June 6, 2024

Causes of Police Brutality in California

A recent independent audit of the Sacramento police department found that Black drivers were stopped 3 times more often than others, Black pedestrians were stopped 6 times more often, and Black people in general were 3 times more likely to be patted down for drugs, weapons, and even suspected stolen goods.

Police misconduct, like the racial profiling above, is a pressing issue that affects many communities across the United States, including California and Sacramento in particular. Police brutality is plaguing the citizens of Sacramento and all of California. Why do police officers commit acts of excessive force?

Anyone who has been a victim should immediately consult a California police brutality lawyer. 

What Is Police Brutality?

Excessive use of force by police against civilians, resulting in injury, loss of life, or violations of civil rights is illegal. Civil rights violations can also fall under the umbrella of police misconduct. To explain it another way, police brutality occurs when law enforcement abuses their power, engages in unnecessary violence, or violates the people’s rights. 

This misconduct can manifest in various forms, such as physical assault, verbal abuse, racial profiling, and discriminatory practices. One of the most common forms of police misconduct is denying detained and arrested people access to their lawyers—no nightstick involved.

The Main Causes of Police Brutality

Systemic Racism

One of the primary causes of police brutality is systemic racism, which is a problem at every stage of the criminal justice system from beat cops to the courtroom to parole boards. Minority communities, particularly Black and Hispanics, are disproportionately targeted and receive harsher penalties. 

Lack of Accountability 

Inadequate internal investigations, the presence of “blue wall of silence,” and the unwillingness to hold team members accountable for their actions all contribute to the perpetuation of police brutality. 

Training and Education Deficiencies 

Insufficient or ineffective training and education plays a role in police brutality. Without improved training, cultural awareness, and a thorough understanding of implicit bias, officers’ default responses will remain the same.

Militarization of the Police

The increasing militarization of police departments has raised concerns about the escalation of force. The equipment and tactics used by law enforcement, originally intended for combating terrorism and serious crimes, have been deployed in schools and at public assemblies. 

Examples of Police Brutality in Sacramento

Foucha Coner’s March 2024 Case

Foucha Coner, a young Black man, was wrongfully arrested and subjected to excessive force during a routine traffic stop. Despite cooperating with the Sacramento police, Coner endured physical assault and racial slurs. 

Trish Hill’s April 2016 Case

Trish Hill, a 10-year-old Black girl, was handcuffed by a police officer in Sacramento while playing in her neighborhood. The incident sparked outrage and raised questions about the use of force against not only Blacks but also minors. 

How to Report Police Brutality

Contact the internal affairs division of the police department in question. Provide them with the documented information and evidence you have collected. You may wish to consult with a Sacramento police brutality lawyer first and report the incident together. Don’t delay though. Report it as soon as you can.

Consult a Sacramento Police Brutality Attorney

Together, we can work towards a safer and more just Sacramento, holding law enforcement accountable for their actions and ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. To consult with one of Pointer and Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People police brutality lawyers, contact our office now or give us a call at (510) 929-5400. We are available 24/7.


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