In a democratic county, the police are the physical embodiment of safety and security. However, in the recent past, the police force in America has become an indistinguishable lot, hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. There are undeniable video clips doing rounds on social media of police officers caught on camera either harassing or shooting innocent people. We expect the police to foster law and order, but according to Paul Craig Roberts, the police are worse than criminals. In his article Why America's Police Are More Dangerous than Criminals written on 18th September 2015, Roberts highlights previous instances of police brutality and harassment to the general public. Robert breaks off with pretty accusatory remarks, indirectly, against the pentagon, and ends up painting the entire police fraternity as criminals and psychopaths. While his article is relevant and arguably informative.it is highly opinionated and overall fails to capture the essence of a wakeup call or even spur debate on such a delicate issue.
Several days leading to the publishing of the article, there were several cases involving the police force, mostly about brutality. Robert list some of them starting with the case where a Washington DC police officer harassed a paraplegic man in his wheelchair and brutalized himCITATION Pau15 \p ,np \l 1033 (Roberts ,np). He also, indirectly, mention the killing of the two boys and a grandmother in early 2013 and finally ends by alluding to the case where police officers entered in a wrong home while looking for a suspect, pointed their automatics on small children and after terrifying the occupants of the house left after shooting their dog. This article seems desperate to pass a wakeup call to the public.
First, the article is published on AlterNet, a site meant for alternative news and not intended for the mainstream audiences. Secondly, after checking out other articles by the same author, reveals typical messages. Some of the articles title were, It's Time for Americans to Admit That We've Had a Coup detat, and still another read; Have America Traded Freedom for Security? (Roberts, np) Finally, the disclaimer at the beginning of the article that places the burden of the article solely on the author and not the website, pokes some holes on the legitimacy of what is communicated by the article.
The authors use of ethos is present in the entire article. He appeals to the morality of human being, the rule of law and the United States constitution to convince his readers. Much of the writers claims are consistent and are supported by undeniable evidence throughout the article. As a former public servant, he does command a lot of experience as far as public service is concerned and anybody reading this article will not doubt his credibility. Looking at the authors previous article one notices that he is a person with a very strong belief (Roberts, np). His firm believe in the spirit of America its ideals helps him convey his message and attract the readers attention. This style of writing pays off as one is inclined to examine the current behaviors of the police force in light of these ideals and in all account is likely to find fault.
The author has also successfully employed pathos, in an attempt to have the readers identify with his opinions. He claims such statement that are especially weighty and heart felt and tries to appeal to the emotional side of his readers that his opinions are indeed right. The law and order conservatives and the compassionate liberals stand silent while police psychopaths brutalize children and grandmothers, murder double amputees in wheel chairs, break into the wrong homes, murder the family dogs, and terrify the occupants, pointing their automatic assault weapons in the faces of small children (Roberts, np) The mention of the killing of the paraplegic amputee and the murder of grandmothers and children evokes pity and no doubt intended to create an emotional response from his audience. The emotional appeal is huge and the readers are no doubt attracted by his opinions. Robert has discussed what he feels is happening right under the peoples noses creating a very clear imagination on the part of his readers. Whatever the results achieved by these article, there is no doubt that it has captured the heart of the readers, emotionally.
The use of logos, however, is lacking, and the writers attempt to use reason to engage his audience is completely thwarted by opinionated claims. Most of his assertion do not have any factual backing and the utterances are just as void as those already in the public domain. The writer says The American police perform no positive function. They pose a much larger threat to citizens than do the criminals who operate without a police badge. Americans would be safer if the police forces were abolished (Roberts, np). These claims are just accusatory and have no solid backing. Instead of engaging people in hard cold fact, the writer echoes the same unsubstantiated gossips that one would expect to hear in a barber shop.
Overall, the analysis of this article helps one understand the topic matter from a rather different point, contrary to what the author may have anticipated. Roberts seems to believe and indeed calls the entire police force in America, criminals (Roberts, np). While it is beyond reasonable doubt that the police force is marred with a lot of corruptions and misdeeds, it would be totally inconsequential to refer to the whole police fraternity as worse than criminals. There are very many gentlemen and ladies in the uniformed forces who discharge their duties diligently (Sanchez, np). Police officers who have given their all to keep the America safe. It would be unfair to compound this brave men and women as one with the corrupt breed.
However, in all respect, the article has given several specific examples with regard to police brutality in the recent past. Therefore, the issues raised by the articles should be evaluated with an open mind, and taken seriously, Robert has used different tone, harsh and otherwise, in order to keep his audience attached both emotionally as well as morally and ethically provoked. Although one may not agree with most of his claims and calls for action, he does manage to spread a message that carries a very infamous, yet firm opinion.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Roberts, Paul Craig. Why America's Police Are More Dangerous Than Criminals. 18 Septermber 2015. <http://www.alternet.org/why-americas-police-are-more-dangerous-criminals>.
Sanchez, Ray. n.d. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/29/us/beyond-the-call-of-duty-policing-in-america/.
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