This is a submission from our Leaders 4SC Middle School Camp.

Although some believe blue lives matter and the police are not pulling over minority races just because they are minorities, according to data many Black men and women are being shot by the police due to police brutality and people are losing their lives for no reason. Black men and women are 3 to 4 times more likely to be arrested for the same crimes that white people are not arrested for, and often more suspected of drug use than people with lighter skin.  

Why Is Police Brutality Still Happening? 

Six years ago this August, Michael Brown, a Black 18-year-old who had just graduated from high school, was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Many deaths provoked a national debate about how to reduce police violence.For example, numbers have went down, but not drastically, in 2013 there were 1111 police killings in the United states , in 2014 there were 1059 police killings in the United states,  in 2015 there were 1103, in 2016 there were 1071, in 2017 there were 1095, in 2018 there were 1143, and in 2019 there were 1099. Why has there been so little progress, and what needs to happen for these numbers to go down? Although many common strategies didn’t work. Although numbers have not significantly dropped since 2013, things have improved in some parts of the country, especially in cities. To be more specific, less police brutality cases have occurred. Tighter restrictions on when and how police officers can use force, putting someone in a chokehold, for example, or shooting at a moving vehicle, appear to substantially reduce killings. 

I believe that many actions such as restrictions on how police officers can use force and violence should be put in action, therefore reducing police brutality in the United states. The data shows that if restrictions are put on how police officers can use force and violence, police brutality will go down. If something is not done, innocent minorities will continue to lose their lives, just because they are minorities. 

In 2014,  two state police officers in gear arrived at a complex to serve an arrest warrant. In the parking lot, they came upon Roxanne Torres, sitting in her car.  Ms. Torres was not the woman they were looking for. But the officers, who did not identify themselves, approached her car. Ms. Torres started to drive away. The officers shot at her 13 times, hitting her twice, but she managed to escape the situation. This kind of situation happens all the time. This situation shows that “It tells officers that they can shoot first and think later,” Torres wrote, “and it tells the public that palpably unreasonable conduct will go unpunished.” Another example, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a police officer  pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. And three of the officers complicit in the murder are still unprosecuted. 

Therefore, proving that with stricter enforcements on violence and force, police brutality will go down.

Sources

Why Is Police Brutality Still Happening? (The New York Times)

How to Reduce Police Brutality (The New York Times)

A Timely Case on Police Violence at the Supreme Court (The New York Times)

What the data say about police brutality and racial bias — and which reforms might work (Nature)

Police brutality goes “beyond individual bad apples,” professor says (CBS News)

What the police really believe (Vox)

Written by Leaders 4SC 2020 Student, Jacqueline S.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and/or student and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of United 4 Social Change Inc., its board members, or officers.
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