Lilyth F. Louisiana

Stop the Hate

A piece asking for an end to police brutality and the tension between police and civilians.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,

There is a catastrophe involving police forces that has spread throughout America. It’s an epidemic that is killing civilians in all communities, but our concerns never seem to extend beyond online comment sections–which is as disturbing as the climbing death toll at the hands of the people meant to symbolize security. The average number of police killings surged from 400 to 990 last year. I–along with many–no longer feel safe knowing that the “boys in blue” are there to call if I’m ever in trouble. How can you bring yourself to dial 911 when the very same people called upon to help you could also be your attackers? This is a scary reality that faces every American. And while the responsibility for those fatal bullets needs to fall on the owners of the guns, villainizing the police is only going to drive a wedge deeper into an already fractured country. What everyone–civilian and police alike–need to be focused on is reforming police policies and procedures to eliminate bias and the use of unnecessary deadly force. It is the only way to decrease and hopefully eliminate innocent deaths, and it can only be achieved through the unification of people and police.

When you look at your little girl does your heart go still

For just a second before the world sweeps you back into its orbit?

When he looks at his little girl there is a flurry in his stomach

As he tries to memorize the shape of her eyes before he leaves.

Does your hand falter on the doorknob

As his fingers drop his gilded integrity on the floor;

Just pick it up, dust it off, and go to work.

But on the way do you count every step between here and tomorrow,

Watching out for someone else’s mistakes on every street corner?

He rides down the neighborhood in a glorified hearse,

Still with a trickle of fear down his temple.

Do you think his apprehension is justified?

He knows just as much about sacrifice as the 730 and counting with untold experience, right?

Do you think he’s responsible

For the gun God put in his hands and told him to shoot?

Does that little boy smile at the stains on your shirt

Like he does at the piece of gold on his chest?

Are you willing to pay the price

For him to bear it in his mind along with the weight of hundreds?

Do you have steady hands

When he needs them the most?

Do you have sympathy for a murderer?


Do you have sympathy for your brother?

I hope so.


Lilyth Foley

Captain Shreve High School

Mrs. Barclay's English Students

Open to all students in Mrs. Barclay's English III and IV classes for 2016-17.

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