Power To The People

Media has spread the word on the recent police brutality cases, making people have more access to having the information and the issues going on in the world. Recently in the month of September there was a case that spread controversy around the nation through the media. Terence Crutcher was one of the unarmed victims in the long list of innocent lives being taken away from the police task force. Video footage of the scene was released to the public where they can see that he was unjustly shot and killed. Crutcher was stuck on the highway with his disabled SUV when officers approached him, including Officer Betty Shelby who shot him. Officer Shelby felt threatened and attacked the unarmed black man with a fatal shot while one of her partners tasered him. Terence Crutcher’s family seeks criminal charges and so do many in society.

Upon this article, many left their thoughts on the issue in the comments section. Overall, the main trend in the comments believed there was an injustice made in this case and Officer Shelby must pay the consequences of her actions. They argued that there was a strong link between racial profiling and the violence that led to his death. A resident of New York says, “The pilot spoke the hear of too many in law enforcement “he looks like a bad dude” from hundreds of feet in the air and with no knowledge of this man other than his size and color”. Others responded to the comment on the issue agreeing that the narration of the pilot in the footage was a perfect example of racial bias. In the footage you can clearly hear him stating he believed the man the officers were pointing their gun at was a “bad man” based on his physical appearance, which is the epitome of racial profiling. There are also many comments saying this issue of race has been going on for years. They bring up the Jim Crow laws as an example of how racist and unfair the country was and how this issue of racial profiling should not be in our present society. Our society has evolved so much from the past and all laws that were about segregation are gone but it seems like the minds of many are stuck in the past.

Although there are many who are appalled by Officer Shelby’s unjust action, there are also the few who believe what she did was correct. There was one specific comment supporting Shelby that caught my attention. The comment read “Had he just followed the police’s lawful orders he would most likely be alive today. This false belief that police orders are optional are the cause of these tragedies not killer cops looking to kill black men. If there are a bunch of people dressed in police uniforms pointing guns at you while telling you to get your ass on the ground, I strongly suggest you get your ass on the ground. You can always complain tomorrow about unfairness but I yet to see anybody fix being dead”. What truly makes me upset is that this person does not understand the bigger picture of this case. The bigger picture is that this man was an innocent bystander who was stranded due to his car not working and the police pulled up and believed he was suspicious because of the color of his skin. Any time a black man is stopped or pulled over by a police officer, there is a high chance of it becoming life threatening due to racial bias. All the people in America need to realize that the tie between racial profiling and police brutality needs to be eliminated.

All the reactions of each black life lost due to racial profiling shape the debate on the topic. In the presidential candidate’s speeches and campaigns they mention how much police brutality and racism affects the lives of many and talk about possible solutions for this situation. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic National Convention addresses her position on this issue to America because she knows that it is a huge controversy. Hillary Clinton clearly stated she stands with the Black Lives Matters Movement and wants justice for all the lives lost due to police brutality by inviting nine mothers who have lost their children by the police task force or by street violence to speak on her behalf. The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and the others of the lives lost due to police brutality all made the same claim about Clinton’s presidential stand that she isn’t afraid to say that black lives matter. If people continue to take a stand, society can change policies and demand for a social justice reform and stop from more injustice happening in America with police brutality and racial profiling.