Gabe J. New Jersey

Black and Blue

It is critical that we work to build the relationship between Law Enforcement and black communities.

Dear President,

Close your eyes, and go back to the age of thirteen. You turn on your TV, and it goes to the local new station. You watch to find out that a boy only a few years older than you is shot, and killed by the police. Remember you are still a child, and what you see now can change your life forever. You know that the police are there for your own good, but you wonder how good they really are. Your opinion can be swayed in thirty seconds by one story. What if your mind wasn’t changed? What if you knew for a fact that all cops aren’t like that. My generation, like every other generation of kids is going through issues. One of them being that we don’t have as strong of a connection with Law Enforcement as there should be.

I believe that police need to start making more of an effort to spend time with the community. A pure example of this is a town in Boston, MA. According to the police actually play basketball with the citizens, and even go as far as to have neighborhood walks on summer nights. Both sides of the story benefit completely from these events. The police get the trust of the community, and the community gets to feel safe. When police officers do things like this it changes the opinions of many lives. If we were able to spread these techniques throughout the entire country, I believe a tremendous amount of improvement would come.

I also believe that Law Enforcement should be trained differently. According to, in foreign countries like Germany police are trained to be anything, but aggressive. When the police aren’t forceful it results in the citizens not reacting in such a violent manner. Law Enforcement in the United States are way too quick to pull a gun on somebody. In other countries the police are trained not to pull guns, and in some cases don’t even carry guns. They might wield a baton, but that’s as far as it will go.

Black Lives Matter is an organization working to put an end to racism among law enforcement. Their goal is to have black lives respected. They want an end to police brutality. Each day they draw more attention to the problem. With each act of police brutality they grow in number. What if they weren’t actually helping the cause? What if the only thing they were doing was making things even worse than they already are? What (BLM) is truly doing is not tying the two ends closer to each other, but is pointing out the fact that all police are bad. Although this is not true at all, we only see the negative sides to our Law Enforcement through their eyes. There are so many more good police officers than there are bad ones. Each of us has to actually dig deep in order to find the positive things police officers do, and to me this is really disappointing.

By spending more time with our police department we can see more of the good side to them. We also have to make more of an effort to train our police officers differently. This has been a problem for generations, and I hope that no more children have to suffer through the pain of watching a kid our age die. It breaks down the connection we have to the police department, to see these awful things happening. This problem will only get worse on the path that we are on today. Right now we are only putting this issue off to the side. If we take action, and plan more get together's with the police we can improve our communities. We need to bring our citizens closer to Law Enforcement, and not apart.


Gabe J.

Brielle Elementary

Eighth Grade Citizens

The students in the eighth grade who wished to post their letters are featured here. Students worked for several weeks in both Social Studies and Language Arts classes, crafting their arguments. They participated in Penpal Schools Decision 2016 as well as Media Literacy Week.

All letters from this group →