Joshua P. Pennsylvania

Police Training

My thoughts on Police Brutality

Dear President,

My name is Joshua Phillips and I live in Philadelphia, PA. In the sixteen years I have been alive, I have seen and learned about a ton of racism from our police.

These officers discriminate against, harass, and kill many people of color. They are starting to become an aversion to me and many others in our country. One of the causes of these harmful actions is police training. I believe the police can do a better job with arrest and other interactions with civilians if they're prepared.

Let me tell you about Michael Brown for example. A young man who was shot and killed by an officer two years ago. I first heard about this story on social media and then later on in a song. I felt some type of way because when I heard about it, they said he was unarmed with his hands up in the air walking towards the officer. This didn’t stop the officer from firing several more shots at Brown. I knew this wasn’t right and he didn’t deserve to die the way he did. Yes Mr. Brown did steal several packages of Cigarellos from a nearby convenience store, push the clerk that tried to stop him before the incident, and later on resisted arrest. After resisting arrest and getting shot twice he attempted to return to the officer with his hands up, the officer felt he was still dangerous and fired about four more shots, hitting Brown. I feel like the officer could have been taught better at the academy for situations like this one. Let me remind you he was unarmed and surrendering. How would you feel if this happened to someone close to you?

MIchael Brown wasn’t the only person to experience police brutality at the level. In 2016 alone, about 844 people have died to police brutality, about 706 of them being unarmed, mentally ill, and of color. 194 Black Americans have been killed by police so far this year, at a rate of 4.86 per million (Celisa Calacal). This is one reason you (as the next president) should have Police Academies make sure their officers don't have any grudges against any particular person for their ethnicity, race, and any other things that categorize different people. I believe the police could work on community relations and defusing racial tension.

As I have already said, officers need to be more prepared to handle and prevent deleterious situations in society. These problems do not only impact the people, but they also impact the way we react to situations like those. I believe that Police Brutality can be a problem of the past, if we prepare our officers for the future.