Nick A. California

Police Brutality

The amount of videos and incidents I have seen of police misusing their power is sickening.

Mr. or Madam President: 

My name is Nick, I'm seventeen years old and I, along with many others have an issue with the amount of police brutality that has been taking place in America because of the deaths that are becoming a outcome.

Eric Garner, was slammed to the ground, and held down by 5 officers, Eric was choked death screaming... "I can’t breathe!" these were his last words. All Eric Garner was doing was selling cigarettes individually. The murders(officers) were never indicted. Jahnico Harvey, was a bystander at a crime seen. He was sucker punched full force in the jaw by a much larger and stronger officer. He was then tackled to the ground for the “crime” of recording. Steve Biko, was a motivational speaker talking to a crowd when his message was interrupted and he was arrested under the Terrorism Act No. 83. While in police custody, Biko was interrogated for 22 hours. These 22 hours included torture and being beaten which caused him to fall into a coma. Biko was moved to another prison with hospital facilities, but died upon arrival. Even though police claimed that his death was caused by a hunger strike, it was later announced that he actually died from head injuries he received in prison. Frank Jude, was beaten severely on October 26, 2004 by multiple off-duty Milwaukee police officers as he was leaving a party. The officers attacked Jude and his friend, claiming they stole one of the officer’s wallets, which contained a police badge. Harris’ face was cut with a knife, but he was able to get free and run away. Jude was repeatedly punched and kicked, as well as stabbed in the ears with a pen. An on-duty officer who was called to stop the fight also began to stomp on Jude’s head. These are only a few incidents i’ve researched heavily out of the hundreds happening everyday.

Distrust in police is becoming a contagious view to the people of my generation. A recent survey on shows only 25% of Americans have great deal of confidence in police. This statistic is at its lowest in 22 years. So if we look at these statistics, we can clearly see there is a problem. But what is the cause of it? According to an interview with law enforcement, street cops receive very little supervision from their division. This gives them the ultimate power to determine what's right, and what's wrong when it comes to perform their difficult job.

Berkeley’s police department surveys reveal another large problem, racial profiling. The city of Berkeley has a population of 60% White, 8% African American, and 10% Latino. So you would imagine the police would have much more interaction with whites than any of the other races because of the population percentages. But the survey shows, 30.5% of people pulled over were African American, 11.7% of people pulled over were Latino or Hispanic, and only 36.7% of people pulled over were White. These numbers prove police officers were racial profiling in their city. How many other officers are doing this across America is the question? Another reason we have these problems is because specially trained investigators admit that the goal of their investigation is to show the officers in the best possible light. This means the majority of cases we see on the news, the incidents I mentioned in my first paragraph, are all biased. And we the people will never know the whole truth

Others may not agree with me that there is a problem with police brutality or how racial profiling is still a major influence in the act. This would be because they only spent five minutes researching the issue. They haven't seen videos of officers harassing or killing citizens flood their news feed almost everyday. They haven't had a conversation with a person or listened to someone speak who has had first hand experience with being mistreated by the law. Real people are being mistreated and they have been speaking up. We have just put the blinders on and continue to say there isn't a problem. And "In every generation 2007, 1963, the 30's, the 1890's, the 1850's... In every generation, members of the dominant group has said there is no problem and in every generation without fail we have been wrong. And in every generation people of color, those who are the target of that oppression and subordination has said there is a problem. And in every generation without fail, they have been right. So the question for us today is what are the odds honestly, that people of color who have never gotten it wrong has suddenly lost their frikin' minds and have been suddenly unable to see truth... What are odds that white folks who have never gotten it right yet has suddenly become highly highly perceptive. The odds are pretty long. And again it's not because white folks are incentive or hard hearted let alone stupid. But it is those who of us are white have the luxury of not knowing black and brown truth.." -Timothy Jacob "Tim" Wise is an American anti-racism activist and writer.

I personally have never experienced racial profiling or police brutality , but I realize police brutality has always been happening, it's just we have the technology and platforms to bring the realization to the public that we need our future president needs to make a change.


Nicholas A.

Yreka High School

English IV

12th grade students at Yreka High School.

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