Abbey P. Michigan

Police Brutality is Jeopardizing Our Nations Safety

Police brutality is a very important issue in America that needs to be addressed. Many people are wrongly accused of crimes, attacked, or targeted by police for racial reasons. Our future president must address these problems and solve them for the betterment of America.

Dear future president,

There are numerous different issues today in the United States of America that need to be taken action upon. From racial issues, to global warming, to equality amongst both genders, these pressing issues are all incredibly important and need to be resolved. However, there is one particular issue that is greatly affecting not only our society, but most importantly the well being of American citizens: police brutality. Police brutality is something that is constantly becoming a more widespread issue, and legal action must be taken to ensure the wellbeing of the innocent victims in America being targeted. Actions must be taken on license plate privacy, and on laws of resisting arrest.

Firstly, action must be taken on license plate privacy, or currently the lack of privacy. Today, police have devices called license plate readers, which give officers access to criminal history, gender, race, etc., in seconds by simply scanning the license plate with this device. “Many modern police cars have cameras and software that automatically identify license plates, send the information request, and tell a police officer everything about you in real time. Typically including your picture, gender and race. And even police cars not equipped with this system have onboard computers that will give the same information almost as quickly” (Police Brutality Must Be Stopped). Police officers having access to this information leads to many problems. This immediately targets former criminals, and those of different races. This leads to unnecessary accusations and arrests of innocent people simply because of their history, and their looks/ethnicity. Police officers’ access to information should be limited to only necessary information and not irrelevant detailed such as skin color and ethnicity “Another Washington Post investigation from August found that black men — who constitute 6% of the nation's population — account for 40% of the 60 unarmed people who had been fatally shot by police by that time” (10 Police Brutality Statistics That Are Absolutely Shocking). With police officers having the ability to see the faces of the people driving in their vacinity, these African American people will continue to be targeted, and the harassment will not stop. The only way to put an end to this is to put these laws in place that I propose. This way officers do not even have the option in the first place to consider people’s ethnicity while on the roads. Doing so will decrease unnecessary arrests and false convictions.

In addition to license plate privacy, action needs to be taken involving laws of resisting arrest. Currently, a victim can be accused of resisting arrest, without any other crimes being accused of them. This suggests that the victim was being falsely accused of a “crime” initially. Incidents like these continue to occur in America, but nothing is being done to resolve them because the subject is technically guilty for resisting arrest if they did so. However the officer is equally at fault for arresting someone without reason. “But critics of the police say both of these charges — obstruction of justice and resisting arrest — can be abused by police to justify groundless arrests. Burney says these charges sometimes are invoked by police who are trying to maintain their status as, as he puts it, "Boss Dog"’ (Arrested For Resisting Arrest- Yes, It’s Possible). This suggests that, sometimes police officers abuse their authority, and arrest people simply to make a statement that “they are in charge”. The current legal system allows this to happen, by allowing victims to be arrested for resisting arrest, and that only, without even having reason of being arrested in the first place. If a law was put in action that requires there to be an initial reason for arrest before accusing a victim of resisting arrest, the number of these incidents would be greatly decreased.

There of course is an opposing viewpoint on this topic as well. Many people believe that no further laws should be enacted because they would put restrictions on cops that have done no wrong. They believe that these “good cops” would be getting punished if these actions were taken. I see where these opinions are coming from, and my response is that these laws do not put restrictions on good cops, but simply eliminate unnecessary privileges that give these bad cops the ability to make costly decisions. “Good cops” do not take advantage of these privileges that are being eliminated in the first place, so these laws and restrictions would have no affect on them. Only police officers who are making bad decisions will be affected, and this will contribute to the betterment of America.

If these laws were enacted and my recommendations were considered, incidents of police brutality would be greatly decreased. I do not believe that police brutality can, or ever will be completely eliminated. However steps must be taken in a positive direction for any improvement to occur. Not much is being done currently, or quite frankly ever, to eliminate police brutality, but if you as the president of the United States take action on this current issue, we will be headed in the right direction. A law must be enacted that limits the information that an officer can access from someone’s license plate, to decrease the chances of an innocent person being falsely accused of a crime because of their race, gender, or background. Also, laws must be put in place that require an initial reason for arrest before someone can be accused of resisting arrest. This will help to keep innocent people from being arrested without reason. If these steps are taken to reduce police brutality, the police officers in our country will return to what they are meant to do, to simply keep the citizens of the United States of America safe.