Patricia B. Oklahoma

Police Brutality

Police brutality is becoming a recurring problem in the United States.

Dear Next President, 

I would like to express my concerns regarding police brutality and the sudden increase in police-related deaths. It seems to me that law enforcement officials are abusing their power instead of using it for the greater good, as they should be. Law enforcement, as well as our court system decisions regarding racially related incidents, are becoming more and more unreasonable, corrupt and unjust. Because of this, I want the next president to raise awareness and create laws regarding racial profiling and discrimination, due to the fact that it's a reoccurring problem in today's society. 

 The first example I'm using will be the death of Tamir Rice, which was completely unreasonable. The article "Reasoning Away Murder" explains that 12 year old Tamir Rice was playing in a park when a call came through from a concerned passer-by stating that there was a "juvenile brandishing a gun that was probably fake". However, this call got translated to officials as "a black male in the park with a gun". The two officers responding to the call claim Tamir reached for something upon confrontation, but the "gun" was actually an Airsoft replica. Tamir was unarmed, but still shot for no real reason. His death was completely unreasonable.  

The next example I'm going to explain is the corrupt death of Sandra Bland. In the article "What Happened to Sandra Bland?", author Debbie Nathan explains Bland's record which consisted of petty misdemeanors that eventually landed her in Waller County Jail, where she would eventually commit suicide. Bland cried herself to sleep every night and often complained to fellow inmates about how "the jail life is not the life for her". Despite her cries, authorities at the jail did absolutely nothing. They did not relocate her to a medical pod as they should have when an inmate should be put on suicide watch. The officials involved have received no penalties, which is a prime example of corruption in our criminal justice system. In response, Bland's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit which is currently pending. 

The third example I'm going to discuss is the unjust case of Trayvon Martin. In the article "The Monsterization of Trayvon Martin", Patricia J. Williams explains the factor that racial discrimination has played in this case. 17 year old Trayvon Martin was unarmed, simply walking down the street when George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, got into an altercation with him that ended in a fatal shot which resulted in Trayvon's death. In response to this, the media completely demonized Trayvon because of his race. At Zimmerman's trial, the jury acquitted him.  The United States Department of Justice claims "there was not enough evidence for a federal hate crime prosecution", which deters the very foundation this country was built on, that "all men are created equal...". If that's the case, why did they demonize Trayvon but praise Zimmerman?  

In conclusion, I believe racial profiling and racism in the criminal justice system is becoming increasingly prevalent. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that "police actions taken during a traffic stop were not uniform across racial and ethnic categories", where black drivers were twice as likely as white drivers to be arrested during a traffic stop. Though some may argue about the presence of corruption in our law enforcement and judicial system, I believe it's there and the presence is only getting stronger. Racism must come to an end. Police brutality must come to an end. Injustice must come to an end.

East Central High School - Tulsa

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