Dear Future President,
Over the course of several years, varying accounts of police brutality against African American citizens ignited the Black Lives Matter Movement. Many names became hashtags on social media because of unlawful murder committed by police. Large amounts of citizens protest and call it an abuse of power, while many police representatives blame it on confusion. “We thought he was armed and we feared for our lives,” that’s what many police officers say when questioned about the incident. Many families weep for their sons, daughters, and relatives that have died because of bad decisions by the police. This needs to stop. We need to provide the proper training for police, and do psychological evaluations on each officer so that we can avoid the deaths of many more African Americans and the rest of the people in our country.
Many people think that the amount of black men shot by white police officers is suspicious and trace it back to racism and discrimination. Most victims that were killed were said to be unarmed, but they were shot and killed anyway. According to MappingPoliceViolence.org, nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as unarmed. Although that doesn’t seem like a large percent, it was enough to spark a movement worldwide. Also that unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015, which is how people trace the killings back to racism and discrimination. The psychological evaluations, which would probably include talking to a therapist and a polygraph test, would recognize the officer’s views and determine if the officers possess the qualities to commit violent actions towards people of a different nationality or race.
The death of Michael Brown, a black man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, caused a widespread protest against police officers abusing their power. Other African American men such as Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were also shot because of the assumptions and fear of police. Most officers accused of abusing their power are often put on paid leave, and if found guilty, suffer minor consequences even if there is solid evidence against the officer.
Many people address the movement as selfish and came up with the term, “All Lives Matter”. Yes, all lives matter but it is the African American community that is under attack. Young African American men fear that if they get pulled over by police, they might not make it home alive. Unbiased police officers that are concerned about the lives of all people and make the right decisions will save the lives of many people in America. Martin Luther King Jr. said that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Let’s not ignore how hard he worked for the African American community to be accepted and considered equal.