Being Black in America could be considered a curse. Often, people make assumptions about you because of your skin color. According to Justin Nix, a criminal justice researcher, the only thing that is important in foretelling whether someone would be shot and killed by police while unarmed was whether or not they were Black (washingtonpost.com). Now what does that tell you Dear Future President? Have you ever envisioned a scenario in your head and wondered “what would've happened if I had darker skin”? Well, in my opinion, the situation would be totally different. In just the past five years, there have been multiple unjust killings of Black people such as Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Freddie Gray. There have been several protests that addressed those acts of violence towards Black people, but still no change. There’s no need to be constantly screaming “Black Lives Matter!” world-wide for people to start taking notice, it should’ve already been known. I personally think that police brutality is getting out of hand nowadays and you should put a stop to it. As the next president, I’m asking that you really allow justice to be done and indict those who are responsible for committing crimes. It is your obligation to protect all Americans’ civil rights by enforcing the law. Police officers who commit crimes often get acquitted from extreme charges and that is unfair. It’s time for equal treatment for both Black and White Americans. I hope take you take my plea into consideration and prosecute those who are escaping from reality and their responsibilities as a police officer.
Unarmed Black men have higher chances of being shot and killed by the police than unarmed White men. According to a finding of a study by the Guardian, “young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015” (theguardian.com). This study reported that 1,134 people have died at the hands of police officers this year. This shows that police are using violence even if a Black person doesn’t mean any harm. In fact, when White and Black people commit comparable crimes, the Black person is more likely to face more brutal treatment. According to the Washington Post, in the first three months of 2016, 12% of Black people killed were unarmed, compared with 6% of Whites. Blacks are more likely to be killed by a police officer than Whites (washingtonpost.com). This is racism.
It is not enough to prosecute police officers who commit crimes. Police officers who use inappropriate violence should face legal consequences just like everyone else. For example, police abused Eric Garner’s rights as a citizen living in the United States. According to the New York Times, “the investigation had been stalled by an internal disagreement over whether to charge the officers — including Daniel Pantaleo, who used a banned chokehold to take down Mr. Garner, an unarmed black man — with violating Mr. Garner’s civil rights”. This illustrates that Mr. Garner meant no harm, he was not dangerous, and he was unarmed. Police officers should be trained better when arresting Black individuals because too often they injusticely use violence as a tool to make people cooperate. They invaded Eric Garner’s personal space and attacked him in a violent manner. Even though the use of a chokehold is illegal, the police officer that used one on him didn’t get prosecuted (nytimes.com).
One may argue that police officers are being treated unfairly because of a few bad apples. According to the Atlantic:
When a police officer is caught flagrantly misbehaving on video, the most that superiors and union officials typically concede is that he's an exception to the rule, a "bad apple." That can be true. There are something like one million cops in the U.S. Many do their jobs ethically, and even the best run police agencies sometimes find themselves employing a cop whose behavior is anomalously awful (theatlantic.com).
However, when there are so many cases of “bad apples” it means there is a bigger problem with how police are trained and supervised. We shouldn’t blame one person’s mistakes on an entire group because not everybody has the same mentality and sees life the same way. But police officers should be keeping our environment and world safe for everyone.
In conclusion, police brutality is a serious issue that needs to be addressed now. We are being targeted everywhere and our lives seems to be meaningless to some police officers. As the next president, I’m asking that you please pass legislation that would take in consideration and prosecute those who commit police brutality. It’s time for equal treatment for both Black and White people by police officers and the world. We are equal, we are one. We need justice for our fellow brothers and sisters! We need justice.