International Day Against Police Brutality – March 15, 2022

International Day Against Police Brutality (I.D.A.P.B.) is a global observance observed every year on March 15 and is a focal day of solidarity against police brutality. The first observation of the day began in 1997. Police brutality refers to the wanton use of excessive force by a police officer. It is one of the most prevalent forms of police misconduct and violence. Police brutality is widespread in many countries, and activists have been working tirelessly in demanding reforms in police conduct. Rallies and awareness programs are also organized to observe the day.

History of International Day Against Police Brutality

Every year on March 15 since 1997, activists from around the world call for protests and strict actions against police brutality. For years, anarchists called for action in Belarus on this day, but until recently, the date did not attract much attention. March 15 also marks the anniversary of the harsh detention of anarchists in a Minsk trolleybus in Belarus. Activists, anarchists, and the common public strongly condemned the police’s action.

The violence of authorities, especially the police, destroys local communities and creates tension among the public. International Day Against Police Brutality highlights human rights violations in imprisonment, beatings, and torture — something that is all too common in police procedures! Today, many of us are afraid of the police and try to avoid situations where we might have to visit the police station. And while violence against political activists might have reduced to some extent compared to the 20th century, violence against ordinary people is increasing, either due to indifference or a lack of solidarity.

But how do we oppose police violence? There are countless ways to fight against police brutality if people come together and oppose it. In addition to active self-defense, it is important to attract people’s attention to the problem. People use tools such as graffiti, leaflets, stickers, and any other medium of visual agitation. And also, of course, the dissemination of information about brutality (and the fight against it) on the internet.

International Day Against Police Brutality timeline

Mid-19th Century
Police Brutality Coined

The term is first used in Britain.

1872
First Press Appearance

“The Chicago Tribune” reports the beating of a civilian under arrest at the Harrison Street Police Station.

1991
Police Brutality Against Rodney King

The incident leads to extensive media coverage and criminal charges against several of the officers involved.

2011
Shocking Stats Make Headlines

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics releases data that shows that from 2003 to 2009, at least 4,813 people lost their lives to police brutality.

International Day Against Police Brutality FAQs

Is there a law on police brutality?

Every country deals differently with police brutality according to its legal system, but there are strict international laws that govern how and when police can use force. One of these is the U.N. Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

Is police brutality legal?

No! It will depend on the country, but anyone subjected to police brutality could sue the police officer or even the department for personal injury damages. Many cases of police brutality also involve civil rights violations under constitutional or federal laws. 

What forces do police use?

The levels of force police use include basic verbal and physical restraint, less-lethal force, and lethal force. However, police officers should use only the necessary force to mitigate an incident, arrest someone, or protect themselves or others from harm. 

How To Observe International Day Against Police Brutality

  1. Attend a rally

    Many organizations that protest against police brutality hold rallies on International Day Against Police Brutality. Find a rally in your area and attend it to make a difference.

  2. Raise awareness

    You can raise awareness about police brutality on social media or handing out pamphlets and reading materials on International Day Against Police Brutality. Let’s start the tough conversations!

  3. Donate

    You can donate to non-profit organizations fighting police brutality or that are helping to provide legal assistance to those fighting a case against it.

5 Facts About Police Brutality That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Police brutality is on the rise

    The number of documented police killings in the U.S. has doubled over the last two decades.

  2. Deadly firearms

    About 67% of Americans are killed by police using their firearms.

  3. Child victims

    About 200 American children under the age of 12 have been killed during an interaction with the police since 2000.

  4. The perpetrator usually goes unpunished

    Statistics show that 1% of police-involved killings result in an arrest or indictment of the officer.

  5. The police are aware of police brutality

    An estimated 84% of police reported they have witnessed fellow officers using more force than necessary.

Why International Day Against Police Brutality is Important

  1. It makes us aware of our rights

    International Day Against Police Brutality reminds and makes us aware of our rights as citizens. This is a great day to brush up on your legal knowledge.

  2. It teaches us justice

    While the police have been appointed to safeguard citizens’ rights, they often abuse the power they have been trusted with. This day is a reminder that no one is above the law.

  3. It’s a day of hope

    International Day Against Police Brutality hopes for a day when police brutality no longer exists, and victims of it get their due justice.

International Day Against Police Brutality dates

YearDateDay
2022March 15Tuesday
2023March 15Wednesday
2024March 15Friday
2025March 15Saturday
2026March 15Sunday

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