Police Brutality

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Police Brutality

Ashanti Ottbridge, Student Contributor

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There is a topic that after doing research has gone through a popular discussion time, but over the past few months conversation and debates have died down. It is still happening to people and not just African Americans. Police are brutalizing people who do not have a home or who are ethnic or sexual minorities, and even people of different religions. This is not just one color or culture’s problem to deal with and fight against. This issue is a problem that America as a whole needs to address and face, not just turn their back and ignore. 

Police brutality is, in my opinion, caused by fear- individuals who use their power to harm others that do not meet the standard. Police brutality tears down the feeling of safety in America. Without being able to count on the police, people take matters into their own hands. The citizens of the United States feel they have to own a gun in order to protect themselves. The purchasing of guns are rising which is leading to more deaths by gunshots or gun accidents to rise (Gun). To fix the issue that is gun violence, you have to start at the root which is their not being a stable police force for people to count on.

Some say police brutality is not an issue. That just isn’t true. Different families have to have a talk with their children on how to act when seeing a police officer. Parents are saying “keep your head down,” “do not make eye contact,” “always say yes sir or no sir”. Children should not have to worry about this when seeing someone that it taught to protect them. For children of young ages to not want to be a police officer because now they are seen as the bad guy just doesn’t make sense. They should feel the excitement to see a police officer, to want to thank them for their service instead of having to go to a funeral service because of the injustices they have caused to loved ones. Without consequences and being held accountable, there will always be police brutality. 

More focus needs to be put on this situation for there to be an actual change throughout the whole United States and not just one unit. There needs to be stronger consequences for police who use excessive force. There are different versions of a story and what happened during a police brutality act. During it there is high energy, fear, and blood is rushing through people’s bodies. No one is thinking straight. Police are trained to handle those scenarios, to be able to think calmly and focus on what is the objective, to handle everything in a calm manner, and have no casualties or injuries for themselves and others. But what about when there is a video showing a man or woman on the ground not fighting or injured, and the police officer is still beating them? How is that not evidence and how is that not a cause for a punishment stronger than desk duty? We blame the system, racism, or ignorance for the pain the officer has caused. What we don’t do is blame ourselves, for not paying attention and being united as citizens to fight against it. We do not give police brutality the attention and the time that it deserves. To fight against it we need to really care about it to focus on it. 

Police brutality is still a serious issue. We need stronger consequences for the police who don’t act appropriately to ensure the safety of all.

 

Citations

“Gun Violence Statistics.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, lawcenter.giffords.org/facts/gun-violence-statistics/.

Olsen, Eric. “Birthday Thoughts about the Deaths of Black Men and Women at the Hands of Police.” Medium, Medium, 15 Aug. 2016, medium.com/@e_olsen/birthday-thoughts-about-the-deaths-of-black-men-and-women-at-the-hands-of-police-e203c64e3df2.