For my research essay, I will examine how the media portrays law enforcement and how it’s affecting these departments around the country.
Throughout the country police officers feel as if they are perceived to be the criminal and that isn’t the mentality a police officer should have. Social media is a major cause to the irrational hatred the police receives and it is ultimately leading to a decline in numbers in law enforcement. These accusations of the media are not at all false, the majority of police officers agree with the idea on how the media treats them poorly. Police officers are everyday citizens outside of their job and have to deal with these things, and for someone who protects and serves their community to be ridiculed for doing their job is truly unjust.
The Essential Content of the Article: This article published by The National Interest provides a case in Alabama where a man was pulled over by a police officer but instead of cooperating he decides to beat the officer as others join in and video the helpless man. The officer didn’t fight back in fear of repercussions of the media and said, “I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now. It’s hard times right now for us.”
What it proves: This article proves that the media has an affect on the mindset of a police officer now and is now altering decisions that can risk their life. This is a perfect example of how unwanted prejudice leads to attacks against law enforcement, which is happening all around the country.
The Essential Content of the Article: The main point of this article is that numbers in the police force have been declining rapidly around the country. Entrance exam numbers have gone down tremendously, for example in Fairfax County, Virginia, there were 4,000 applicants for their exam in 2011, but now will only catch the eye of 300.
What it proves: There must be a major cause to this 90% drop of applicants and people are now looking to the media to be that influence. Ultimately, this is proving that not only does the media affect day to day officers, it is trickling down into the young minds making them not want to pursue their dreams anymore in law enforcement.
The Essential Content of the Article: Pew Research Center ran surveys in 2016 to get the opinion of police officers on how they feel the media treats the police. The results were shocking, with 81% of them saying the media treats them unfairly, and half of that saying they strongly agree. Also, this survey also showed that about 50% of police officers feel that the public doesn’t understand the risks and hardships they go through and could be another potential reason for their tarnished image.
What it proves: This research backs up the theory that media is influencing law enforcement and all of it is undeserved. Society believes that the news headlines that ridicule police officers do not alter them, but how would you feel if you had to be the “bad guy” all the time when you’re just trying to do your job?
The Essential Content of the Article: I decided to utilize this article to show an opposing side to this argument. This article published by CNN preaches upon that their haven’t been more “controversial” police incidents, there has just been more media coverage on them giving them more exposure. A big part to this more exposure is cell phones because it gives eye witnesses the ability to record everything that goes on.
What it proves: This may prove that this type of behavior from law enforcement can be a recurring thing dating back way farther to Eric Garner and Ferguson, Missouri. Maybe more exposure to these incidents will educate the public about what is really going on in our police departments around the country.
The Essential Content of the Article: This article helps seek through the “pros and cons” that social media brings to law enforcement. This is only a part of the argument but I feel that it has a lot more importance than people think it has. Social media nowadays is used by law enforcement to assist in looking for missing children, and also helps spread word about important news from the police to the public. But social media has created a whole new world of law enforcement including pedophiles using a these networks as a platform to meet young children, and ISIS and other organizations like that use social networking to recruit people overseas.
What it proves: This proves that social media is a double edged sword for law enforcement, but it can be a very vital thing to law enforcement. It is starting to be used in police departments to communicate with the public, gather information about certain people, and can also be used a form of evidence. This goes to show that the police really are trying to help out but at the end of the day the media still portrays them as victims in certain scenarios.
The Essential Content of the Article: The article posted by The Conversation states that there are 3 sides to social media and crime. It states that essentially social media is taking over to be the majority’s primary news source which can potentially be a major problem due to all the controversy between the industries. It also shows how social media is a good thing for law enforcement by it aiding with investigations, having more access to the public, and it has also made it alot easier to communicate with the public in times of crisis. There are too much of a hatred bias on social media for it to be the main news source.
What it proves: This proves that a lot more people (the majority of them being young) turn to social media as their news outlet which eventually is going to turn into a big problem due to how unreliable it is. People will believe anything they see on social media nowadays, it is so credulous of them.
The Essential Content of the Article: This piece gives examples at how social media benefits the police. Police are able to use social media to find tips from followers about the bragging of crimes on social media. Also, police agencies use social media in hiring decisions. Law enforcement agencies already do extensive background searches on their applicants before they are hired but by looking into social media accounts it gives these departments a better look at the character of their candidates.
What it proves: I wanted to use this article to show that even though social media is a burden on law enforcement, it also very useful for the police. This is why there must be a resolve between these two industries. There is too much distrust between them and how they are skewed against each other.
The Essential Content of the Article: The impact social media has on law enforcement has made the interactions between them erratic. A big example is how the police are affected by the attacks on their credibility. Social media gives information to irrelevant people which is how things get escalated, and at the same time police officers are verbally attacked on social media at all times. In addition, the rise of “questionable” videos online poses a threat to departments and is called cop baiting. By doing this, it makes police officers second guess their decisions which can end up hurting themself.
What it proves: This proves that there are people out there on social media that want to expose police officers for their every move. Cop baiting is a serious epidemic among our country and is starting to make police officers question if things are a set up sometimes, it’s really sad. Social media makes police officers the biggest public figures it also comes along with the fact that the barrier between their professional and personal is no longer existent.
The Essential Content of the Article: A major reason as to why there is so much shown hatred towards law enforcement is the accusations that police officers are prejudice and this article points out some of that racial prejudice that goes in in Baltimore, Maryland. In order for the media and the police to nicely mesh with each other, the police have to fully clean up their act before they can turn around and point fingers. An investigation given by the US Department of Justice uncovered many instances of unreasonable targeting against black individuals in that area.
What it proves: This does prove that there are some prejudicial and bias things that go on through some police departments, so the haters are right, but to an extent. But before the media goes a day without trying to expose the men in blue, all police departments have to clean up their act before they call themselves the victims.
The Essential Content of the Article: This article focuses upon the fact that these two professions have so much controversy because they do not fully understand the other person’s job. A former crime reporter named Carolyn Lowe who worked for WCCO-TV decided to take a challenge and took a college class to try and learn more about law enforcement. One class led to another and next thing you know, she has a masters degree and is a certified officer. She really wanted to gain better insight on the job of policing and she did by taking matters into her own hands by actually becoming one.
What it proves: This proves that if we were to just understand what goes on in these professions, there would be a lot less skepticism and controversy between them. There is a resolution and it will come one day but if we do not put ourselves aside then it will not happen. The media is seriously affecting the way law enforcement is now acting and there needs to be a resolve before things really do get out of hand.