Dear Future President,
I have never seen police violence in person, but I have watched and read a lot about it online. Police brutality has been an ongoing problem for many years. People were not always aware of police cruelty because it was never recorded or reported. With social media, there have been a lot more videos and pictures of people getting abused and hurt by police. In 2015, 776 people were killed by police officers and 161 of them were not armed.
The article “Officer Resigns After Video of Struggle With Teens at Texas Pool Party” shows how police are not doing what they are supposed to do. In this article, Officer Eric Casebolt was breaking up a pool party when he drew his gun on two unarmed black children. He also was captured on video throwing a teenage girl to the ground and pinning her down. Officer Casebolt resigned but wasn’t charged with anything. Another example of police brutality is in South Carolina when an officer was called because a girl refused to put her phone away. According to ACLU, Three different students got video of the officer picking her up, flipping her in her chair, then grabbing her arm and leg to throw her across the room. Another student stood up and said, “Isn’t anyone going to help her? Ya’ll can’t do this.” The officer then arrested both girls who were charged with disturbing a school.
Police officers shouldn’t get unfair advantages. If a person was physically harming another person to the point where they can no longer defend themselves, the perpetrator would be charged with assault. But if a cop were to commit that crime, they wouldn’t be charged. In fact, it might not even be known. We should feel safe with police officers, not scared.
There are many things that cause police brutality. For example, racism is an enormous factor in police cruelty. During 2015, in the span of 5 months, 15% of unarmed people killed by police officers were white and 31.9% were black. Other causes are street police being alone, not supervised, and determining by themselves what to do in a situation. Officers that have used unnecessary force and have not been disciplined for it don’t know it’s wrong sometimes and continue to do it.
You, Mr./Mrs. President, could change this. You can stop innocent people from getting killed by the police. Help people feel safe when an officer is around them. Have stricter policies for officers to follow. Make sure cops are being disciplined when they do things they aren’t supposed to. You could pass a law stating that cops need to have another person with them at all times. Any officer violating an individual's right will be fined, charged, and jailed. If you choose to, you can stop it.
Fiona A., Pennsylvania