williamcowley Massachusetts

Police Brutality

Police Brutality is a growing issue in America and something needs to happen about it.

Dear Sir or Madam,

In the past years many incidents have arisen, it would be difficult for someone not to hear of this issue. America is facing a crisis, one that so many people would prefer to avoid. While everyone's attention is directed at terrorists outside the country, we fail to notice the problem within. Police across the country are using excessive force to abuse and most times kill unarmed men, mostly of African American heritage. With actions of brutality like this, the good cops are being put at risk, while communities refuse to notify cops when they see criminal activity. People across the country are protesting, and nothing has been done, something needs to change.

Police Brutality has become a bigger problem than ever, in the article “Police Brutality is a growing American Epidemic” by Colin Ochs, he states that 1,944 people have been killed by police officers since May 1, 2013. That is about 40 people killed each month! More deaths are being caused by police than terrorists. In the article, “Police Brutality is a Serious Problem” by Louis Gerdes, a former police officers claims that officers would drink beer and then go to people’s houses and shoot them, then proceed to frame them with a crime. Afterwards they were awarded medals depending on whether the victim was killed or not. Police officers were ruining people's lives and they were not charged a penny. And most of these crimes were committed against people of color.

People of color are targets for police,whether it be because of racism or other reasons people tend to disagree. I personally believe that police are racist to people based on skin color. In the article “Obama is Wrong to Separate Police Brutality from Racism” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, he states that “although blacks and whites use marijuana at relatively the same rate, blacks were four times more likely to be arrested and charged with possession… 3,052 were black compared to 629 whites.” This proves that police prefer to target blacks over whites. Not only that, but almost all of the stories on the news that talk about police brutality, the victim is African American or black. In the article “Police Brutality is a Serious Problem” by Louise Gerdes, he says “in April 1999, fourteen-year-old Aquan Salmon, an unarmed suspect in a robbery, and also African American, died after being shot in the back by a police officer.” If this person was white, he most likely would have been brought into custody and to be interrogated, however the cop decided to shoot him in the back. This means that Aquan Salmon had no way of knowing the cop was there and never posed a threat to the cop.

Despite all that I have said, some people still believe that police brutality is not a serious problem, and even though cops charge more black people they aren’t being racist. In the article “Police Brutality is Not a Growing American Epidemic” by Jack Kerwick “44 million people who had face-to-face interactions with police officers, less than one-half of one percent was ‘threatened with or actually experienced force.’” although that may seem like a small number, that means that 220,000 people were threatened or attacked by cops. And that is a lot of people. How can you claim that it is not a growing issue, when a quarter of a million people faced issues with a cop? But that isn’t all that people believe, some people believe that cops are not racist to minorities. In the article “Police are Not Racist Against Minorities” by James Comey, he claims that “The two young black men on one side of the street look like so many others the officer has locked up. Two white men on the other side of the street—even in the same clothes—do not. The officer does not make the same association about the two white guys, whether that officer is white or black.” He is stating that officers prefer to go to areas of color people, because they are arrested more. How, may I ask, are they not being racist? What he says is that black people are arrested more, but why are they arrested more? As stated earlier blacks and whites use illegal drugs such as marijuana equally, so blacks should not be in jail more.

How should this be solved? I have an answer, Body Cameras. These are small cameras attached to an officer’s uniform that records all interactions. These would provide a much needed transparency between cops and the community, while strengthening trust between the two groups. A similar claim was made in the article “Body Cameras Will Stop Police Brutality” by Adam Schiff, he says that “Having a video record of events not only deters the use of excessive force, but it also helps dispute or demonstrate claims of police brutality. And in either case, it improves community confidence in a just result.” This way people can trust the local police a lot more, which solves the problem of people not speaking up about criminal activity. However, some people claim that body cameras will do nothing, in the article “Body Cameras Will Not Stop Police Brutality” by Shahid Buttar, he says “even when body camera footage is public, it remains an inadequate solution at best. Cameras captured video of Eric Garner's death, which millions of people watched on YouTube. But video neither saved Eric Garner nor helped hold his murderers accountable.” While it may not have saved Eric Garner, in the article “Body Cameras Will Stop Police Brutality” by Adam Schiff, he says that “With half of the police department wearing cameras recording each interaction with the public, the department experienced an 88 percent reduction in complaints against officers. Additionally, the study found that shifts without cameras experienced twice as many use-of-force incidents as shifts using the cameras.” While police may not be charged for use-of-force incidents, it still reduced the amount of times cops were using force by fifty percent.

I hope that after reading this letter, you may think about the matter and decide to act upon it in some way. I know that you have a challenging job, and I respect you for being so willing to give four years dedicated to serving our nation. I merely ask you that during that time you try to undo the wrongs in America as best you can, and repay the ones who have befallen such terrible crimes. Thank you for spending your precious time reading my letter I have written to you, and good look during your term as president.


William C.

Glenbrook Middle School

Grade 7 English Language Arts

The seventh grade students have researched, discussed, and thought carefully about a variety of issues that challenge our nation and the next president. Here are their thoughts about what the next president must do to improve our country and all of our lives.

All letters from this group →