Violation of American Civil Rights by the Police and the CWS
The constitution and the law protect Americans via civil rights, which ensures their mental and physical integrity, safety, and life. The rights also ensure they receive protection from discrimination on the grounds of factors such as national origin, race, color, ethnicity, religion, individual rights, for instance, privacy, gender, political affiliation, and sexual orientation (Bloom, 2019). However, there are numerous perpetrators to civil rights such as the justice system, the executive system as well as religion. However, the most common perpetrators are the police and the child welfare system. The aim is to establish how American civil rights are violated recurrently by the police as well as the child welfare system.
Citizens are protected from police misconduct by the federal law that is Section 1983 under title 42. Some of these forms of misconduct that would result in the violation of civil rights are false arrest, malicious prosecution, and the use of excessive force. The year 2019 alone recorded an estimated 300 police shoot outs. Channels such as YouTube, as well as news, exhibit cases of police searching individuals’ bodies as well as their properties without any warranty, using excessive force or making arrests falsely, which is a violation of American civil rights (Scheindlin, 2015). Additionally, abusing civil rights includes a police officer at the federal, state, military, and prison levels, inflicting excessive and unauthorized force on a victim that could result in injuries or even death.
The child welfare system has to aid in the promotion of children’s welfare by ensuring their safety, consummating permanency, and also strengthen families to ensure they take care of their kids lucratively. However, the organization’s ability to render child welfare services is dependent on the state, Children’s Bureau, which funds, the Administration for Families and Children, as well as state court rules. These institutions provide technical assistance as well as guidance crucial to flourish the platform by which CWS operates. The Office for Civil Rights has the sole task to enforce the civil laws that are embedded to the federal government, the state as well as local entities which means it remains susceptible to subject the families as well as children to violation such as race, national origin, age, disability, color as well as sex. A review of the police system, as well as the CWS, will provide answers to how these violations occur.
Police officer’s violation of American Civil Rights
Cases of police misconduct are intertwined with unconscious or conscious discrimination and are related to education, personality, and the culture practiced in a police agency. Education holds no place for misconduct, and by this, it is negatively associated with misconduct. However, better-educated police officers end up receiving fewer complaints. On average, modifications in population mobility, structural disadvantage as well as escalate immigrant populations get intertwined with the alterations in police misconduct. The most significant favoring factor to the police departments is noted in Americans’ social disorganization (Scheindlin, 2015). The truth at this point can be reflected in the view that residents do not have in place social networks to curb police cases of misconduct. The police often enjoy the privilege of discretion as well as minimal supervision that elevate their chances of engaging in police misconduct.
With the mentioned condition, the police will freely engage in malpractices such as intimidation, coerced forced confessions, false arrests, falsification of evidence, evidence tampering, witness tampering, false imprisonment, corruption, racial profiling, unwarranted searches and surveillance along with unjust subjugation of property. These actions are way fruitful, especially when they have lobbied or bribed legislators to uphold or pass laws that allow them to possess excessive status or power (Hawkins, 2018). The same bribery also enables them to sustain or pass municipal laws that make it easy to ticket acts without victims’ thus allowing them to pocket some funds satisfying their bellies. Another means by which police misconduct is manifested is via elective enforcement, whereby those arrested are the police dislikes. It translates to racial discrimination since white police officers are known to capture black people without course (Scheindlin, 2015). Other forms include sexual misconduct, drugs, and alcohol influence while on duty, along with violation of procedural policies while on duty. The police blue code of silence even more fatally violates American civil rights. This code sees to it that police do not turn on each other for misconduct and triggers the likelihood of other officers engaging in malpractices leading to justice miscarriage via actions that obstruct justice.
A wrongful arrest is assumed when an individual is detained and also wrongfully convicted by a police officer with the absence of appropriate legal supremacy. Such seizures are frequent, for instance, when a shop owner calls on the police because he or she suspects that an employee shoplifted or stole some cash but has no evidence to that accuse. Wrongful arrests also mean arresting the wrong person for a crime committed, capturing an individual without highlighting his or her Miranda Rights. An unlawful arrest is also committed when an officer arrests a victim without any likely cause to he or she commits the crime. Also, by making arrests without just cause, capturing based on incompetence, and also making an arrest using an arrest warrant that was built on false information presented to the court fits unlawful arrests (Richardson, 2019). Lastly, a false arrest is certified if a police officer makes an arrest based on pure malice or makes an arrest for personal gain, and finally, makes an arrest on racial grounds.
