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Police Brutality needs to stop!

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    It’s hard to believe that the ones we have always relied on for help, the ones who protect us and we have put our trust in for years, turn into the people we fear. There is not one instance where you turn on the news and not see a report about another innocent, unarmed African American being brutally beaten and oftentimes fatally shot by a police officer. On average, in the United States, a police officer takes the life of a citizen every 7 hours (Fatal Encounters) and 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 (The Guardian). These shocking statistics are prime proof of the ever growing problem of police brutality in the United States. Police brutality is the excessive and often illegal use of force against civilians by police officers. Throughout history, there has been a prevalence of police violence. From cases like Rodney King to Philando Castile, it is apparent that this issue is not old news. Police Brutality is a widespread issue, resulting in the deaths of many African Americans in which needs to be addressed. By changing the way in which police officers go about doing their job, we can ensure that this senseless violence no longer afflicts innocent African American citizens of the U.S. This post will address the numerous occasions where police brutality was prevalent as well as pose some solutions that may have a significant change in society.

    When you think of police brutality, Eric Garner is the first case that probably comes to mind. One of the most well known police brutality case, Eric Garner, a 43 year old African American man was strolling down the sidewalk minding his own business when suddenly an unmarked police car pulls up in front of him. Two off duty officers approached Garner and knew him well for he was a repeated offender for selling untaxed cigarettes. But little did they know, that Garner wasn’t actually selling loose cigarettes this time, but actually trying to break up a fight between two individuals who had just ran off. The officers didn’t believe Garner’s story even when an eyewitness, Ramsey Orta explained how he saw the whole situation go down and even caught it on camera. This led police to using extreme physical force on Garner. One of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo placed an illegal chokehold on him ultimately leading to his death. Garner was left gasping for air pleading to police that he “can’t breathe” approximately 11 times. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital.

    Police violence didn’t just end at Garner, it continued onto our youth. Ramarley Graham, an eighteen year old young man was seen by officers from the NYPD Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, adjusting and tugging at his waistband. The police officers had assumed that Graham was carrying a gun and decided to follow him back to his apartment building. Although Graham was walking casually to his home, the officers have claimed that he started to run from them toward his home. When the officers approached the building, they unsuccessfully tried to kick down the front door, two of the officers went to the back entrance where they were let in by a first-floor tenant. The officers then approached the door of Graham's apartment, where they were let in by his grandmother. Graham and the officers soon cross paths leading Graham to run into a bathroom, where he allegedly tried to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. One of the police officers, Officer Richard Haste, ordered Graham to put his hands up. While doing so, he thought that he had seen a gun on Graham, shooting him in the upper chest. Graham was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby Medical Center.

    The cases of Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham are prime reasons why the police department should change their tactics on how they handle crimes. Police departments need to stop practicing ‘broken windows’ policing. Not only does it prevent them from focusing on much more serious crimes, but it could also lead to racial profiling. In addition, police officers must be psychological tested prior to stepping into this type of work. It is often in police brutality cases that police officers fire off their weapon because they are either scared or they shoot without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Through psychological evaluations, we can be certain that we recruit officers that will not react irrationally in a serious situation.

    Police brutality is a huge issue that is greatly impacting the lives of African Americans in the U.S. Through learning about the cases of Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham, it is evident that this problem of police violence has been reoccurring, in which seriously needs to be recognized. By police departments changing their policing tactics as well as better evaluating their officers, we can ensure a safe haven for African Americans to live. This all goes to show how we need to stand up to the very individuals that have brought us down.

    Works Cited

    “42 Shocking Police Brutality Statistics.” Vittana.org, 22 Feb. 2017, vittana.org/42-shocking-police-brutality-statistics.

    Swaine, Jon, et al. “Black Americans Killed by Police Twice as Likely to Be Unarmed as White People.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 1 June 2015, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/01/black-americans-killed-by-police-analysis.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Most of us using this forum agrees.

    democratichub.com/posts/14853/unless-yo...

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    Yes, I strongly agree with everything you said in your post. I also feel like black Americans are targeted more than white Americans often times in the eyes of the law. I created a website for an English project and would love if you checked it out! The link is as follows https://zsantana1999.wixsite.com/website
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    There's a long list of horrible problems this country is dealing with. To many on this site, they suggest they care but it's a distant news issue.

    Smart phones may save the world because anyone can record audio and video and share on social media. That will continue to increase accountability.

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    I am waiting for residents of Andover Massachusetts to prove that they are the better town that they like everyone to believe they are. They can do the right thing by demanding that Town officials replace their utterly unfit chief of police Patrick Keefe for his atrocious attack on me on October 5, 2017, which caused me severe injury and left me unable to sit, lay down, or walk without excruciating pain. This man and his lieutenant engaged in this violent act against me, simply for insisting that I speak with someone in their department about a matter I believed might have had national security implications. Oh yeah! The town of Andover police officers had been treacherously racist and xenophobic, and I had protested their behavior and sued them in federal court prior to them trying to break my back. Read the full story here: linkedin.com/pulse/andover-massachusett.../
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Tucson, AZ
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    jesules:

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience, and hope that you eventually receive some justice.

    Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest police brutality, which has cost him dearly. He truly is a man of integrity, and deserves a lot more respect than he is getting.

    Here's more information about him:

    http://http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2018/01/a-man-of-integrity.html

    Eagles player Chris Long is also another man of integrity. His story is posted below:

    http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2018/02/another-man-of-integrity.html

  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Ohio
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    This awareness began , for me , with Michel Brown . We saw how he was brutally killed and we saw the policeman who killed him not held accountable in any way. It was shocking. It was disturbing on so many levels.

