Eli F. Pennsylvania

Police Shootings

Dear Donald Trump,

I am writing now to analyze and hopefully create a solution for a current issue, police shootings. The number of police shootings and the videos showing them has stunned the country. In 2015 alone, 708 people have been killed by police. The fact that so many of those killed have been people of color suggests that mare are killed because of nothing more than the “dangerous” color of their skin. And now we are in a terrible cycle where unjustified killings of African Americans are inciting retaliation, leaving police targeted and threatened. Thus, police are scared and feel a little more inclined to pull a trigger. The cycle then repeats, and an innocent is harmed. People then retaliate, and once again the police feel scared, subsequently they use more force. This is why I am writing. Something needs to be done about this violence.

Obviously, we can’t snap our fingers and expect this catastrophe to disappear, but a solution is possible. If we can manage to replicate the policies of other countries with much lower shootings, we may be able to minimize the amount of police shootings. For example, in Japan they average less than 50 police shootings every year. Here in the U.S. we had 1,200 just last year. Even in larger countries like Germany (where there were around 150 shootings), they’ve managed to find an efficient system that works to reduce policemen or women pulling the trigger. I believe that these are the steps necessary to obtain our solution.

First, the ways police act in real life situations comes down to their training. If we can strengthen our police training, thus making each and every one of our officers trained to resolve dangerous situations without guns, then we will be headed in the right direction. Secondly, we must create a close relationship between our officers and the community. Thirdly, we must use more non-violent techniques to settle disputes and prevent death. According to Sky News, Scotland Police Chiefs are training our police officers to use negotiation and verbal techniques. In the last two decades, Scotland officers have shot two civilians. In one year, American police have killed at least 1,000 people. This statistics show and instance need for change, but hope for the future. If Scotland Police can do it, why can’t we?

In conclusion, if our officers get better, more in-depth training and become aware of the people in the community in which they work, I truly believe and have statistics to prove that police shootings will go down a tremendous amount. If we can continue to adapt to and acquire techniques like Scotland’s, then this country will be set up for a brighter future.  

Bala Cynwyd Middle School

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