However, the police are assigned too much power that most of these claims to a wrongful arrest will be dismissed in court. For instance, if an individual appeals to court that the policed seized a property without reasonable cause, they will be brushed off with the argument the police had probable cause to believe the victim had committed a crime making the arrest feasible thereby the fourth amendment that protects Americans against unreasonable subjugation of property remains untarnished on that grounds. Additionally, the police have the power to arrest without an arrest warrant for a felony committed with their absence in some states. The power designated to the police will allow them to overcome any situation presented to them in that, for instance, the information provided to the police turns out to be false, he or she will not be accountable because he or she had a reason beyond doubt at that instant to make the arrest (Scheindlin, 2015). By this, Americans are left with the duty to prove sufficient facts to show that an officer had no reasonable cause to pursue an arrest.
An incident reviewed by CBS news in 2017 saw Michael Fesser arrested based on false evidence. Fesser had reported to his boss on facing racial discrimination at home, but the boss called in the police to arrest him before he had the chance to sue the company for racial discrimination. The cops made audio records of Fesser at work but had no warrant to do so or any court order authorizing the recording. The police then arrested Fesser on felony counts without reasonable cause and subjugated his documents, cash, and phone asserting racial discrimination at the organization. Racist messages were found between Fesser’s boss and the police department, but no evidence of any wrongdoing was found on Fesser (Cbsnews, 2020). The police, after dropping the suit, however, said dropping the charges was a way to avoid surplus expenses, uncertainty as well as drain of public resources rather than an admission of liability.
African Americans, as well as other persons of color in the states, have to experience what Fesser experienced for the better part of their life. YouTube videos have shown the police making false arrests on the grounds of falsified evidence or unwarranted arrests. Often, a black or colored individual will be passing by or walking along the street listening to music, and the police perhaps in pursuit of a perpetrator will make an arrest and maybe even falsify evidence against the individual without reasonable cause yet they are under the protection of the American Civil Rights regardless of color, race, ethnicity or religion (Richardson, 2019). Jaylan Butler, a college athlete, was also a victim of wrongful arrest on the 24th of February 2019. It was after the school bus had pulled over after the coach had asked him to take a photo of a road sign. After Butler had taken the picture and was heading back to the bus, police officers came at him, with drawn guns and making curses. Butler complied by dropping his phone, raising his hands, and going down on his knees (Nytimes, 2020). The bus driver had to exit the bus to tell them he was part of the team on the bus. However, the handcuffed him and placed him at the police vehicle backseat only to release him after a couple of minutes after they coerced him to provide photo identification.
The police, if sued, will argue that they had a reason beyond doubt to pursue the action, but in the long-run, the activity remains a violation of American Civil Rights. The same course of action would not have occurred if Butler was a white kid. There was no need for the cuffs because Butler complied, but anyway, the police officers did. Later, Butler said his dad had taught him while he was young on what course of action to take whenever the police stopped him, which is what he did (Nytimes, 2020). No white kid has to face going through that same “training” from his or her parents on how to act up whenever the police stopped them. Despite Butler’s compliance, the white police officers held his face down on the snowy ground and had a gun to his forehead while making the arrest. There was no course to the actions the police did. He wasn’t the suspect, he wasn’t armed and complied even after being hurled at insults. There was no reasonable cause for the actions the police undertook. The two remain a testimony to the violation of American civil rights by the police, particularly on the false arrest.
