Aliza from Baltimore, MD
Dear Next President,
This letter is coming from a 15 year old girl who witnessed her best friend Jurai get shot by an officer in front of her own eyes. I never thought playing a game of tag would be the last time I would ever see him. We were only 11. He had a black toy gun in his hand pointed at me. We were just playing around. The laughs shared soon turned into weeping cries. Next thing you know, Jurai is on the ground and I didn't even get to say bye. People only get one chance at life and for it to be able to be taken away in a heartbeat by the people who are supposed to be protecting us is terrifying.
I know you see this issue everywhere. It is hard to not know about what is happening in today’s society. How would you feel if your child, friend, relative, coworker or anyone you knew was shot by the police? For failing to signal a lane change? (Sandra Bland) For riding in your girlfriends car with a child in the back? (Philando Castile) For running to the bathroom in your own apartment? (Ramarley Graham) For selling cigarettes outside of a corner store? (Eric Garner) For riding a community train? (Oscar Grant) For walking home with a friend? (Gregg Gunn) For making eye contact? (Freddie Gray) For selling CDs? (Alton Sterling) Should I even say anymore?
Police brutality is a major issue. The fact that only 1 officer is convicted of a crime in every 1000 people killed creates uproars in communities. It only leads to riots and chaos. Police is everywhere but justice is nowhere. America's justice system is corrupt but that’s another story and I'm no story teller. It is truly heart breaking that the same day I am writing this letter (9/22/16) is the day two unarmed black men were shot by the police. One was in Charlotte; Keith Scott was killed. Another was in the city I live in; Baltimore where Tawon Boyd was beaten and later died in a hospital. He had called 911 and was asking for help but instead, his life was taken. The police need to be trained much better! This isn't the hunger games. We can't keep killing people left and right. US law enforcement officers killed up to 1,199 people last year, the majority of whom were people of color. According to bbc.com, the youngest victim was a 6 year old autistic boy in Louisiana. It seems like being a cop lets you get away with murder. Please look into this issue and if you don’t, I hope you're happy with a chaotic America.