Police Brutality | Teen Ink

Police Brutality

February 13, 2009
By Jason Darling BRONZE, Newark, New Jersey
Jason Darling BRONZE, Newark, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

What is Police Brutality? Who is it targeted towards? These questions are still in the minds of people in America, primarily African Americans. As African Americans, we have been targeted by the police for, unfortunately being black. For years, African Americans have been oppressed by police for this reason alone. Not to say that some of these reasons are valid such as the possession of firearms, being involved in robberies, and gang violence, but most of the time they aren?t for these reasons. Police brutality has become more and more frequent. It has been targeted toward African Americans, so much that it is similar to a custom.

In the media, the more fortunate African Americans have opportunities to be on television; however, they are often portrayed as pimps, gangsters or even poor people. The only way that they are portrayed as is degrading women, or speaking of how they live their lives, which often include smoking or drinking, when there are artistes who are just as talented but have more positive things to say. They also speak of guns. Because of this, African Americans are sometimes or always mistaken to possess firearms. An author of the NY Times stated ?In recent years, when police have killed unarmed men, they have been, almost with no exception, black.? This relates to the melancholy case of Sean Bell. It was a night in November of 2006, where the victims were leaving a club. Suddenly, a police cruiser came around. The police exited the car and fired not 1, not 2, not even 3 shots but 50 shots round by round. Reports have shown that the police officers believed that the victims had guns. From this you should understand that this is partially our fault as a people for we have portrayed ourselves in this manner. But other than that, the police should?ve had some rationality to know that all African Americans do not have guns and the fact that there hasn?t been any convictions, is just ridiculous.
Another incident occurred, similar to the case of Sean Bell, but this is a bit more nerve racking. Oscar Grant and his friends were perhaps celebrating the dawning of a New Year when they were stopped by police. Whatever they had done caused them to be subdued by one of these officers. At this point, Grant and his friends weren?t struggling at all. According to the NY Times, the police officer abruptly pulled out his gun and fatally shot Grant in the back. From this incident and even before, African Americans have been distrusting Police officers because of their brutal tactics and as a result can?t be trusted by the police.

We as African Americans have to know that these incidents don?t only affect them and their families, but us as African Americans as well. This should tell us that we are also in danger. A famous quote stated ?No one is free, when others are oppressed.? And right now we are all in captivity for this is a major issue in which we again have to stand up for ourselves and each other to Police Brutality.

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