Tilly Y. Connecticut

Police Brutality

Inequality amongst racial groups in America is a major issue because people are being deprived of their inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Dear Future President,

My name is Tilly Yacenda, and I live in Westport, Connecticut. You’ve probably never heard of Westport, because it is a small suburb along the coast of the Long Island Sound. It's quiet here, but I am still aware of the very important controversial issues America is facing this election. I feel very strongly that all people deserve equality, and should not be treated differently because of what they look like. My opinion is inequality amongst racial groups in America is a major issue because people are being deprived of their inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Some may wonder why this type of issue is so important to me being that I am white girl who has not suffered harsh treatments from police or any others. However, I want everybody to have the opportunity to live the life I am fortunate enough to live. I want everybody to feel safe in the environment they live in and comfortable with the people who surround them. I don’t want American citizens feeling afraid of the very people who are there to make them feel safe. This is why, future president, I have decided to write you this letter; hoping this one letter will be the lucky one to catch your eye and spark a change.

Innumerable amounts of innocent American citizens have been shot and killed by policemen who are not doing their job properly. The very people trained to protect Americans, are putting American citizens lives in danger. Early this summer, an innocent black man was shot and killed by a police officer. On July sixth, thirty-two year old Philando Castille was pulled over by a cop who suspected danger from him. When the cop approached, he asked for Philando’s license and registration but Philando refused and claimed he had a weapon in the back of the car. Just then, was Philando shot fatally five times by the cop right in front of his girlfriend and four year old daughter. This is just one of many times that America lost an innocent life. Mr. Castille was not committing a crime at the time that he was shot. An NBC news reporter describes the fatal event. He claims "Would this have happened if those passengers,or the driver were white?" he said at a news conference. "I don't think it would have." This is a common theme amongst these cases between police officers and minorities because people are being shot by police based on judgements made from their ethnicity and race. This leads to countless innocent lives being lost. According to the website ZeroHedge, one hundred and twenty three African Americans have been shot and killed by police officers this year. That is a lot for a population that only makes up thirteen percent of the people in America. Something needs to be done, and done fast, before the numbers raise even higher.

I am not black, or a minority. I do not know what it feels like to feel afraid to go outside and live my life. I have never gotten a call telling me my family member had just been shot and killed by a policeman while they were on their way to the grocery store. However, I can imagine how scary and horrible living a life like this must be. It must be so hard not to have your rights listened to and to feel at a disadvantage and treated differently because of what you look like. Mrs. Clinton, I am sure you can relate to feeling oppressed. In your life you have experienced harsh treatment because of being a woman and being different. You have had to change your name and work twice as hard to be where you are today. You even said so yourself “I like my name, but if changing it makes a difference in the way I am treated, I will change it”. (The Choice 2016) Here you had an opportunity to improve the way you were being treated by people. I feel like you can relate to African Americans because you know what it's like to have negative circumstances in your life based on things you cannot control and change. You succeeded in overcoming the negative circumstances your life presented you. African Americans are unable to succeed in achieving equality for themselves because they are afraid of their own government and for the safety of themselves and their families. Are you able to help them succeed? Mr. Trump, I learned that growing up you were very fortunate to live a very nice lifestyle. The Voice 2016 informed me, You “Grew up in a large house with many bedrooms, had a chauffeur, were able to carry on your father's business, and if you wanted to say something you could say it.” What would you do if you didn't grow up like that. What would you do if you had little money, lived in a poor neighborhood and couldn’t say how you felt without feeling like you were putting yourself in danger? Wouldn’t you want people that did have power to speak up for you? Racism and prejudices is causing people to assume other people are dangerous and kill them. Innocent lives need to stop being lost, and I am begging you future president to help fix this issue, because we honestly can’t do it without you.

Life, Liberty and Pursuit of happiness have been American ideals since the Declaration of Independance. In order for more people to feel these ideals in action, Americans need to establish safety and unification. I think that what you can do is increase the police training. Give them clear protocols so they can learn what they can and cannot do. By doing this, police will feel more confident in their actions and so will people of color and other minorities. Please, I ask you to take this issue seriously because it needs to be stopped. It is the duty of the President of the United States, to set an example for Americans on how to live up to respecting other people's inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Tilly Yacenda

Staples High School


Mr. Heaphy's students speak out on the issues that will be important to them as new voters in the next election!

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