William F. Michigan

Police Brutality

Abuse from others is not new to African Americans, nor is it new coming from our law enforcement. But, it comes to a point where enough is enough. We are at a time where racism is supposed to be behind us yet it still plagues our country. Something has to be done soon or we are heading backwards, not forward.

Dear Future President,

I am writing you now to share my fear for not just African Americans, but the younger generation, who do not deserve to grow up in the racially divided circumstances that plague our country. The actions taken by the police against African Americans clearly show the flaws not only in the legal system and in law enforcement, but also in the morals of some people in this country. In this country, which is supposedly the land of “freedom and justice for all”, events occur that constantly reminds us that this is a false hope that most cling to. It is also used by some to mask their true attitude towards this too good to be true idea. For these reasons I want to ask you to take a stand and advocate for the end of police brutality.

Alton Sterling, Gregory Gunn, Eric Garner, and Trayvon Martin are just some of the many victims of police brutality that demonstrate the ongoing attack on African Americans as a race. These people, along with many other victims to these vicious crimes, were guilty of nothing but being harassed, racially profiled, and abused physically and verbally. Sterling and others, lost their lives, and families were robbed of their loved ones.

Alton Sterling was a man selling CD’s at a store when someone called in a complaint of a man threatening someone with a gun outside of the store. The police arrived and detained Sterling. While in the process of tasing him and physically abusing him, he was fatally shot six consecutive times. This brutal event was recorded by a witness and released via social media and news networks. However, the murder was followed by the claim from the police that Sterling was reaching for his weapon. The owner of the store, an eyewitness, claimed after the shooting that Sterling was not the one causing trouble and that he was not reaching for his gun at the time of getting brutally murdered. With this being said, I would like to note that the two officers (that should have been enough to detain one man) both have a history of abusing their power of law enforcement, particularly against African Americans. One officer, on the force for 3 years, had been previously placed on a department-mandated leave after shooting an African American. They both had been previously investigated for their use of excessive force. With this information I am baffled at how two officers known for excessive abuse and the shooting of someone are allowed to “protect” us. There is no way I would feel safe around either one of these human beings and because of officers like this, I fear for my life around all other cops as well.

This leads back to my proposal for you to take a stand against police brutality. Unfortunately, currently I have no solution to stop the attacks on African Americans. But, I believe uniting not just blacks but a variety of races that all have the same goal to end police brutality will generate ideas. During the current election Hillary Clinton has proposed to reconstruct the training of our nation's officers. I do not see how this could possibly solve anything though, as the training of officers will not affect their view towards minorities. That view being the image they have of blacks, looking down on us as if we aren't even a speck at the bottom of their shoe. It is this view that allows themselves to treat us the way they do. Unfortunately this has been occurring for centuries now, but thanks to the evolution of technology the whole world is finally getting a good look at the racial injustices African Americans experience. These injustices didn't begin with Trayvon Martin or not even Emmett Till, it started when our ancestors were compacted into ships and sailed from our homeland to slave for the white supremacy. The difference now is we're not just allowing this to happen. We are taking a stand against these racial hate crimes and we're fighting back. I'm afraid that if there is no change made we will not need to worry about war with other countries, but a domestic war dividing minorities and whites. I suggest to avoid the potential of this you use your power in office to make a difference in our society, and enforce the true meaning of liberty and justice for all.

Avondale High School

AP Lang

Rick Kreinbring's 2016-17 AP Language and Composition students

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