Growing police violence is unacceptable


When people are becoming scared of the law that is supposed to protect us, it really is a huge problem. It is true enough that police have protocols to follow and need to be able to keep themselves safe, but there are too many incidents lately in which they aren’t treating citizens like human beings. If a crime is committed, the criminal should be have to deal with the consequences, but for kids-young men mainly- to be shot and killed in their own neighborhood without justifiable cause is absolutely wrong.

On August 9, a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. ┬áPolice said that Brown was shot during an altercation with the officer. However, a friend who was with Brown at the time said that the officer shot Brown when he refused to move from the middle of the street to the sidewalk and that Brown’s hands were over his head at the moment of the shooting. What could have gone wrong for a police officer shoot an 18 year old?

More and more of these incidents have been happening recently. For example, Darrien Hunt was shot in the back – but why? Video released last week show Hunt walking along, carrying a Samurai sword, and then running, obviously for his life, as two officers chased him. An attorney for the Hunt’s family, Robert Sykes, says a picture was taken by a bystander and it shows Hunt smiling as he talked to two officers. The ruling from Utah prosecutors is that the shooting was justified, based on the fact that the officers said that when Hunt fled after initially being shot, he still refused to drop the sword, making them fear for any bystanders he came across.

What are these cases, in reality? Police officers justifiably keeping themselves and the citizens in their community safe? Racially motivated murders? Or simply bad judgement on the part of the officers involved? Regardless, the truth is that more and more often, suspects are being shot and killed without ever having the benefit of the justice system.

What’s going to happen next? Will we even be able to stop and say hi to an officer without being arrested or shot at? Who are we suppose to trust if we can’t even trust the police? There are many, many heroic police officers all across our country, but the actions of a few are making the entire group look bad. I believe that some police officers are taking advantage of their job. Just because they have a badge does not give them the right to harm people.