Not using your turn signal can get you arrested, up to and including death — Welcome to the American Prison System
Among today’s topics there is a lot of concern regarding police and judicial treatment towards minorities. One of the ethnic groups most affected by this is the “Black community.” Even though their rights are as equal as everyone it seems that they have been targeted with many cruel injustices provoked by police officers and as well for their instincts to protect themselves. Their rights are not being respected or equally taken in consideration. Also, what is worst is that the public is not only affected by being “black” but it gets worst if you are woman. This is part of a patriarchal society were man’s masculinity tries to overpass woman’s power and definitely leads to a lack of respect for women. This can be seen in our current prison system and as an example of this is the Sandra Bland Case.
Waller County, Tex., officials released video from a dashboard camera showing Ms. Bland's arrest in a traffic stop. She…nyti.ms
On July 10, she was arrested by Trooper Brian T. Encinia. He abruptly arrested her for not using her signal lane change. As seen in the dashcam video footage, the arrest quickly escalated when she did not want to put out her cigarrete. Although Sandra Bland was protecting her rights, the officer rudely forced her out of her car and violently put her in handcuffs. According to LA Times Article this Texas State Trooper was fired because he,
“ Failed to remain courteous and tactful in the performance of your duties. You engaged in argumentative discussions with Ms. Bland and you failed to exercise patience and discretion throughout the contact.”
According to the article, the trooper also prolonged the traffic stop longer than necessary and failed to follow the seven-step violator interview. As we know, Sandra Bland was found dead three days after her arrest, bringing many more doubts about the prison system.
As we know the United States of America has the largest prison population in the world. Why does the prison system imprison so many minorities?
Among African Americans, the numbers are even more horrifying. According to the NAACP, one in three black males born in the United States today is likely to spend time in prison at some point in his life. That’s compared with one in six Hispanic males or one in 25 white males.
These are some quick but important questions that come to mind, because minorities are being affected and as part of a minority we need to be aware that policemen completely forgot their slogan that they are here to serve and protect their community.
There are many ways to educate a population and provide correctional behavior. There are many positive reinforcements and correctional initiatives that our country can head towards. The fact that there are more jails than colleges certainly does not help. Other countries like the Netherlands are certainly taking steps toward reducing their prison population, and this issues needs to be closer to the top of our agenda.
The allegations behind encarcerating a women for not using her turn signal and finding her dead in prison three days later are very disturbing. Prison is not always the solution.