A prosecution is regarded to be malicious because law enforcement bodies such as police pursue groundless charges. Such an instance is evident such as when police charge an individual with a crime to cover up police misconduct such as the use of force of wrongful imprisonment. Also, when the police intend to punish an individual by harassing them with criminal proceedings or have the intention of ruining an individual’s reputation by introducing baseless unsupported charges against the individual. The police, with their blue code of silence, could also charge an individual with a crime with the sole purpose of diverting attention from the perpetrator (Hawkins, 2018). A good instance of this is evident when Fesser’s boss had to turn the table on Fesser while diverting attention from his company, which was the real perpetrator of the racism. A malicious prosecution assertation drives the sense that the police officer falsely denied the victim’s right to liberty, according to the Fourteenth Amendment.
Use of excessive force is evident in situations where police officers are legally authorized to use power exceeding the minimum amount that would be appropriate to neutralize a situation or safeguard others and themselves from imminent harm. The need to use power could vary depending on the context in hand; for instance, while running an operation to capture armed drug cartels, the force used wouldn’t be the same as that used when handling rioting students in high-school or college (Richardson, 2019). In the case the force used handling shooters is used on harmless citizens while making an arrest, then it turns to police brutality.
Excessive force is only authorized when there is dire need to prevent the perpetrator from escaping or when the police officer believes that there is reasonable cause to believe that the suspect once unleashed to the public will pose imminent threats that could result in severe injuries or death to others and the law enforcement officers. Any other cause beyond the two is regarded as unreasonable use of force and is a direct action of police brutality. However, the use of excessive force does not only refer to the use of deadly force. Use of excessive force could also apply to cases where law enforcement police officers inflict injury as a result of unreasonable use of force on minors or individuals assumed to be threats but pose no challenge to the officers. It is clear that to make an arrest or to conduct an investigatory stop, there is a need to impose some degree of force or physical coercion but, the degree of force used should remain proportional to the threat in hand. Any escalation in the force used should only be as a result of the threat’s violent response (Richardson, 2019). It means the standard means to handle a threat would involve using mere presence, use of verbal structures that are nowhere close to threatening statements but to direct orders. Also, the use of physical body forces should be from grabs, holds, punches or kicks, and use of lethal methods range from the use of chemical sprays, tasers, batons, or police dogs where firearms are assumed to be at the worst situation of the arrest.
Having the above in mind, a review on Butler’s situation, the officers commenced by using cursing statements. Based on what is demanded by the Supreme court in such a case, the police should be making statements that relay a direct order. Butler gets on his knees and raises his hands, but the officers go-ahead to force his face on the snowy ground while holding a gun on his forehead. Furthermore, they keep on making threatening statements at him. The entire arrest process was built on the exact opposite of what is highlighted and instructed by the Supreme Court. For Americans, particularly those from colored communities, statements made by victims such as “I’m not resisting, get off me or you’re hurting me” are not common but are a daily routine to them.
Another case was presented on the 3rd of April 2017, whereby a police officer struck the face of an arrestee with no legal grounds. The event happened when the arrested was seated in the booking area at Hadley Police Department. The structure impacted a fracture on the arrestee’s nose in numerous locations. The resultant injury was way devastating that it required plastic surgery to be repaired (dailymail, 2020). Not only did the officer damage the victim’s nose but also attempted to interfere with the investigation by falsifying the police report describing the turn of events. Police officers certainly uphold and defend the nation’s laws, but abusing the powers allowing them to protect the Americans deprives the American Civil Rights and also compromises the American trust in police officers. On average, colored individuals believe they can seek justice in other means other than police officers for the fact they’ll end up wrongfully arrested, prosecuted maliciously, or faced with severe force such as being shot or being beaten up thoroughly (Richardson, 2019). The use of such excessive force remains disturbing, especially thinking through its disproportionate effect on people of color. The American Civil Rights are in place to ensure a country that adheres to the law, which means treating all persons with dignity, regarding restraint on police power and the use of force appropriately to ensure all persons are safe. The use of excessive force despite having guidelines is still violated and used against the American people as much as the American Civil Rights protect them.
