Should Police Officers be entitled to abide by the same laws as civilians?


With all of the recent police brutality that has been reported in the media, there has been much speculation about whether law enforcement officials are above the law or should be given a pass to abide by set laws. Some people may argue that law enforcement officials should not have to follow the same laws as civilians because they are peace keepers and certain privileges should be given to them. Some may even say that law enforcement officials are not given any special treatment. As quiet as it’s kept, they are. I think that law enforcement officials should be entitled to abide by the same laws as civilians and they should get the same treatment when they break these laws simply because no one is above the law.

Human rights are the fundamental rights that humans have by the fact of being human, and they are neither created nor can be repealed by any government. These rights are inherent to all human beings regardless of nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnic origin, religion, or any other status.  A few of the rights that we have as humans as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that we are all free and equal, we have the right to life, no discrimination, no torture, no unfair detainment, fair treatment by fair courts, we all have the same rights to use the laws and we are all protected by the law. This means that the law is the same for everyone regardless of stature or career. These human rights are also in coalition with a few of the Core Democratic Values which are justice and equality. It is exceedingly unjust for an officer or law enforcement official to be treated different than civilians when it comes to abiding by the laws. If we are all human, and we are living by a creed based on equality and justice, then officers of the law should not be above the laws that all humans have to follow because of what they chose to do for a living.

Civilians have had to encounter police brutality for many years and every time an incident occurs, the wrongdoings of the officer are justified by the department. This is unfair because it takes two people not doing the right thing for a situation to escalate. Just recently, there was an incident that occurred with a police officer and a young school girl. The video went viral as the officer was seen dragging the girl out of her desk in the middle of class. That was definitely an unjustifiable action and it was uncalled for. Another incident was when a pool party was infiltrated by a group of officers and all of the teens involved encountered some type of police brutality. If an officer cannot resolve a situation without using violence or some sort of unnecessary force, then they don’t need a badge.

When officers do things that are not appropriate or justifiable and they are not punished for it, then civilians will think the same thing goes for them. But when a civilian breaks the law, they are automatically, without a doubt, going to be punished for breaking it. This is unfair because it is not equal treatment and it also gives civilians misunderstood notions about the way the justice system works. It is understandable that some situations may require force from officers, but it is beginning to happen too frequently in this time period. Law enforcement officials that use brutality should be punished just as a civilian would be if he/she were to be involved in a brutal situation. Once an officer becomes an example of what happens when you do wrong amongst civilians, then equality amongst civilians and law enforcement officials will begin to progress.

Law enforcement officials should be entitled to abide by the same laws as civilians because they are not above the law even though they are the law. Because law enforcement officials are held to a higher stature, they are the ones that are supposed to help us instead of unjustifiably doing bodily harm to the people they serve and protect.