Law enforcement has a role to protect and serve the community

Law enforcement has a role to protect and serve the community, but yet society today seems to distrust law enforcement officers questioning if they are abusing their power of authority. There are a significant number of people who blame law enforcement’s use of heavy-handed tactics combined with cries of “racism” when it comes to everything from traffic stops to arrests to incarceration. Over time law enforcement and media has progressed a relationship that impacts the way society view negatively towards officers. In this essay it will examine the representation of both sides the police and the media including their symbiotic relationship and how they affect one another. How the way media chooses to report crime and justice therefore affecting the way society perceive and treat law enforcement officers.
Media today has such a wide range of sources that can be provided such as; mass news stations, radio, newspapers, and social media accounts (twitter, Instagram,etc.) all right at the palm of hand. Its purpose is to provide daily information to the general public with an understanding of social values and changes within their communities and society as a whole. The primary focus of the media is to keep the public informed and influence the way that they accept and perceive changes within society. (Jewkes,Y. 2011). There are constant reports reflecting law enforcement violence or misconduct, and it never fails that the races of the officer and the “victim” are an important factor of the reporter’s story. Instead they choose to state facts they feel are only important excluding necessary facts that make up about the actual cases. If society was receiving pure facts of a case explaining the situation while leaving out race and opinion, it is more likely they would develop their own thought of opinion about the situation without the influence of the media.
Police officers provide an essential role in the community; therefore they play an important role in the media. The two have this dependent relationship on each other due to the fact that crime and justice are a large percentage of what the media is daily reporting on. This is why the media has an impact on how they can affect law enforcement, and they do so by being able to shape the viewpoints of individuals having regarding to them. “Scholars have long noted the importance of the media in shaping citizens’ attitudes about crime and justice” Kathleen Donovan. Reporters have their stories focus more on the negative aspects rather than the positive when about someone in the law enforcement profession.
Next thing you know the media was making reports out on how law enforcement officers were “racist”. Due to the case of George Zimmerman, a Florida community watchman, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, back in early 2012. Numerous citizens held the police accountable for Zimmerman being found not guilty despite the fact a jury came to that conclusion, because of the way media portrayed this case. The issue with the media calling officers racists is that individuals are starting to truly believe officers are abusing their authority by actively seeking out black people to arrest or harass them. What people don’t realize is that not every incident is being reported out to the general public. According to police reports and FBI data, in a given year an estimate of 800 people killed by a police officer, half were white, and only a quarter were black. Data can prove that even it may seem as if officers are only shooting unarmed black people, this is not the case. The media has chosen to keep facts like these away from citizens in the low amount of stories about police injustices. It’s not easy to prove that the media has changed Americans’ thoughts about police officers because thoughts are much less concrete than actions. But negative thoughts lead to negative actions.
“According to the FBI, the number of police officers killed in the line of duty nearly doubled from 27 to 51 between 2013 and 2014.That is nearly one murdered police officer a week during 2014, which was also a little over a year after the mainstream media began its coordinated hate campaigns to demonize America’s law enforcement officers,” Nolte reports.
This statistic provides a look at the negative affects the media’s reportys about law enforcement has had. The number of police officers killed in the line of duty was steadily declining for years. The only variable factor in the last few years has been the media’s emphasis on reporting on cases like the Zimmerman case, Ferguson, Brown and so on. Cases where police officers either did their job correctly or were not charged rightly so, or were charged because they were an unethical cop and person. This has given law enforcement officers a bad name overall and has made them less likely to do their job efficiently and stay safe while doing so. Numerous officers are now being required to wear video cameras on their person so that they have evidence of whether or not they used proper tactics. If not wearing one then there will be a dashboard camera. As well society uses their camera phones to record any instances of police violence whether they are the victim or a bystander.
In conclusion, video surveillance could be a possible solution. In order for the media to reverse the impact they created they need to leave race, gender, income level and etc, out of the topic when it comes to reporting on crimes and law enforcement. In an ideal world, race would not be something that makes our mind think differently about someone or something they did. We would purely judge a persona on their character, whether they are good or bad. This tactic could possibly be a solution; however that is up to the media and public.