Grand Valley State University
The public relations world is full of mending reputations after crisis and incidents. Being that no one or no company is perfect, things are said, tweeted and done that need some cleaning up, and that is what us, PR professionals are here for. In the past year, there have been numerous run-ins with the police forces here in the United States that have left a bad taste in our citizen’s mouths. Since there were so many different police departments involved in these tragedies, a general clean-up of the nation’s police departments will be taking place.
In the first situation of police brutality that sparked up controversy was the incident that led up to the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. The death and treatment of teenager, Michael Brown was the tragedy that led to the uprising of riots that made the nation stand still. The reason on why he was killed can be debated all day, but the unarmed teenager’s body after it had been gunned down stood lying in the street for hours after he had passed (Broidy, Kalleberg, Santoro). The treatment of his body as if he were an animal is enough to anger anyone who has a heart, criminal or not. The police force had their reasons for everything they did, but the way it was done did not please the general public which led to riots in Ferguson to show their anger towards the police force that lasted for a surmountable amount of time.
The second situation that I would like to capitalize on isn’t exactly one situation, but police brutality that got noticed a bit more after the Mike Brown incident and riots that followed. Situations like the death of Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray have shined a very unpleasant light on police and the way they handle things. It seems as if each situation as it happens would prevent the next one because of the backlash these officers and the force as a whole are receiving, but they seem to get worse and merciless as time goes on. This is where I come in.
The Police force in the United States as a whole needs a bit of a facelift. Although it isn’t too much you can do to make a branch of the government look better, it is definitely worth a shot at this point. A campaign to make police appear in ways to be more approachable and even less racist would be extremely profitable. These incidents that have occurred have changed the way people look at cops. They are perceived as monsters rather than the people here to protect us. Events incorporating the communities, especially in the inner-city would be extremely successful. Un-staged photos with police officers and children sharing priceless moments together definitely tug at your heart and make you sympathize instead of seeing them as the “Opposition”. A campaign to put these efforts in place could change the hearts of a lot of United States citizens and the way they feel about our police force.
Daniels, J. (n.d.). Police-Involved Killings Continue With No End In Sight. In Racism Review. Retrieved from http://www.racismreview.com/blog/tag/police-brutality/
Kalleberg, A. L., Broidy, L., & Santoro, W. (2014, October 26). Race relations in America and the case of Ferguson. In OUP Blog. Retrieved from http://blog.oup.com/2014/10/race-relations-ferguson-michael-brown/
Reisig, M. D., & Correia, M. E. (1997). Public evaluations of police performance: An analysis across three levels of policing. Policing, 20(2), 311. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/211290307?accountid=39473