MJ O. California

Criminal Injustice

The criminal injustice in the U.S is a really big problem.

Dear Future President,

The criminal injustice in the U.S is a really big problem. Especially towards police brutality against African-Americans. The cops can’t just shoot someone just because they look like a criminal or they are resisting arrest. But is there a reason why they are resisting? With almost 6,000 reports of misconduct from 2009 to 2010, 300 of which resulted in fatalities, how could it not be a problem? What if one of those fatalities was a man or a woman with a clean record? Police officers take advantage of how much power they have. They know that if they commit murder, they won’t get charged for it. They use deadly force when shooting someone. They should be told to shoot in the arm or legs once, or at the sky. All over the country, police abuse their authority by intimidating or sometimes assaulting people and getting away with it. The only time police brutality may occur is in a mob or riot situation; it’s overwhelming to the officers because of how outnumbered they are as a whole. Cops have the legal right to defend themselves if they feel that their lives are in danger. In situations where they have crowds of angry and riled up people who are throwing things at the officers, an officer may very likely feel like he or she isn't safe.

In minority groups, Latinos and African-Americans, large portions of communities believe police are likely to use excessive force on suspects. Most victims of police brutality are African-Americans. African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, yet they are victims in 26 percent of all police shootings. That is nearly 3 times the rate of whites. While race plays a critical role, the number of white cops shooting African-American people is just part of a larger problem. African-American people across the United States are more likely to face discrimination in the criminal justice system and be harassed, arrested and shot by the police.

But we also have rights. Everyone has rights against police. The police swear to defend and protect the country, yet they make everyone feel very on edge and uncomfortable to do certain things when cops are around. The videos posted on social media are unbearable to watch; watching our own people being beaten and even killed by police shows the injustice of how they treat people. It also shows that suspects and criminals in the eyes of the police aren’t people. How other people see police brutality is like a hunter and the prey. It’s scary.

Therefore, police should question first before they shoot. Just because one person may look like the suspect doesn’t mean that police can just start shooting or use a taser at them. That is criminal injustice towards the person.