In this essay I will focus on some of the problems with police officers. I will talk about homicide trends, drug overdose trends, and gun control trends. I will talk about my concerns. I will talk about the problem with racism in police departments. I will talk about crime and police conduct, race relations, gun control and drug abuse. I chose this topic because I felt as if there are many different things that are in need of change in this topic and it is a decently broad topic.
According to Crime and Police Conduct, they state “police treatment of blacks and other minorities, relations between citizens and police remain troubled,” (peter katel) homicide rates seem to be increasing mainly in larger cities. They want to look at the use of excessive force in officers. With the new era of cell phones and police body cameras. They are able to see interactions with officers and the general public. Homicide is increasing in larger cities. Which adds a new debate with police conduct toward minorities. They state “debate over police conduct toward minorities sparked by a series of deaths at police hands in recent years.” (peter katel) Violent crimes remain and are a danger to society, especially in a few minority communities. In 2015 the homicide rates increased by 16 percent. The reasons they believe are the cause states “easy access to guns by young men with few job prospects, gang feuds, disputes over social media postings, an enforcement pullback by police in response to heightened public scrutiny – or some combination of these factors.” according to the article “minorities see themselves at greatest risk of being victimized by crime, as well as by police misconduct.” In a study that was conducted about two thirds of African Americans stated that them or a family member suffered mistreatment by police because of their race.
I believe that is article is important to my topic because mistreatment of minorities has become a problem more recently. People are being mistreated because of their race. We’ve tried so hard to make sure that everyone has the same rights and that everyone is a person. But the fact that some officers are mistreating someone because of their race. It sets us back because if everyone is supposed to have the same rights then why are people being mistreated to begin with. I personally believe that officers should be trained to treat everyone with the same respect. If they expect us to respect them they need to respect everyone else the exact same. Minorities are terrified of officers because they feel like they’re going to be mistreated. We hear on the news all the time about officers firing their guns at an innocent person. I feel like that wasn’t really a thing before but now it feels as if that is a common thing. It’s wrong in my opinion for people to be scared of officers they should be seen as the people who are here to help us. When they actually are seen by some people as the enemy. Innocent people shouldn’t be scared or think of officers as the enemy. But it’s not their fault for thinking of them that way. I believe it’s the officers doing because they are the ones mistreating people. And it’s not all officers that mistreat people there are plenty of officers that do their job correctly but for the ones that we hear about on the news. The ones that make everyone unsafe are the ones that I feel need to be retrained to make everyone feel safe and protected.
According to Race Relations, two officers were shot in a protest. They have stated “That demonstration followed the resignation of the police chief and the release of a blistering Department of Justice report documenting a pattern of racist behavior by the police department and local courts.” There was an 18 year old African American who was unarmed and was shot and killed by a police officer. The officers left him lying in the street for hours after he was shot. Which made people upset. He was walking in the street and ended up arguing with an officer. The officer told the man to walk on the sidewalk. They ended up fighting each other and the officer said that he feared for his life which resulted in him shooting and killing the man. He left his body laying in the middle of the street for hours. The community was upset by this situation and they ended up protesting for days. “The march justice report said that ferguson’s police department singled out black people for arrest, routinely used force (including with police dogs) against them and issued an excessive number of tickets to African-Americans for traffic and other offenses to rake in revenue. And the report cited emails in which unnamed ‘police and court supervisors’ forwarded racist jokes. In announcing the report, then-attorney general eric holder said that although discriminatory policing issues ‘may be particularly acute in ferguson – they are not confined to any one city, state, or geographic region.’”
This is important because people are scared that they are going to be harmed by officers. There was a case where a guy died while he was in police custody. Innocent people are being shot for doing absolutely nothing. People believe that it is because of their race or beliefs. I just think that officers are being trained to be aggressive and use force on people even when it’s unnecessary. I think that they are threatening people over nothing. One guy was just walking in the street and it ended in an officer shooting and killing the guy and left him there for hours. The fact that an officer can do that and think it is ok is not ok. They are using unnecessary force on people that aren’t doing anything.
According to Gun Control, 26 states have adopted 55 different gun control measures. They are trying to stop gun violence. They have stated that “the new state gun-control laws have, among things, strengthened background checks for firearms purchases, banned bump stocks (which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire hundreds of rounds in a minute) and barred gun ownership for anyone convicted of domestic abuse. Some states also have passed ‘red-flag laws’ that allow police to seek court orders to seize guns from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.” There have been many school shootings. And people are in support for gun control because of it. A few states have passed laws because of school shootings on gun control. In 2018 by october 8th we experienced over 200 mass shootings. A mass shooting is defined as four or more people are injured or killed not counting the shooter. There was a shooting october 4th which resulted in six officers that were wounded and one that was killed. Oregon was the first state to expand their gun control laws after the parkland shooting. They have stated that “theSupreme Court declined to hear challenges to state gun restrictions brought by gun-rights groups.”
I believe that this article is important because it involves both officers and the general public. The shootings aren’t mainly focused on to one group of people. When people are apart of mass shootings they aren’t focusing on certain people that they want to harm. They aren’t just trying to shoot certain people so they will harm officers and the general public. It’s not just the general public that this concerns because it also involves officers and anyone. I think that it is important because more and more shootings are occuring. There have been about the same amount of school shootings this year as there has been school weeks. Which I personally think it’s ridiculous. I personally don’t understand why people want to harm another person. It’s just concerning that this has kinda become normalized. We’ve heard so much about these school shootings it doesn’t really affect us as much. When it wasn’t as common it would be very shocking but know whenever I hear about a school shooting I don’t really think much of it because of how normalized its become. People have become used to the fact that school shootings are happening and I feel as if we’re not really trying to stop it as much as before.
According to Drug Abuse, deaths because of overdoses have increased because of opioids. “State governments are working with federal authorities to address what they are calling public health crisis of addiction to opioid painkillers and heroin. New challenges abound: Pockets of the country are seeing a rise in overdoses of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and an even deadlier new drug cocktail called ‘gray death.’” There was a photo of two middle aged people that were passed out due to a heroin overdose. They were in the front seats of the car and her grandson was in the back seat of the car. Officers were able to revive the couple. According to the article they’ve stated that “Dangerous mixes of heroin laced with fentanyl or other synthetic drugs have fueled an increase in drug-overdose deaths even as overall abuse is declining.” The amount of people using hasn’t increased but the amount of deaths are increasing. People are using heroin rather than prescription drugs.
This is important because more and more people are dying because of this. It includes both the general public and officers. It doesn’t just include officers because they are charging more people of drug crimes or the fact that they have to try and help people that are dealing with this. Some officers are also using and overdosing on opioids. There have been recent cases of officers dying because of this. I believe that maybe we need to try and make it more difficult for people to get a hold of these substances. The amount of people using hasn’t increased but the amount of deaths have. It’s concerning that so many people are addicted to these substances.
In conclusion, I talked about trends in homicide, drug overdose, and gun control. I talked about my concerns. And I talked about the problems with racism in police departments. I talked about crime and police conduct, race relations, gun control, and drug abuse.