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Americans have multiple different views of their beloved country’s’ police. Many consider the police to be completely brutal and racist. However, others are aware of the policemen and policewomen that are considered to be heroes. The mixed views of the police clarify that American culture has shifted their attentions to the acts of the police more and more. Uproars over police brutality show that Americans have had an increase in prioritizing racial equality. The first thing that comes to the minds of many is police brutality towards African Americans.
The killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, last year by a white police officer in which a grand jury decided that there was “not enough probable cause to indict police officer Darren Wilson” was not the first time that an unarmed black man got killed by a white police officer and the justice system failed to redress. The case of Eric Garner soon showed that it won’t be the last time.
The protests for Ferguson and Staten Island have not been about single incidents of black man versus white officer. These protests regard institutional racism in the United States, along with the excessive use of police force that ends with the murder of a black man by the “defender”… (Huffington Post) Let’s forget about the big-name cases for a second. Victims not covered by the media include 15 year old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26 year old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a police brutality beating, and even an 87 year old grandmother helping her wounded grandson who was shot.
Policemen have caused many suffered broken bones, head trauma, organ failure, and even death, all with questionable arrests. In fact, the officer that arrested the 87 year old grandmother said “Bitch, you ain’t no better than any of the other old black bitches I have locked up.” Officers of the United States of America should be proper, educated men and women.
Not these pathetic, pity officers! As expected, the American people, of all races, want justice. They want the police to be punished. They want to protest. They want this madness to end. Poor, innocent people are being abused without any reason.. I think that the “trained” police officers can take down a grandmother and a pregnant woman without hurting them. Am I wrong?(Atlantic) This type of justice would be retributive justice, a system of criminal justice based on the punishment of offenders rather than on rehabilitation. Is this type of justice correct? In most cases, I believe that it is not. However, some of the actions taken by the police are just incredibly hard to understand. These policemen should be stripped of their jobs, and even serve time in prison. They are not defending themselves…they’re abusing their powers, and causing unneeded protests and violence. Now, how are the victims and their families actually given “justice”? Simple answer.
Money. 5.7 million dollars is the amount the city paid to victims of brutality between 2011 and 2014. (Atlantic)Instead of spending that money after uproaring protests, why not just train cops properly by using more money? The justice that involves money is distributive justice, which is about fairness in what people receive, from money to goods. But money sadly does not replace the lives of victims. Keep in mind the millions of dollars spent on the cases in Baltimore. The payout for the pregnant lady was just 95,000 dollars. Are two people’s lives worth just $95,000? It is too bad that it had to take so many deaths before we were even willing to admit that there may be something wrong with the system. What’s crazy is that even though millions of dollars are being spent after people that are brutally murdered and assaulted by police, law agencies in big cities such as New York, Chicago, and Baltimore still do not have body cameras on the police.(Huffington Post)
These agencies claim that this would be very costly, but in reality, know that this would cause even more money spent on the settlement cases. In other words, governments want to have the system just the way it is. Policeman are rarely prosecuted, and if they are, little to no evidence exists to contradict police when they use brutality. History will tell if we are heading toward the change that almost all Americans have been desiring. But, we cannot be too optimistic as changes can be made with little to no effect, since racism is a “man-made construct” that took years and years to build and preserve. What is more likely is that in the near future, we may see changes to the excessive use of police force, which is only a symptom and not the cause of the actual problem. The actual causes such as structural and historical racism and separation of social classes will be too difficult to fix, even if the political will to do so should present itself.
And with a racist president candidate of Donald Trump, the problem of police brutality may not be fixed anytime soon. In Alabama, during a campaign rally, Trump supporters physically attacked an African-American protester after the man chanted “Black lives matter.” Video evidence proves that the attackers kept on assaulting the poor man after he had already fallen to the ground. Trump replied to this with, “Maybe he should have been roughed up. It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” (Huffington Post) If Trump or a supporter is asked about police brutality, they may have a very simple answer. Some people will argue that police brutality is not an actual thing. While some media does portray the police as the “villain”, most media is true to the fact that the innocent person is the victim. Eric Garner’s video is what affected many people the most.
In the video, it is clearly shown that Garner is saying that he cannot breathe, while being strangled for doing absolutely nothing wrong! Hand shot videos such as these prove the fact that police brutality is in fact a real thing, and it is not going away anytime soon, unless all of America acts on it. Instead of brainwashing the American citizens to believing lies, the truth of brutality will be revealed, along with some solutions. Let’s take a step back from all the negativity for a little bit. Now, there are many very sympathetic cops that commit not acts of brutality, but acts of heroism, risking their own lives in many cases.
The famous one that many have heard of is the one of Florida officer Bobby White. White was called due to a noise complaint. When he arrived to the scene, the noise makers turned out to be a group of teens playing basketball in the street. Bobby White, instead of breaking up the game, decided to join the kids to a game of basketball. He said that he would bring his friends next time to play, and showed up with basketball legend Shaquille O’neal! What a great act by a policeman. To relate this to police brutality and racism, officer White was a caucasian police officer, while the kids playing were African-American. Clearly, there are good policeman in the United States that can and are willing to do the right thing.
The kids that received this act by the kind policeman will forever remember this. There is also something known as reverse racism, which is more rare than racism towards African Americans. “Reverse racism” can refer to the idea that the police tend to look the other way when they are in similar situations with white criminals rather than black. Forget criminals, this rule applies to politicians, teachers, students, almost everyone. Now, most people obviously try to be politically correct and egalitarian as that is the correct thing to do. I strongly believe that every man and woman is created equally, no matter his or her race! The other way reverse racism can work is that blacks can be racist towards white people.
This can be an argument many may focus on to oppose police brutality. Doubters may argue and say that the victims of the “police brutality” were being rude or hateful to the police, or in other words utilizing their beliefs of reverse racism. The American culture towards racism has changed significantly throughout history. Today, Americans have many different views of the policemen and policewomen of their county. It is well known that police brutality exists due to intolerance and racism. However, there are some police that are very good citizens who are role models to these kids such as Bobby White. Although there are many that are aware of the brutality and the racist police, it is not an adequate amount. Millions, if not billions of dollars are paid to settle brutality cases throughout the United States. Baltimore alone had about 5.4 million dollars spent on theses cases in just three years. That money is an amount that many many people will never see or make in their lifetimes, yet that does not mean it is enough to cover the police’s brutal actions. Money can never replace the value of citizens’ lives, no matter the amount of money. American culture must adapt even more to the police brutality in order to completely eliminate it. The only way this can be solved is from major friendly protests, due to corrupt local governments.
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