Police Brutality

police brutality
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on January 3, 2023 and last updated on May 24, 2023

Discussing police brutality in ESL classes is beneficial as it prompts learners to explore complex issues, fostering critical thinking and language skills. It exposes them to varied vocabulary, societal contexts and diverse viewpoints, enhancing their comprehension and communication.

Additionally, the subject’s relevance in global discourse can stimulate engaging conversations, further developing their English fluency.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

What is Police Brutality?

Police brutality is when law enforcement officers use too much or unnecessary force on people who are suspected of or charged with a crime. Abuse can be physical, verbal, or sexual, and it has been a controversial and divisive issue in many countries for a long time.

Police brutality often hurts poor and minority communities more than it hurts other communities. This has caused social and political unrest in many parts of the world.

With the rise of technology like body cameras and smartphones, more cases of police brutality have come to light in recent years. This is because people can record and share incidents that may not have been reported before.

Even though there have been efforts to deal with and stop police brutality, it is still a problem in many countries, and there are ongoing discussions about the best ways to hold law enforcement officers accountable and make sure that everyone is treated fairly and justly.

Useful Vocabulary Related to Police Brutality

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • Excessive (adjective)
  • Law enforcement (noun)
  • Controversial (adjective)
  • Necessary (adjective)
  • Accountability (noun)
  • Abuse (noun)
  • Hold accountable (phrase)
  • Address (verb)

Conversation Questions

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  • How would you define police brutality?
  • Have you or anyone you know ever experienced police brutality?
  • What are some common causes of police brutality?
  • What are some steps that can be taken to prevent police brutality?
  • Do you think police officers should be held accountable for their actions when they engage in brutality?
  • How can individuals protect themselves from police brutality?
  • What role do race and ethnicity play in police brutality?
  • How do different countries handle police brutality?
  • How does the media cover police brutality?
  • What impact does technology, such as body cameras, have on police brutality?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.