The news is full of controversy. It’s nearly impossible to watch the news without hearing a story that sparks debate. We live in a time of marches, protests and movements. The news is filled with segments on refugees, terrorism and civil rights.

Police brutality has been a large topic of discussion. In a world filled with technology, millions of people see videos, pictures and streams from across the country in a matter of seconds. Citizens have begun to document their encounters with police. Sometimes, bystanders have live-streamed or taped incidents as they happen. Many news stories center around excessive force, especially in Chicago.

What happened in Chicago?

Chicago has been an epicenter for these news stories. In 2015, authorities announced that they would investigate the Chicago Police Department (CPD), examining the department’s use of force.. People questioned the tactics of law enforcement officers. People questioned if they were using excessive force in dealings with citizens.. The investigation determined that there were instances of excessive force.

What is excessive force?

Excessive force is any force that exceeds the amount necessary to resolve the conflict. Officers should try to resolve problems with minimal aggression. Any unreasonable measures can be considered excessive force. The use of excessive force by law enforcement has resulted in police brutality and wrongful death claims.

What is being done?

After the investigation in Chicago, officials are taking steps to reduce instances of excessive force. The use-of-force policy has been rewritten. Officers are participating in de-escalation trainings. The use of body cameras has been implemented.

What should you do?

Do your best to stay safe by cooperating with police officers. If you believe that you or a loved one has encountered excessive force, report it. Always contact legal professional assistance. Document what has happened, if possible.

While the job of an officer is dangerous and difficult, their priority is to protect us even during arrests. The CPD has taken steps to help train their officers. Other departments across the nation are also starting to take cautionary steps. The hope is that we can eliminate the use of excessive force across the nation.