Dear Future President,
Right now, America is facing a huge problem. Actually, we’re facing many huge problems, but I only chose to talk about one today. Recently, there has been a multitude of cases of police brutality that have gone unanswered.
When I first heard about an unarmed black man being killed, I was incredibly saddened and disappointed. By this time I had already known of the many injustices black people faced, and this was nothing new as even before this time police officers have been abusing their power. The first time it happened, it was sad, disheartening. And then it happened again. And again. And again. It happened when Alton Sterling was selling CDs. It happened when Charles Kinsey was helping an autistic patient. It happened when Eric Garner was selling cigarettes. It happened when Sandra Bland was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. I hate to say we’re “used to” it, but it’s definitely not as shocking anymore. To say the least, I’m terrified. Terrified of what this country has come to, terrified of the police, terrified that something is going to happen to any one of my family members. I am terrified.
The damage of these ruthless and atrocious acts doesn’t just affect the place where it happened, but the entire black community and this country. The outcry of the black community is deafening and yet there is not nearly enough being done. In 2015, in 102 cases where an unarmed black man was killed, only 10 of them resulted in the officer(s) being charged. Only the deaths of Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris resulted in the convictions of the officers involved. However, only one of the officers convicted in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time: sentenced to 1 year in jail, and he was allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. There has been 102 cases and the jail time being served is on weekends. One hundred and two deaths and this is the “justice” we get.
Police officers are abusing the power they have over us regular citizens. Officers are using an excessive amount of force to “subdue” a suspect they think is armed. According to the data outlaid at Mapping Police Violence, nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as unarmed. Instead of being fired and prosecuted for their actions, they are only suspended or put on administrative leave. Need I remind you that it is our tax dollars paying these officers? And to do what, kill us? Something’s not right and something has got to change.
Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people. Julia Craven at Huffington Post reports that according to a project by The Guardian, at least 194 black people have been killed by the police. I don’t know about you, Future President, but that scares me. Want to know what scares me even more? That they’re actually getting away with it. These killers, are getting away with executing my people.
It’s not as if we don’t have the technology or means to change what is happening because we do. Make police officers wear body cams at all times, charge them for their crimes, amongst other things. The “not all police” excuse gets old after a while. If another officer is noticing what’s happening but not taking a stand against it, they are just as much at fault. One bad apple spoils the whole tree. The system isn’t serving its purpose and something needs to be done. Police officers or those in training to become an officer should be taught thoroughly how to handle situations effectively so that no one gets hurt.
Right now we are a country divided. America supports an image, it is known as the land of opportunity and everyone is equal but it seems that those only applies to certain people—and mine are not included. We notice the trends and the patterns and I'm sure you do, too. Organizing these protests and marches, it would be a hell of a lot easier to know that the President of the United States is on our side. What do you say, Future President? Help us to make this country better. Together, all of us, I believe we can do it.