Nikki O. California

Black Lives Matter (too)

When will the injustice end?

Dear Mr/Mrs. President,

Do you wake up in the morning thinking: Am I going to make it through today? Is my family safe? Well that’s a common thought rolling through the black communities. Due to everything happening with police a lot of African Americans feel unsafe around the one group of people that they are supposed to feel safest around! The Black Lives Matter movement has intensified since it was created in 2013 because the protests and riots have gotten crazy and police officers are not held accountable for their actions.

The Black Lives Matter movement has intensified since it was created in 2013 because the protests and riots have gotten crazy and police officers are not held accountable for their actions. In just this year, almost 200 black people were killed by police officers. Combined with 2015 that is a 1.85% increase from 2012 and 2013. And that definitely added fuel to the BLM fire. Riots broke out in Charlotte after Terence Crutcher was killed but the riots quickly took a turn for the worst. All hell broke loose and there was fire, fights, police officers lined up throwing tear gas, people destroying building and police cars. People were hurt, screaming, causing trouble, not at all what the BLM movement stands for, it was chaos. The riots shouldn't be like that at all. In fact, they shouldn't be riots at all, they should be peaceful protests which isn't at all what we saw that day.

Police really should be held accountable for their actions. It isn't fair for them to commit a wrong that if someone else committed would be punished and get away scot-free or with the barest minimum. On February 26, 2012, a 17 year old boy named Trayvon Martin was walking back to his dad’s house after going to the store to buy Skittles and Arizona tea. A neighborhood patrol officer named George Zimmerman saw him while driving around and called the police saying he saw “a real suspicious guy” and started following Trayvon. Trayvon called his girlfriend and she said he should run but he didn't instead he just kept walking and put up his hood then he turned a corner and ran. Zimmerman then got out of the car and started chasing him. The police officer on the line asked if he was following him and George replied yes and the police officer sternly told him “We don't need you to do that.” Zimmerman said ok and then hung up and after a few seconds keep on chasing him. No one really know exactly what happened after the caught up with Trayvon. Zimmerman claims that Trayvon hit him repeatedly and knocked the back of his head against the concrete. Neighbors heard someone yell “Help!” and “Help me!” around 14 times followed by a gunshot. That gunshot was George shooting a fatal bullet into Trayvon’s left chest killing him. During the trial Zimmerman plead non guilty and self defense and the jury found him not guilty. Some would argue that he wasn’t held accountable for his actions and no one should kill another person and have no consequences. (Refer to the graph below)  According to The National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, law enforcement has lower conviction rates, incarceration rates, and average sentences. We can fix this by enforcing cops to wear body cams. Because that would give unbiased insight as to what really happened.

Now you might be saying if black lives matter then stop killing each other with black on black violence because that's also a leading death American Americans but the difference is if they get caught they get jail. Is it not true that if an African American person kills another African American and they get caught they will go to jail? Of course. According to M. Marit Rehavi of the University of British Columbia and Sonja B. Starr’s study “Black men were on average more than twice as likely to face a mandatory minimum charge as white men were.”

In conclusion, I believe that the black community can be treated better by law enforcement. We don’t want to be seen as targets especially when we are innocent. Police officers should be wearing body cams to prevent what happened with Trayvon Martin to happen ever again. Everyone should be seen as equals in the eyes of the law. So that we can prevent having to treat our kids to grow up feeling afraid of police or feeling like they are our enemies.

"Black Americans Killed by Police in 2014 Outnumbered Those Who Died on 9/11." Raw Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

"Black Lives Matter." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

"Blacks Receive 60% Longer Sentences For Same Crimes." Newsone. N.p., n.d. Web.

By the Time They Turned Him Back Over, He Was Gone,. "Police Killed More than 100 Unarmed Black People in 2015." Mapping Police Violence. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016. "CRIME SCENE PHOTOS: Have You Seen Trayvon Martin's Dead Body? Does It Sway Your Opinion vs George Zimmerman? - NewsBall Inc." NewsBall Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

Packman, David. "What Can We Learn From Criminal Complaints Against Cops?" The National Police Misconduct Reporting Project. N.p., n.d. Web

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