Dear Future President,
In today’s society, police brutality and racial discrimination against African Americans has become a huge problem but it can be stopped. In 2015, at least 306 black people were killed by police in the U.S. In 2016, at least 194 black lives were lost due to police shootings. As the years go on, the number does decrease, so is there a possibility that we could bring that number down to ten? Or even zero? I think the answer is yes.
In 1984, the Tennessee v Garner Case arose and it gave police much more freedom. It states that, under the fourth amendment, when a police officer is pursuing a “fleeing” suspect, they are not allowed to use deadly force unless the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect was a danger to them. In my opinion, since police know about this law, they use it to their advantage and they do whatever they want to do to people as long as they have a good explanation for it. If we were to veto this law so that it is not in effect anymore, police will probably be less willing to pull the trigger on an unarmed suspect because they know that they won’t be able to get away with it.
If we retrained our officers, their misconceptions about urban neighborhoods and other racial stereotypes, would change. Common stereotypes about the crime in urban areas affect a police officer's decision to shoot or not. In an article written by Yes Magazine, it states “Racial bias training can address the preconceptions and subsequent racially based brutality.” If police officers learn that not all of the preconceptions they have about urban neighborhoods are true, they will be aware of the fact that not all people in those neighborhoods that have a certain look to them, are criminals. Not only will it change the thoughts of the officers but it will also give them less of an opportunity to say that they felt threatened by the suspect because since they are aware of the stereotypes, they shouldn’t feel threatened by someone who wasn’t making any effort to attack them.
I believe that, if you want to solve a problem, you have to put yourself in the other person's shoes to understand their point of view. In this case, Americans need to put themselves in a police officer's shoes. Everyday, police officers face a lot of pressure to live up to the expectations of Americans. We see police officers as our protectors so when they feel that they have to play that role in a certain situation, they will. In an interview done by Seattle Schools, a police officer says “Police are the guardians and the peacekeepers. A lot of times people fail to see that aspect of it. Policemen are sometimes looked at by the public as the bad guys.” If we were to realize that not all cops are doing their job just for the power, we would be able to appreciate their jobs and maybe we could all grow to appreciate each other.
If we were to add more woman to the police force, the brutality rate could go down. In an article written by A Plus, they say “One study from the 1990's indicated that women officers have a distinctly different style of policing than their male counterparts.” Women are more nurturing which makes them less aggressive than men. Women are also more prone to thinking things out before they react so if they encounter a sticky situation, they will be less likely to respond negatively. In my experiences with a female officer, they have always been nicer than male officers. Yes, some female officers can still be aggressive, but they were still more lenient than male officers. The lack of aggression could stop police brutality because women will feel less obliged to attack or hurt a suspect.
In conclusion, I think that if we work together as a nation and expand our knowledge on other point of views to the topic, we could possibly end police brutality.