Lilli R. Louisiana

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officers should be respected more because of the hard work they do to keep our country safe.

Dear Mr. or Madam President:

Police officers' jobs include protecting the people and property. They are assigned areas in which they are to patrol, respond to calls, enforce laws, make arrests, issue citations and occasionally testify in court cases. Officers usually spend a great time dealing with criminals and threatening scenarios, which result to possible physical injuries when attempting to arrest a suspect. 

Since the uproar of protests and shootings, many black citizens and law enforcement officers have been harmed or killed. Many believe police are targeting, or attacking, minority groups; while others believe policemen are just doing their jobs. Many blacks are accusing police of attacking them and have formed protest organizations - not to cause violence, although that seems to be what is happening. I do believe if a suspect is unarmed then the police should not expect to use their weapon even if the suspect is on a wanted or watch list because of previous crimes they have committed. America seems to increase in number of violence and crimes and I feel like the law enforcement has recently began to expect to use their weapons. According to crime reports "violent crimes have increased by 3.9 percent from 2014 to 2015. Murder and non-negligent man slaughter has increased by 10.8 percent." Because of this, law enforcement tends to be more aware of criminals.

Citizens do have a right to protest peaceably and express their views in a safe and lawful manner. In Portsmouth, Va, Police Chief Tonya Chapman organized a peaceful protest with more than one dozen citizens. Chapman says, "Since they knew of the protest plans... they were prepared, although they didn't know how large the crowd would be." Chapman also says, "Every community is only one day away from a Charlotte event... because there's always a propensity for violence." The Charlotte event refers to a shooting of police officer, Keith Lamont Scott, in Charlotte, North Caroline. Police do support these protests from blacks regarding the treatment towards them, though they expect them to be peaceful. They want to keep the communities safe and if the protests aren't peaceful it is harder for them to keep the people safe. Chapman announces that "she can't speak to what happened prior to February 22, prior to my arrival. I can only speak to what we're doing going forward and how I'm holding officers accountable." She also admits "we have to find a common ground and we have to move forward on what we have right now in today's times." Police are not out to get people of any race. Though in some cases law enforcement officers have acted violently towards citizens, I don't believe it was on purpose. I believe if the police harmed any citizen in any way they had to have thought they were armed or they were armed. Police are here to keep our communities safe.

Since the encounter of Officer Darren Wilson and teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo, a shooting in 2014, the case has caused tension on both sides and opened discussions about the treatment towards minorities. Within the last few months and the creation of the "Black Lives Matter" organizations, rage has fueled inside some Americans towards police officers. I also believe complicating the issue is that violence against minorities has created distrust and resentment towards law enforcement within the black communities. The number one reason why I think America has become what it has is because citizens are beginning to fail at accepting responsibilities for their actions, this in both black and white communities.

Even though recent events make it seem that police are targeting blacks, most law enforcement officers are really just doing their jobs and focusing on people who commit crimes. Law enforcement officers across the country have shown that they are open to discuss this issue and are willing to help protests as long as they are peaceful and not harming anyone. Though, they have to be aware of the possibilities that could happen.

I do understand we cannot do much about protests that are not peaceful and get out of hand and ones who refuse to be arrested, but I do believe we can help change the attitudes toward law enforcement in general. I believe if someone has committed a crime they should be arrested and if they threatened police, no one should be shot or killed, but there are ways to take them into police custody without harming them. We need people to realize policemen have a hard job and to continue to discuss this issue and try to resolve it peacefully. As a president, I believe you can turn America around and become the nation it once was.

Thank you.

Cedar Creek School

Cedar Creek School

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