Addressing Police Brutality

Addressing+Police+Brutality

Rodolfo Heras, Staff Writer

Every year, people of color become victims of police brutality in the United States, simply for existing. Black Lives Matter (BLM), a movement that protests the unjust deaths of Black people, has made many demonstrations across the country to voice their outrage because this has gone way too far. The fact that this keeps happening during a pandemic is ridiculous. People in the BLM movement want police brutality to stop, maybe even abolish the police altogether. A Gallup Survey that included more than 36,000 people, showed that 33% of people younger than the age of 35, 27% of Democrats, and 22% of African Americans wanted the police abolished. Furthermore, data from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that African-Americans were 2.5 times more likely to be at risk to be killed by police than white people. We should really address the amount of police brutality against people of color in this country.

One reason we should address police brutality is that it violates our rights, especially the rights of people of color. According to USNews.com, data shows that more than one thousand people have been victims of police brutality in 2019. One-third of them were Black people. People of color are killed by the police the most in this country. Furthermore, a lot of protesters went to the streets and voiced their outrage that people of color were being killed by police. For example, in California, protestors called for officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet to be held accountable for the death of Stephon Clark who was only 22-years-old at the time of his death.

Another reason we should address police brutality is that Black people, in particular, are being killed by police, even though they only make up 13% of the population in the US. For example, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American at the time of his death, was killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin while making an arrest. He put his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes until Floyd died. In addition, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman, was fatally shot in her home in Kentucky, when Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove forced their way inside as part of an investigation into a drug-dealing operation. Furthermore, Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African-American, was also killed by former police officer Kimberly Potter, who thought she had grabbed her taser, but pulled her gun instead. This honestly disgusts me because if you are in the police force for over twenty years, how can you mistake a gun for a taser? Look at those weapons, they are different!

The final reason we should address police brutality is that we need to hold the police accountable for what they did. According to USNews.com, only very few officers are charged, but even fewer of those officers are convicted of those crimes. If this is how the judicial system works, then I’m considering moving to another country at this point. For example, take Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. However, his sentencing will begin on June 25 later this year, but it’s still unclear whether he will be sentenced to prison just because he’s been convicted. Finally, there are a lot of cases where the police officers involved in the deaths of innocent unarmed people, are acquitted of any wrongdoing. Furthermore, even if there is any footage such as dashcam and/or bodycam footage, the officers were still acquitted of any wrongdoing because the footage only supports the officer’s point of view. Take officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner. According to The New York Times, the US attorney in Brooklyn, Richard P. Donoghue, said that while Garnder’s death is a very sad tragedy, he also said that, “the evidence does not support charging Officer Pantaleo with a federal civil rights violation.” Also, adding that the officer did everything in the arrest correctly, basically saying there was no proof to show that the officers used so much force on Garnder, even though there was plenty of camera footage to prove Pantaleo’s guilt.

In essence, we should address the amount of police violence in this country because it violates basic human rights. Black people in particular are being killed by police at a much higher rate than white people. Furthermore, the police officers involved are being cleared of any wrongdoing, but we should still hold them accountable. Some people might argue that more white people are being killed by police in this country. However, have you ever considered the rate that these people are being killed? They didn’t even consider that people of color, especially Black people, are being killed at a higher rate and are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by the police than white people. Sooner or later, more Black people will be killed by police officers than white people. If we don’t address the police violence in this country, what do you think we should do then? Do nothing and let it continue? As Martin Luther King once said, “The SILENCE of the good people is more DANGEROUS than the brutality of the bad people.” This shows that if we just stay silent while we see acts of police brutality being committed against people of color, then we are simply supporting it and not doing anything about it or speaking out against it. And that is unacceptable!