Kilani Oregon

Police Brutality and Racism

In this letter I discuss issues in our world today such as racism and police brutality.

Dear Future President,

The moon in the sky, displaying its light; just bright enough so you can see a site that would haunt your dreams and make your nightmares become reality. Blood lays on the ground. Red splotches smeared across a white T-shirt that clings tightly to the body of the black boy who is lying in the center of the crowd. Motionless. Eyes shut, pressed lightly together as he drifts into eternal sleep. His last breaths elegantly escaping his lips. You hear a scream. A shriek that comes out of a women not so far away. She runs to her son and holds her baby close to her heart for the last time. A grown man, but will forever be seen as a little boy in the eyes of his mother. Their fingers interlocked with each other and she’s asking herself “Why?” Why did they have to take his life? He was so innocent. So pure. She could not fathom the thought that her son was gone. Her hands trembling when she got the phone call that would change her life forever. Tears roll down her face. Police sirens sound in the background. Red and blue lights blaze throughout the streets, making their way to the scene. They try to calm the woman down, trying to say soft spoken things, trying to make her feel better and like everything was ok, trying to help her and if she wanted them to call someone. But who could she call for help when the people who were meant to keep the bad guys off the street were the ones abusing their authority, almost like holding the gun up to the people they were meant to keep safe themselves?

Police Brutality is a major problem in the U.S. Take Michael Brown’s case for example. His death happened in Ferguson Missouri on August 9th 2014. He was an unarmed black teenager who fit the description of a man who stole cigarettes from a liquor store not to far away. A police man rolled up on him because he looked suspicious. Two gunshots were fired. One grazing Brown’s thumb and the other missing him completely. Some witnesses say Brown and the officer had clashed while he was standing by the car. Some say he punched the policeman. Others say otherwise. According to the New York Times, “Some witnesses said that Mr. Brown had his hands in the air.” this is indicating he was surrendering. Hands up don’t shoot. Yet, 12 shots were fired in his direction 6 bullet wounds found on his body. And he was shot to his death. When taken to court the police officer was not proven guilty. They said he was innocent and got to walk away free while he family of Michael Brown was left devastated and without justice.

On February 26, 2012 George Michael Zimmerman called 911 to report a suspicious suspect. Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old black male teenager, wearing his hoodie was walking down the street when approached by Zimmerman. He was told to stay in the car, but he disobeyed his orders. Apparently they had an altercation. Zimmerman says he only shot the gun in self defense but according to CNN, “In one of the recordings, a voice screams "Help, help!" in the background, followed by the sound of a gunshot.” so there was sign of struggle and then he was shot. Martin didn’t have a gun. He was unarmed. But again the one who should be to blame gets away with it after a long ongoing trial.

We are all faced with issues that should only exist in our nightmares, far away from reality. But it’s a sad story to tell that it is in fact problems we face in our country today. Not just myths buried in the ancient ruins that we can hide away for centuries on end. Racism and police brutality is something that is pushed right in front of our eyes yet people ignore it and don’t seem to be aware. Racism, police brutality, and inequality. As many times as we try to find justice more negative things seem to flow into the picture, crowding the real image. When we try to take a step in the right direction, there’s always something there, dragging us a few steps back. Our future is in your hands. Black lives matter. Colored lives matter. All lives matter. So why are whites degrading people of color? Future president, what are you going to do about the inequality that out shines the good in America, making our ground stained with the blood of our own people? We need the feeling of safety. Like warm arms holding us together long enough for us to rebuild our communities. Or else we’ll tumble and continue to pull the trigger on ourselves.

Sincerely, Kilani.

Jefferson HS

Jefferson HS Students

10th,11th, and 12th grade students at Jefferson HS in Portland Oregon.

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