Could psychological challenges can lead to police brutality?

In trying to understand why police brutality happens, it's important to look at the psychological side of working as a police officer. It is very challenging work that presents officers with some of the darker sides of life on a daily basis.

They constantly see people who have been killed or seriously injured due to criminal activity. They interact with the people who committed those acts. They get a firsthand view of the ways in which those actions impact a person's family.

Moreover, they constantly feel exposed to threats. Civilians see a police officer as a controlling personality when they encounter them. Officers, however, constantly worry about their own safety. That uniform can make them feel like a target.

The sheer amount of crime that they witness can seem to justify that nervousness and make them feel like they are in danger. As one expert who worked as a police reporter put it: "Surrounded by crime all day, some come to perceive that society is more threatening than it really is."

That's a big part of the reason for these violent incidents. Police officers are always on edge and worried that they will be injured or killed on the job. They've seen so many bad things in life that it's hard for them to accurately judge how much danger they're in. This can make them lash out violently at a minor threat -- or none at all.

Of course, that does not excuse police brutality. It just helps to show why it happens. If you suffer injuries during an encounter with the police, make sure you know what legal rights you have.

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