Priscilla O. Connecticut

Are Officers Really Doing Their Job? Or is This a New Era of Racism?

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

There is an outrageous amount of deaths of African American males in 2016. Police have killed about 194 males and this number is rising drastically. It’s tragic to hear on the news every other day about an African American male dying because they were shot by a cop for no legitimate excuse or reason. The U.S is slowly becoming to feel like we’re unsafe in our own country. Our security system is taking advantage of their power, their authority. They’re not doing their job by killing all these men. We don’t live in a country where “justice for all” is interpreted among us all. This is not what is promised when people come to our country looking for better opportunities and a better life. It’s also the reason why people like students in schools or in other places, don’t put their hand over their heart or stand when the pledge comes on because they feel as if the words don’t necessarily represent what we are or what we’re capable of.

Compared to the U.S., Europe doesn’t have as nearly as much deaths as we do. That is because European cops don't carry guns on them. In order for them to use, they have to request it by signing a paper and having a legitimate reason as to why they need it. American cops on the other hand, they expect to receive and have a gun on them at all times. This is also because they’re trained to be this way, and because they expect guns, they feel brave and it makes them aggressive. Like the article, Why do American cops kill so many compared to European cops, by Paul Hirschfield says, “The specter of gun violence… May make American policing more dangerous and combat-oriented.” Which clearly seems to be true with all these cops getting away with murder.

The story of Alton Sterling is tragic and sad to even think about. In the Washington Post, an article about Alton Sterling was posted. In Outrage after video captures white Baton Rouge police officer fatally shooting a black man, an aunt of Alton Sterling, Sandra Sterling had compared Alton’s case it another where two African American male cops who shot and killed a 6 year old boy in Marksville, LA., they were trying to serve a warrant for the little boy’s father. The two cops were arrested and there was justice for that little boy. Even if they didn't mean to do it, there was still something done about it. But when two white cops kill a black man or even a women, nothing is done. Now that's something that seems like racial inequality. Families can’t rest or feel safe because half these cops still have their jobs and are running around. They/We don't know when they will come back to kill yet another human being.

Others might say that cops are doing their jobs by getting rid of these “criminals.” Like Michael Brown, people believe that he got what deserved because he stole, “assaulted” a store clerk, and wasn’t following orders from the officer who shot him. People say that the actions of these people cause their deaths. But why is it necessary to shoot someone about 16 times? The use of lethal force these days is over the top. There is no reason why there should be 194 deaths of African Americans in 2016 alone. And again, it is how our security system is training these rookie officers.

To the next president: I want you to do something about this issue. I want you to take charge and give these families the justice they need and want. I want them to live on with their lives and feel free and safe like they used to in their own homes, to walk around the streets and not feel like they’ll probably be next. I know as a leader, you have a lot on your plate, but hear me out. I hope you will take this into consideration. Let's start to make America like it once was.


Priscilla Otero