Police Brutality

But they didn't have to beat me this bad. I don't know what I did to be beat
                  up." Rodney King, March 3, 1991. Police brutality has been a long lasting
                  problem in the United States since at least 1903 when police Captain Williams
                  of the New York Police Departmen coined the phrase, "There is more law at
                  the end of a policeman's nightstick than in a decision of the Supreme Court."
                  In the 1920's the Wichersham Commission had a number of instances of police
                  brutality. Many of these included the use of the "third degree" (beating to
                  obtain a confession). This is a very effective way to get a confession out of
                  somebody. However, beating the accused could easily elicit a confession from
                  a scared and innocent person. Also, this puts the accused person's life in
                  danger. Police officers must make snap life and death decisions daily. Officers'
                  work in an environment where death (theirs, their partners, and an innocent or
                  guilty person) is one decision away. How does that constant fear effect an
                  officer's perception? Unfortunately, many that are attracted to law
                  enforcement are aggressive and prone towards violence as a solution. Police
                  officers have a lot of power. With this power comes responsibility. Police
                  brutality can be defined as the excessive or unreasonable use of force in
                  dealing with citizens, suspects and offenders. A nationally known example
                  occurred on the morning of March 3, 1991. Rodney King was pulled out of his
                  vehicle and beaten by two Los Angeles police officers.