Police Brutality in U.S

Black Lives Matter protest

Black Lives Matter

Over the years a lot of turmoil between the police and African American community has divided our country. Numerous riots and protest can be seen nationwide in response to the killing of unarmed black males. In my research I will be discussing why police brutality and excessive force by law enforcement is a continuous problem. I will also explain what the Black Lives Matter Campaign has done to solve this problem.

Law officials occupy a position of trust to the public, they are expected to abide by laws and meet the expectation of conduct. Their use of force is often questioned now that we live in an era where technology is much more advance the dynamics of policing has changed. Camera phones and social media is more common today which allows people to caption police brutality more than ever. Almost every citizen has their own personal mobile device. Historically there has never been a time where people could record altercations with police officers. Not only can ordinary people supply the world with visuals but they can also narrate unprecedented information. This changes the behavior of officers knowing that their conduct is being documented at all times. Until recently police violence was never a topic of discussion.

Structural racism has always been a problem in the U.S it’s one of the untold stories of the African American culture. Many events have contributed to the conditions and despair of blacks today. Cases of police brutality have become routine over the past decades, it’s no longer a new phenomenon. Some of the people most affected by this have been African Americans living in poverty.

Numerous factors of inequality and belief systems play a role in why blacks are targeted more by law enforcement some of the reasons are stereotyping and racial differences. Many black males are viewed as typical criminals this is something that portrayed to the general public even in media. Assumptions are made about black men that justify the shooting and decisions made by officers.

In 2012 a case of racial profiling shook the nation when a 17 year old in Sanford Florida was fatally shot. Trayvon Martin was a young man who was visiting his father who lived in the Twin Lakes neighborhood of Sanford. Upon arrival Trayvon stopped by a local convenience store to purchase candy and a drink. As martin proceeded through the neighborhood he noticed that he was being followed. Twin Lakes was a middle class gated community that was victimized by burglary several times before. George Zimmerman, security and member of community watch felt that Martin was acting suspicions and didn’t belong in the neighborhood. He felt the need to follow Martin as he contacted police. Shortly after there was an altercation between the two in which Martin was fatally shot in the chest.

Trayvon Martin rally in Union Square Manhattan (2013)

As Americans we must all come together and fight for peace within our country. Issue of racism and discrimination has seperated our country for long enough. In 2016 we must learn to use our voice and take a stand for what we believe in.