|Categories:||Racism Discrimination Police brutality Black lives matter|
Police brutality has been a recurrent debate in the news in the recent past. People are starting to grasp the full impact of the injustices being committed against the black community in our midst. These injustices are often targeted at the African Americans who, mostly black males, and it so happens that in almost all the cases the victims are always unarmed. Some of the reasons given for the senseless killings are that most of the people in the black neighborhoods grow up without adequate parental guidance, hence tend to be involved in drugs and gangster life. As such, they are ganged down through false racial profiling. This paper aims to sensitize the masses of the looming gloom eminent through police brutality against the black community in the United States of America.
All there is to know is Black Lives Matter!!
Though many reports have made it to the limelight, few cases concerning police brutality against the blacks in US society have actually received the attention they deserve. In such situations, however, it is still difficult to gauge the extent of the impact the lost black lives have on societys impression of racial antagonisms and violence. Most of the African American cases are perceived lightly and are soon forgotten, an event that is totally different from what could have been the case suppose it happens the white blood has been shed.
The history of police brutality is not a new concept to the citizens of the United States of America. The term has been in application since time 1833 when the term was first used in the United States (Arnold, 2015). Scholarly definition of police brutality is the excessive use of force by the police force to control a situation (Stafford, 2015). Much more clearly, police brutality is the abuse of power by the unwarranted application of force by the police personnel while performing their duties. Psychological harm is often left out as part of police brutality, but the mental impact to the victims minds cannot be ignored.
Taking the example of Trayvon Martins murder, the unarmed seventeen-year-old kid was shot on being suspicious looking at night (Gordon, 2015). Trayvon was singled out as walking aimlessly in the streets, and seemingly because he was black then most likely he was guilty of one or another crimes or offence. The corresponding police officer involved with the case, Mr. Zimmerman, is still at large for he claimed that the shooting was in self-defense even though it is apparent that Martin Trayvon was unarmed and harmless at the time of the killing. Cast shadow, darkness at the edges; uncertainty for the future and fear of the unknown.
Chicago has set aside the Black History Month as the time when reflections and discussion as to the effect of police brutality is undertaken (Taylor, 2013). This is termed as one of the poorest-kept secrets of the American society, a nation taking sides against the very people it is supposed to protect. The concept of black lives matter has therefore come up to spearhead the campaigns against violence towards the blacks. The world has to be reminded that black lives matter in the same vigor and zeal as white lives and that all humans are the same irrespective of the racial differences setting us apart. The movement has grown stronger especially after George Zimmermans acquittal from Trayvons murder trial (Savali, n. d).
Lollypop; innocent and unarmed victims
It is profoundly depressing and traumatizing to imagine the number of black Americans who have been killed as a result of police brutality. Statistics on this type of data is not readily forthcoming, but rough estimates quote the deaths at a thousand plus just in 2014 (Savali, n. d). It is also difficult to isolate the intention of the killing and to determine whether incidents are typically isolated or depicts a cycle and repetition of recurrent police behavior. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people and this is a daunting fact given the blacks comprised of fourteen percent of the US population.
General police ideology; blacks as target practice
The pictorial above represents the blue wall of violence, a notion that came up as a condemnation of police use of black lives as target practice (Gordon, 2015). The police force is sensitized on how easy and quick it is to end fire away at black suspects. Further insult comes from the comparison of the black American faces as the blank and black stares of the faceless black figures used for target practice. Bearing in mind that shooting at a target implies shooting at an object that does not fire back at the shooter; the police have to consider rationality of their actions for the black lives they murder are unarmed individuals who do not pose a threat to the lives of the men in uniform.
Preventing brutality starts with the police
Michael D Antuonos It Stops with the Police, is the crowning piece of corrective measure that needs to be advocated for to end police brutality (Coleman, n.d). This is a tale of good police officers coming to the defense of defenseless individuals. By so doing, the police force would have broken through the blue wall of silence and violence and henceforth restore trust to the members of the community they have sworn to protect. Communities comprised of blacks as the majority should also have a proportionate number of the African Americans in the police force.
Camera: dilemma faced by the citizens when such crimes are committed
Given that the police force rarely comes in contact with the very people it is supposed to protect, expecting empathy and apathy from the police force is fruitless. This is so because they only interact with the wrongdoers or the members of the society taken in for questioning, and thus the baggage of the problem befalls community leaders and the administrators as well. Involvement of the police in public education and awareness campaigns should be advocated for to end police brutality. This should be done to give a chance to the police force to get to understand that the community members are not all criminals, that they are good people living amongst the vagabonds. This initiative has the potential of eliminating the notion of us against them. Both the public and the police will work collaboratively to ensure that peace, love and unity have been established and maintained in the United States of America, more so Chicago.
Arnold, A. P. (2015, August 7) CNN. The real whistle-blower in police brutality. Retrieved from: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/07/opinions/arnold-police-shootings/
BBC NEWS. (2015, May 26) Why do US police keep killing unarmed black men? Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32740523
Coleman, C. (n. d) NEWSONE. It Stops With Cops: Activist Takes On Police With Anti-Brutality Campaign During Freddie Gray Trial. Retrieved from: http://newsone.com/3286159/it-stops-with-cops-michael-dantuono-takes-on-police-brutality/
Savali, K. W. (n. d) NEWSONE. Killers Behind The Badge: NewsOnes Investigative Series On Police Brutality In Black America. Retrieved from: http://newsone.com/2023676/police-brutality-against-blacks/
Stafford, Z. (2015, April 22) The Nation. Instigating Progress Daily. Chicago Is About to Offer the Nations First Reparations Program for Victims of Police Violence. Retrieved from: http://www.thenation.com/article/chicago-about-offer-nations-first-reparations-program-victims-police-violence/
Taylor, F. (2013, February 20) The Nation. Instigating Progress Daily. Racism, Torture and Impunity in Chicago. Retrieved from: http://www.thenation.com/article/racism-torture-and-impunity-chicago/
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