The Child Welfare System
The child welfare system has, for long, been known to have a persistent over-representation of black children. The most common assumption made by the entity is that black families have more risk facets such as poverty, unemployment as well as single-parent families that result in them abusing and neglecting their kids more than the white families. Also, black families are intensely concentrated in numbers among the poor than the white are. It implies the children’s welfare system has an over-representation of black children because black families have a lower social and economic status than white families (St Jean, 2015). However, institutional racism stands on the verge of also explaining the reason why there is an over-representation of black children in the child welfare system (Mulzer, 2016). The institutional racism that emanates from the decision-making process, notably the Court Appointed Special Advocates, also known as Volunteer Child Advocates.
These are volunteer guardians selected by the family court to represent the children’s best interests as they enter the system. CASA’s often have the upper hand in the placement of kids in foster care families and so have an impact on the decision-making process (Mulzer, 2016). The system has portrayed these individuals who are often middle-class white women, can make sound decisions on the well-being of a child from a low-income family than the child’s parents can. The parents better decide any decision that impacts a child’s well-being. In this case, however, the child welfare system, mainly the CASA’s, can make decisions for these children, such that they no longer suit remaining in their family but deserve being in another family that will feed and takes the kids to school.
How do they know that is what the sound decision that a child will make? Why is it that kids from white families facing the same conditions as a black child will remain with their families, but the black child will have to be placed in foster care? The questions raised by the ability of a woman who never gave birth to a child to determine the fate of a child present bias in the system but even more fatally when a white child under the same conditions remains with his or her family. The system by this acts as a challenge to the American Civil Rights and violates the rights of a black mother to raise her child (Dunkerley, 2017). Even worse, they violate civil rights because the kids are not allowed to decide what they want. After all, they are still within the age certified as legal for them to make sound decisions.
As highlighted above, the children’s welfare system embeds a staggering disproportion in the number of black children placed under their care. These kids take up more than half of the children placed in foster care. Chicago recorded 95% of the children in foster care being black children, whereas in New York, white children placed in foster care merely take up one percent of the population. In contrast, black children take up approximately ninety-five percent (St Jean, 2015). The children’s welfare system treats black children in such a manner that it inappropriately separates the children from their parents. The entity is way more likely to place the children in foster care rather than flourishing the black family the chance to go through a lesser traumatizing situation (Dunkerley, 2017). According to the US department of health, African American children are likely to be placed in foster homes than receive in-house services to ensure their well-being regardless of having the same features and concerns as white kids.
White children who have been neglected or abused are twice likely to receive services from their own homes preventing the emotional backlash as well as physical risks that are associated with placement in foster homes. Simply, the majority of white children enrolled in the child welfare system are allowed to remain with their families. On the contrary, kids from black families face the same chance to be taken away from their families. Thinking through what impacts come with removing children from their rightful homes. The first is a right to privacy violation. The government has, in this case, infringed the family’s private life and has imposed an idea thought through by some other individual into their structure affecting the kids as well as the parents or parent (St Jean, 2015). The action is a violation of American civil rights. Furthermore, in the assumption, they are subjecting the kid to a terrifying experience that could impact the child via mental conditions and could even perhaps result in suicide. By this, the children’s welfare system will also have violated the American civil rights on both the parent and the kid.
Again, the procedure portrays the parents intertwined with child protective services as brutal monsters. By this, the child welfare system has violated another American civil right by tarnishing their image to the children and to the public, which will ignore the resultant trauma on their kids. The damage presented by the separation exceeds the cost being avoided by the agency. It means that any negative outcome that happens after the separation, either the kid or the parents have the right to sue the government because it wouldn’t have occurred. After the black kids are taken away from their homes, they remain in foster care for long (St Jean, 2015). They are relocated often, thereby end up receiving fewer services meaning they never get to recover or heal their inner wounds. They end up feeling they are in the wrong place and do not deserve being societal members resulting in them taking up vicious activities. By this, they are less likely to be adopted by new families or taken back to their original homes.
Police violation of American civil rights
Police often will work under immense pressure to provide results that trigger their abuse of power to obtain the results in whichever way possible at the expense of American Civil Rights. It means civilian agencies have to shape up police task forces by engaging directly in investigations and also have more significant input into disciplinary decisions to continually remind the law enforcement agencies of the same law they enforce (Hassell, 2016). By this, in the case a law enforcement officer is subjected to police misconduct, the case should be handled by a different entity that merges law enforcement from other departments such as private investigators within the department of justice to ensure justice takes its course for the misconduct.
