Floridians are left confused and distraught; however, there is one aspect that is certain: police brutality is still a tremendous issue in America today. Unfortunately, there are countless who suffer at the hands of law enforcement, never to see justice served.
Florida, similar to other states, contains specific laws surrounding police misconduct. Those who have been exposed to excessive force or other kind of police brutality have rights to take legal action, and to seek out truth in such an unfortunate and damaging situation.
The Truth in Numbers
Florida has seen a deplorable amount of gun violence at the hands of police in recent years. Mapping Police Violence, a website that draws statistical data from reputable sources on police brutality, shows that, between the years 2013 and 2017, the average annual police killings rate for all people in Florida was 4.704. For black people, that number was 9.70. The site also shares police reports, the number of unarmed victims in these deaths and other information on the issue. While MPV does note that the rate of police killings seems to be declining, it is still an alarming problem; there have only been 10 days where no one was killed by police in 2017.
Addressing the Situation
The United States Department of Justice provides an entry on addressing police misconduct laws, which are enforced by the department. The laws surrounding this type of professional misconduct include civil and criminal statutes, and cover officers on the state, county and local levels. The laws protect each U.S. citizen. Much to the public's outrage, one such law holds that any law enforcement officer found in violation of this protection could face fines, imprisonment or both; the reality is that this is simply not the case. The Department makes clear that while most officers are compliant with this law, there are some who slip through the cracks. Most would likely agree that it is up to the civil rights division, with the help of officers working together to obey the law, to resolve this alarming issue nationwide.