Statistics alone are not capable enough of explaining why police brutality occurs to one specific group of people. We can see fewer indictments of police officers, but the indictment rates of civilians are almost at a hundred percent. The US Department of Justice states, “61% of police officers state that they do not always report serious abuse that has been directly observed by fellow officers”. Also, that 43% of police officers agree with this sentiment: “Always following the rules is not compatible with the need to get their job done.” (US Department of Justice). This shows us that officers resort to going above the law to maintain the law, which shouldn’t occur because it violates the rights of the citizens. From the media coverage, we can see that people who are African-American/Black are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while being unarmed compared to a Caucasian/White individual. African-American/Black people were 39% of the people killed in the 100 largest cities in the US, despite being only 21% of the population in these cities. (Mapping Police Violence).
What people are truly afraid of is being unable to gather the efforts to solve problems that tackle rigorous questions. Take the establishment of the constitution, the document in which the court abides by through their own means of interpretation. The constitutional Framers had spent hours on end, editing and revising a living and breathing document that to this day has been shifted and molded to fit society’s current needs. Dealing with police brutality is just that. People are choosing to remain unbeknownst to the problem itself, rather than find the time to ask the questions no one is choosing to ask. Fear drives us into moving backward in society, it is the mere mechanism that drifts people away from the root of the problem.
In the case of Eric Garner, “Who died July 17, 2014, after a police officer in Staten Island, N.Y., placed him in an illegal chokehold during an encounter on the sidewalk, where police said Garner was selling illegal cigarettes. A bystander shot video showing Garner’s final moments, and it quickly fueled major protests and demands that the officers involved face criminal charges,” a man held in an illegal chokehold, the reason for his death: non-compliance. In the case of Tamir Rice. “Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback responded to a call about a black male sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people in a city park. The caller expressed doubts about the gun’s authenticity and said the male was probably a juvenile, but that information wasn’t relayed to the responding officers. Within two seconds of arriving at the scene, Loehmann fired two shots, one hitting Rice in the torso,” a child holding a toy gun who had been shot to death. The justification of his death: suspicious behavior.
It is a difficult task to validate the death of an individual, caused by another. It is an even greater task to determine the motives of the shooter and correctly establish the factor of fear. However, it is not difficult to refrain from using excessive force in times when situations can do without. Brutality is not an acceptable force; it should never be. People should not dwell in fear when coming across those that are solely supposed to protect and enforce the right of the people. Yes, “bad guys go to jail,” but out of the many are the few with no voice, wrongfully charged, disrespected, denied their natural rights based on something more than a lack of significant evidence. Society will be on the verge of suicide if the backward idea that killing is justifiable based on fear alone is still relevant today. Young boys and girls regardless of their race should not have to feel the pressures of becoming a victim based on the “suspicions,” they cause. Police Brutality is not a situation that cannot be stopped, it is perfectly capable of fixing itself. The idea that those in power are valid based on their value of power in comparison to those inferior is not justifiable. Democracy thrives on the people’s choice; brutality cannot define our laws and its enforcement.
To conclude, police brutality not only impacts African Americans in society but others in all existing walks of life. Yes, some may be subject to more cruelty than others, but the only way to completely diminish the problem is to recognize it in its essence. The police are people just like us with human emotion, human aggression, and human fear, and often we put those in power that is incapable of putting someone else’s self-worth on top of their own. It is an agreeable statement that yes, police are humans too, humans who constantly put themselves in a line of danger. Nonetheless, it is even more agreeable to argue that society must train those who subject themselves to such dangers to relieve themselves of those pressures and do without brutality. Reform is always needed in all walks of life and pertains to each individual system of government regardless of its present successes.