Also, keeping in mind that people of color are often victims, groups, as well as individuals, should film police activities that will allow them to be accountable for their actions. A civil suit against a police officer would require a presentation of evidence. With bodies such as the Supreme Court clearly defining measures that a law enforcement officer should take in each situation, then it would be undemanding to overwhelm the police immunity relished to them and instead turn it to a clear violation of individual rights (Hassell, 2016). Law enforcement officers work under minimal supervision, implying every other person should aid in the monitoring, ensuring accountability. This can be achieved by utilizing smart gadgets that can record high-quality video and perhaps audio (Scheindlin, 2015). Social media platforms, as well as video hosting sites such as YouTube, have also allowed persons to relay instances of abuse and misconduct. These will be crucial at a time when law enforcement officers prefer working under intimidation since their words will be captured. While others will illegally subjugate and delete evidence, they cannot erase them from the social media and video-web hosting servers. By this, they could have the law, but the proof will be there to exhibit the crime committed by the police officers allowing the law to take its hand (Hassell, 2016). With devices that record audio and video, the victim will be in a position to establish a constitutional pathway to seek justice to a point beyond which the police immunity won’t work as a deterrent to justice.
Child welfare system violation of American civil rights
American rights seek to serve all American citizens equally and fairly, regardless of color, race, ethnicity, or religion. It means there is no honor in treating a white citizen better at the expense of a colored citizen. As highlighted above, black children are often the victims of institutional racism designed to make sound decisions for the children (Whittaker, 2017). It means there is justice in deciding where a child deserves to be, but justice is only fair to both the parent and the child when served relatively (Mulzer, 2016). The CASA’s should be composed of an equal number of middle-aged women allowing the elimination of prejudice in the decision-making process.
Furthermore, decisions that involve the separation of a black child from his or her parents but allows a white child under the same set of conditions to remain with his or her family should be eliminated. It should be served that the black child is also allowed to stay, or the white child is assigned to a foster family as well (Mulzer, 2016). But the separation, as highlighted above, ends up tarnishing the parent’s image and name to the child and the public, implying that would not be the best course of action. Instead, the organization, as well as the government, should devise strategies by which the children remain in the parent’s custody. Still, under a probational set of rules within a certain agreed period (Whittaker, 2017), after which if conditions remain stagnated, the child is taken away, but is the situation improves, the child remains in his or her family.
Bloom, J. M. (2019). Class, race, and the civil rights movement. Indiana University Press.
Cbsnews.com. (2020). A black man reported racial discrimination to his boss. Then his boss asked the police to arrest him.. [online] Available at:
Dunkerley, S. (2017). Mothers matter: A feminist perspective on child welfare-involved women. Journal of Family Social Work, 20(3), 251-265.
Hassell, K. D. (2016). Reducing police misconduct. In Stress in Policing (pp. 220-236). Routledge.
Hawkins, D. (2018). Malicious Prosecution Claim. Wisconsin Law Journal.
Mail Online. (2020). Ex-officer gets prison for breaking arrested man’s nose. [online] Available at:
Mulzer, A., & Urs, T. (2016). However kindly intentioned: Structural racism and volunteer CASA programs. CUNY L. Rev., 20, 23.
Nytimes.com. (2020). Officer Pointed Gun at Black College Student’s Head, Lawsuit Says. [online] Available at:
Richardson, R., Schultz, J., & Crawford, K. (2019). Dirty data, bad predictions: How civil rights violations impact police data, predictive policing systems, and justice. New York University Law Review Online, Forthcoming.
Scheindlin, S. A., & Manning, P. K. (2015). Will the widespread use of police body cameras improve police accountability?. Americas Quarterly, 9(2), 24.
St Jean, Y., & Feagin, J. R. (2015). Double Burden: Black Women and Everyday Racism: Black Women and Everyday Racism. Routledge.
Whittaker, J. K. (2017). The child welfare challenge: Policy, practice, and research. Routledge.