    We have become a very violent culture. I was horrified when Americans cheered the missile attacks of the first gulf war. Americans were hungry for war . That was when the so called deplorable got their first chance to go hate first.

    Then the whole zero tolerance bullshit began and the political winds turned toward a war on the poor. They strangle our economy and then they blame poor people. It's happening right now ,again. You can see them tightening the grip on us.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Maindawg Wrote:

    This awareness began , for me , with Michel Brown . We saw how he was brutally killed and we saw the policeman who killed him not held accountable in any way. It was shocking. It was disturbing on so many levels.

    We have become a very violent culture. I was horrified when Americans cheered the missile attacks of the first gulf war. Americans were hungry for war . That was when the so called deplorable got their first chance to go hate first.

    Then the whole zero tolerance bullshit began and the political winds turned toward a war on the poor. They strangle our economy and then they blame poor people. It's happening right now ,again. You can see them tightening the grip on us.

    Main, yes I'm wondering about this country; Why do they love "war" mongering? Why do they lack tolerance? Why do they have so much "racism"? Why do they have so much "greed"? Why do they hate "poor" people? Why does this country have no proper laws for people who become leaders? Why only "two" parties who hate each other (partisan) as well don't lead but only hold up their hands for "money"? Why tax the "poor" all the way and give the rich huge "presents"? Why no decent "healthcare" for all? Why no decent "schooling" adapted to the "job" market as well advancement in technology? Why not enough "mental" help institutions as well help for "drug" addicts? Why do people here love their "guns" more than their family? Why an Constitution which is not adapted to the times, let alone having laws to cutting "corruption" in voting and governing. (only "votes" should count) Why can the "rich" here influence (lobbying) everything the government is doing, like the NRA as well the Koch brothers etc. I could go on and on. Yes this country is only 300 years old, it must be the growing pains!!
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    And Georgia cops out of control manhandling a grandmother. This stuff needs to stop. Granted, the cop resigned, but this type of treatment of citizens shouldn't be happening.

    yahoo.com/news/m/ad8b1e66-0830-3b21-96f...

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    For every time a cop abused a black man there are thousands of times when a job isn't offered or provided. Housing isn't made available. We get angry or frustrated by what's seen. The countless events not recorded are the heart of the problem. We as a country are miles and miles behind where we should be.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Being born and raised in Chicago, I am well aware of abuses by cops. I also know that one thing can lead to another. Driving around a big city with a junker usually raises a cop's awareness that the person driving a vehicle as such is an immediate indicator to them that the driver is poor or struggling financially and often overlooks or puts off repairs. Violations such as a cracked windshield, a tail light out, license plate light out, expired license plate sticker, expired city sticker, raise the officer's interest in writing a ticket. I used to get quite a few, and while being stopped for these kinds of miniscule offenses, it was something on the order of a (Spanish Inquisition) or being asked a series of questions such as what are you doing in this neighborhood? have you had anything to drink? do you have any drugs on you? are there any marijuana roaches in your ashtray, do you have any weapons? and on and on.

    I found several websites that tell black people how to act and what not to do when a cop stops them for any number of reasons. The suggestions provided should be required reading for any young person, teenager, and even people who are aged. These websites outline how a person should act or react. Whether a person is white or black, these really should be required reading. I knew a kid who lived in a suburb of Chicago, he was driving down a toll road here, but speeding. The state police tried to pull him over. He attempted to run, but his car ran out of gas, and he got out and ran on foot. An Illinois state cop chased him to a tall chain link fence along the toll road which he tried to climb to gat away, and when the cop came upon the kid, the state police told him to stop. He did not and the cop shot at him, the bullet striking him in the right hand. He lost total use of his hand. He did sue and received a settlement. He was a white teenager.

    The link below is PBS, and there's a guide on what people need to know when stopped for a cop.

    pbs.org/black-culture/connect/talk-back...

    10 Rules of Survival if Stopped by the Police

    1. Be polite and respectful when stopped by the police. Keep your mouth closed.

    2. Remember that your goal is to get home safely. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you and your parents have the right to file a formal complaint with your local police jurisdiction.

    3. Don’t, under any circumstance, get into an argument with the police.

    4. Always remember that anything you say or do can be used against you in court.

    5. Keep your hands in plain sight and make sure the police can see your hands at all times.

    6. Avoid physical contact with the police. No sudden movements, and keep hands out of your pockets.

    7. Do not run, even if you are afraid of the police.

    8. Even if you believe that you are innocent, do not resist arrest.

    9. Don’t make any statements about the incident until you are able to meet with a lawyer or public defender.

    10. Stay calm and remain in control. Watch your words, body language and emotions.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    And brutality seems to continue on a daily basis. This youtube video shows Wisconsin cop punching a young black kid in the face, even while cops had him on the ground. This kind of stuff pisses me off to no end. This is the kind of stuff that Trump supports.

    youtube.com/watch?v=rdut-yHTxII

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Very sad. Canada looks better every day.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    We'd need to hit a powrball jackpot to get outa here. Till then, we're stuck here.

    I believe the media reported that the cop was placed on admin leave, he should have been fired.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    I saw Trump's rally the other night and the people from what I saw were as happy as if they had won the Powerball . Advances in social issues are the loud voices of good people. You don't even want to think how race and social issues are thought of by Trump supporters.