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Word Count: 1,440
As Robert Cover established in his essay Violence and the Word violence is an integral aspect of legal practices From the arresting officers use of force to the sentence a judge passes down to the actual implementation of the sentence the legal process is riddled with violent acts and interpretations In this essay I will argue that if the use of violence by police officers is primarily a racial issue I will also show that if limits on police force are not well defined they will lead to increased separation mistrust and violent acts within communities The issue of race has always been fundamental to the topic of police violence Perhaps the most prominent time period for racially spawned police violence was after the civil war when slaves were emancipated The south was known for its strong racial biases and the souths police were no exception With the revival of the Ku Klux Klan many blacks were being victimized and the police did nothing to help In fact at least one-half of the lynchings were carried out with police officers participating and in nine-tenths of the others the officers either condoned or winked at the mob action Skolnick 24 This type of activity although well over one hundred years ago still affects the relationships between blacks and the police in the south today It is not just the south that has experienced its share of racially generated violence In 1900 New York erupted into a huge riot that stemmed from competition between Irish workers and Negro workers The Irish felt that their jobs were threatened by blacks offering to work for less money During these riots the police mostly Irish engaged in cracking the heads of Negroes and doing nothing to restrain the Irish mob Skolnick 72 Similar riots occurred in Ohio Indiana and Illinois accompanied by similar acts by the police More recent examples of racial tension and actions between police and blacks
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