On August nine two thousand fourteen, Michael Brown, an eighteen year old African American was shot to death by a white police officer in Missouri. After a surveillance camera captured a man shoving a clerk and walking out of the store with a box of cigarettes, nine one one was called. Michael and his friend Dorian are walking in the middle of a street and are suddenly confronted by an Officer, he tells them ‘Get the f*** on the sidewalk’ or ‘Get the f*** out of the street,’ and they both replied, ‘not but a minute away from our destination, and we would shortly be out of the street”. Michael and Dorian begin to run, Dorian hides behind the first car he can see, he said. The officer gets out of his car and grabs Michael by his neck and Michael tries to pull away. ‘My friend, Big Mike, very angrily is trying to pull away from the officer,’ said Dorian. Than the officer takes out his gun and says ”I’ll shoot’ or ‘I’m about to shoot.’ Dorian than saw the gun being pointed at them and he moved seconds before he pulled the trigger. ‘I saw the officer proceeding after my friend Big Mike with his gun drawn, and he fired a second shot and that struck my friend Big Mike,’ Johnson said. ‘And at that time, he turned around with his hands up, beginning to tell the officer that he was unarmed and to tell him to stop shooting. But at that time, the officer fired several more shots into my friend, and he hit the ground and died.’He then looked at his friend “Big Mike” and saw that he was struck in the chest or upper region. Michaels wounds included a shot to the hand from close range, the official autopsy found, according to a report in the St.Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. Michaels blood was found on the officers uniform and in his police car. At least one of the wounds demonstrated that there was a struggle inside the police car.
The cause of police brutality is that police officers abuse their powers. Many believe that because they have a badge, they are the ones that are always right. Additionally, there is a lack of training in many police departments and a lack of enforcement of consequences and this further empowers officers to exert their power over people. They never give innocent people a chance to talk and explain their side of the situation really is no other cause than that because officers often use their powers excessively against innocent people, specifically people of color.
The effects are innocent lives are being taken away. Most African Americans and Hispanics live in fear. Police officers are seen as bad people and not all of them are bad. African American parents have the “talk” with their kids but not about the birds and bees but about what to do when a police officer approaches them. “ As a result, the black community is injured to police violence. Abusive behavior on the part of the police has become commonplace; we are used to the small harassments. According to a nineteen ninety seven joint report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice while men, Whites and persons in their twenties were more likely to have face-to-face contact with the police, Hispanics and Blacks were about seventy percent more likely to have contacts with the police as Whites were. An estimated five hundred thousand people were here hit, held, pushed, choked, threatened with a flashlight, restrained by a police dog, threatened or sprayed with chemical or pepper spray threatened with a gun or subjected to some other form force. “ (Nelson)
Police brutality is a huge issue in our community, for innocent lives are being lost. According to the Washington Post this year alone 896 people have been shot and killed by police officers. Instead of feeling protected by police officers they feel afraid to leave their homes because of the fear of not coming home alive.
Police brutality is a huge issue not only in Los Angeles but also around the whole world. Innocent people get wrongfully attacked for no reason. Police brutality is caused by police officers abusing their powers. It is also caused by the officers not being trained for certain situations. Police officers usually target African Americans and Hispanics. Police brutality is not only when officers abuse innocent people but also when officers fail to help people. The law fails innocent people by wrongfully sentencing people to jail for stuff they didn’t do.
Police officers think they can do whatever they want because they are the law but in reality they need to realize that people have different sides to their stories. For example Oscar Grant, who was shot dead in two thousand nine in Oakland, California. Police officers had been reported about a fight and started having a confrontation with Oscar and his friends. Grant was handcuffed, with no gun and his face was being pushed down onto the floor when an officer pulled out his gun and shot him in the back. In court the police officer who shot him claimed he thought his gun was his taser (“Officer punched Oscar Grant”). Oscar Grant had his life taken away while the police officer who shot him was sentenced to two years in jail and let out early in nine months. Oscar never got the chance to get his life back together after struggling to have a stable life he was finally doing good. He never got to watch his daughter grow up and it’s something that could’ve been avoided if the officer had not shot him.
Police officers fail when they accuse innocent people of things they didn’t do and because they are on top of the law they get to accuse who they want. For example “ Nearly two decades ago, Richard A. Jones was convicted of aggravated robbery after being picked out of a lineup by witnesses who said he stole a cellphone in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas. But while Mr. Jones, who maintains he is innocent, was serving his 19-year sentence at Lansing Correctional Facility, inmates told him he looked like a prisoner named Ricky. That resemblance would eventually lead to his freedom. Last year, a judge threw out Mr. Jones’s conviction after the original witnesses were shown side-by-side photographs of the two men and said they could not tell them apart. Now Mr. Jones, 42, is trying to get his life back on track.“ ( Hauser ) It is not fair that innocent people have to go through these types of situations, his life was stolen from him and there is nothing the law can do for him to get all those years back.
Police brutality happens because new officers often seek to continue with traditions and standards of police behavior. These standards require new officers to imitate older officers and comply with superior’s commands or otherwise face criticism, or job loss. According to “ BAD CHICAGO COPS SPREAD THEIR MISCONDUCT LIKE A DISEASE”. “Recently released data from the Chicago police department shows that misconduct spreads from officer to officer like an infectious disease. And the same behavior that leads cops to violate the rules often predicts whether they will participate in a shooting.” This supports my claim because officers look up to each other and seek advice from older officers and if they act a certain way they will follow into their steps of police brutality. This matters because if officers show a bad example on how to act there will be no one to help innocent people in situations that are complicated.
Police brutality does not only affect the victims but it also affects the police officers because it gives them a bad reputation. People are afraid to follow their dreams of becoming police officers because they fear the judgment they will get from doing that. “ Let’s be clear, my decision to become a law enforcement officer did not go unnoticed by my family. To my father, I was a disappointment, so much so that he made the following statement after he learned of my decision: “How could you? Boy, you are a traitor to our race. Not only that but you are a white man’s ni****.” Think of that, your father, the man you most wanted to be like, calling you out because you chose to be a law enforcement officer.” (Thomas) Thomas’s father was disappointed that his son wanted to become a police officer’s because of such a bad view he has on police officers and also especially because his son is African American and it is known for police officers to target blacks. This is important because people should be allowed to follow their dreams without having the fear of being accepted.
Police brutality is a huge problem around the world because innocent people are losing their lives. How would you feel if you found out one of your loved ones died in the arms of police officers. “I know that it’s hard to believe that the people you look to for safety and security are the same people who are causing us so much harm. But I’m not lying and I’m not delusional. I am scared and I am hurting and we are dying. And I really, really need you to believe me.” ( Oluo ) Picture a knock at your door and its two police officers giving you news that you just lost a family member due to police brutality. Police brutality is a situation that must be controlled so more innocent lives are not being lost. I cannot imagine losing someone to police brutality. It’s hard to find a solution because police officers are the highest part of authority if police officers don’t help you who will you go to then, unless you take it to the government and they can try to help you. I feel terrible for the people that lose loved ones in their life due to police abuse, I know they wish they could do something about it but they also fear for their own lives. Police officers often do get away with their murder because they always mention that they feared for their own lives even though they are the ones that have the power to attack with weapons.
One solution can be officers get punishments for what they do, not just jail time but also money for the families who lost their family members. Sometimes officers should relax and consider different sides of stories. Another solution can be when police officers are training they should be trained on what to do in situations like police brutality. Instead of just tazing them or shooting them they should just get handcuffed, that is why there are many officers so they can help.