Police Brutality is the use of excessive and/or unnecessary force by police when dealing with civilians. Police brutality is assisting with the extinction of the black population. Some would say it is dangerous to be walking in the United States if you are of color, gender does not matter; male or female you are endangered. In recent years, the media has detailed countless of cases where police have killed innocent victims of race due to unusual circumstances. A few people that have been victims of police brutality are Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray. It’s very unfair and society has set it up to where it’s normal and okay for a police especially, a white police, to kill or even harass a different race just because they want to feel superior or “powerful”. We have witnessed the killing of a black male in their own apartment, mistaken identity. The killing of a black woman, sitting in her home playing video games with her nephew. The killing of a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), on a routine wellness visit. The killing of people of color, has created a culture of act first and evaluate later. Police brutality has become so relevant and normalized that we are becoming desensitized to the fact that we are dying off at a fast rate.
“… The current police brutality has an element of racism, and is a result of structural inequalities perpetrated by the long history of segregation, mass incarceration and black unemployment (Taylor 2016).” Police brutality starts with racism and racism has been around forever. There has not been a time where racism was never a thing. There’s a lot of built up frustration and anger in the police officers these days and the first person of color the see they take their frustrations out on. As said in chapter 9 in the book, not every police officer is in force for the right reasons. It’s not about passion or love, It’s about how can I get the power that I craved to have when I was younger. They then victimize themselves as if they’re innocent and they feared for their life. There is no way possible a white man or woman should be able to get away with killing an innocent, unarmed black man or woman. Why does the tone of someone’s skin offend you or make you scared? This “land of the free” that we are living in isn’t really free. A black will never be equal to a white in any way shape or form. White privilege exists, as a black female I will never be able to get half the opportunities as a white female. This is a racist, white supremist country. A person of color will always be discriminated against. Whether it comes down to jail or employment. Jail is modern day slavery, and one bad run in with the cops can cost you your whole life. Something you did as an adolescent can damage your adulthood. If one is a criminal, getting a job is very complicated and it could lead to that person being right back in jail and that’s why the incarceration rates are so high.
First let’s discuss Eric Garner, an unarmed black man that was selling untaxed cigarettes in 2014. Garner was then placed in a chokehold by Pantaleo a now ex NYPD police officer. As said in the newspaper article Garner said 11 times, in a video that was recorded on a phone, that he couldn’t breath. Pantaleo proceeded to choke him eventually killing him. Robbing a wife of her husband, kids of their father, and a mother of her son. Pantaleo was not given any jail time he was just fired from the force. Although selling untaxed cigarettes is illegal what makes you that mad that you would choke someone to death? Where is all the pent up anger coming from? Where is the justice that his family deserves? Garner mother was in distraught when she found out the news, her baby boy had been killed and no justice was served. The case had been through three attorneys with no justice served, the family was going through a lot. Three years after Garner died his daughter then died from a heart attack. At the last chance at justice it was said that, “Speaking on the decision not to bring charges, Donoghue called the Garner case an “exhaustive investigation.” He said that the Department of Justice concluded that insufficient evidence existed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that tire police officers violated Gamer’s civil rights.” Basically there was not enough information to charge Pantaleo with murder although Garner’s death was ruled a homicide and there’s a video of Garner reiterating to Pantaleo that he couldn’t breath. Some type of justice system we have.
What about Amber Guyger, a white, female cop who killed Botham Jean. On September 6 of 2018 an innocent, unarmed black man was killed, in the privacy of his own home. Research says Guyger entered his home and killed him because she thought it was her apartment. She thought he was an “intruder” and she feared for her life. You can’t enter someone else’s home and kill them, it just doesn’t add up. When Guyger entered Jean’s home he was sitting on the couch eating ice cream, because that’s what intruders do right? How do you not know that you’re in someone else’s house? Jean’s family believes that his race played a key role in his death. “The family has no doubt in their mind that she shot Botham because she saw a Black man and she thought, criminal,” said Benjamin Crump. Guyger was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years. In the newspaper article it points out the fact that there was a majority black jury, that’s the only way she was found guilty. Guyger also tried to justify killing this black man, she claims that she was just really scared and it was a long day of work, she couldn’t focus, yet she focused enough to shoot him in his chest. The newspaper then let’s us know that Guyger is a racist and has been racist via social media, but still her killing Jean had nothing to do with his race. Why did she not deserve the maximum amount of years? Why is it that a drug dealer will get more time than a cold blooded murderer? That’s something that I will never be able to understand. If it was black on black crime would they have gotten more time? Absolutely, no doubt about it. Is this due to white privilege, or is it because he’s a black man and in today’s society no one really care? Those are questions that will never be answered because we are all equal, well that’s what they say. But this man couldn’t even be free in his own home. Someone’s son, brother, cousin, uncle, etc. He’ll never be seen again but she’ll get out eventually. This is typical, nothing less is expected.
Atatiana Jefferson was an African American woman who was shot and killed in her own home also. A neighbor called the police over because he saw Jefferson’s door open which was unusual. When, now ex police officer, Aaron Dean and his partner arrived he opened fire through her window. Now, Jefferson did have a gun in her apartment but it was there legally. She could have opened fire back due to the Castle Doctrine, she was a victim in her own home. “Atatiana is the sixth African American to die at the hands of police gunfire in Fort Worth in 2019.” said Stacy Brown. Why is it that blacks are dying off due to police officers. Police officers are supposed to protect us but instead they are inflicting pain to us all. Are they really here to protect us? The police only protect us to a certain extinct, they don’t care about the well being or safety of the minorities. Dean quit his job before the police department could fire him. In the article it states that “‘I was going to fire [Dean] even before he quit. We had already taken his badge and weapon. There were violations in his use of force, and he didn’t follow de-escalation protocols,’” Kraus said. “‘His conduct was unprofessional. There are times for officers to act as warriors and defenders, and there are times for them to act as public servants and humble servants.’” What happened to procedure, since when did policy change? How is it okay to just open fire at someone without even knowing the situation? What’s wrong with the U.S.? How are you hiring people that will kill us without a second thought about it. It’s sickening to live in this generation. When will the entire police force be held accountable. At a certain point enough is enough. This country has no desire to better the black community, but they have a motive to kill us all and they are doing it and rapidly. Whoever hires these officers should be held accountable also. Why are these officers not getting the proper training needed? Why are they not following protocol?
In conclusion blacks are subjected to race in this country. Police brutality has been around forever, it goes back to dates as far back as slavery. Research shows that blacks are more likely to be killed by police officers, in the article it says, “Analysis of those data concluded that in 2015, ‘young Black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers.’” The black race is like an endangered species. Everyday we wake up we fear if we’re gonna live to see another day just because the color of our skin. Several of black men and women have been victims of violence caused by a police officer of the opposite race. We live in a country where a white man can enter a black man’s house and kill him, a woman can be killed while spending time with her nephew in her own home, a man can be choked to death because of selling untaxed cigarettes, an 18 year old boy can be shot 12 times by a police officer with no justice served. This justice system sucks and it shows. Things will never change, until this justice system changes. What happens if blacks start to retaliate, they will be given the maximum amount of years. What differentiates a black person from a white person besides their skin? We went from slavery to a dfferent form a slavery. Blacks are either being thrown in jail or being killed. We will never have the chance at being great. You fault a black man for something he did as a child but a white man comes and has a mass school shooting with an assault rifle and it’s justified as insane? There’s no convincing that this country isn’t all about whites. White privilege is so relevant in today’s society. As a black you’ll never be able to get away with what a white can. Race always comes to play and all of these cases prove exactly that.