Entrenched within our history is a prevalent culture of racism and discrimination. From Jim Crow Laws, to the discrimination and placement of Japanese-American citizens into internment camps, these attitudes of racism have been sewn into this country's history. Although we have come far in ensuring equality for all, you can still see these previous attitudes trickled down into modern culture. Day by day, we see these small droplets of previous attitudes present in every day life. One of the most clear examples of this, is the issue of Police Brutality in this country.
It has been no secret the issue of Police Brutality; every year we see countless cases of young, mostly African-American men, being brutally treated by law enforcement. Unfortunately, the cases that catch the public eye almost always end with a fatality, however these cases are only the tip of the iceberg.
If we look into all of the cases of Police Brutality in the past year, we can see that of 62 cases, 53 occurred with little to no public interest. Without the eye of the public, and extrinsic pressures, many of the guilty officers get by with barely a slap on the wrist. A slap on the wrist in exchange for the life of a man provides an excellent representation of the state of our society right now.
The advantage of addressing police brutality during this time, is the fact that almost all attacks committed by members of law enforcement have been caught or recorded on camera. Travel back ten years, and capturing these attacks were extremely rare. What this led to, in turn, was an utter lack of accountability for police officers everywhere. In a court of law, without hard proof, it is simply one man's word over another's, and when one of those men is a highly decorated and protected enforcer of law, it is almost guaranteed which man's word will be favored over the other's.
Without public pressures or hard proof, Police Officers simply lie. They lie to protect themselves, and they lie knowing they have the protection of their jobs. How is it, that out of 63 Police Brutality cases, only 9 led to conviction? Because police officers have the advantage of being protected by the people they work for, they are easily able to hide and distort the truth they don't want to admit. More than several cases have shown law enforcement officers changing official documents recording brutality cases to fit their twisted narratives. They go so far as to antagonize the victims, calling them thugs, under the implication that these innocent men and women deserved what happened to them. This culture of protecting officers who should be held responsible for their actions has prevailed long enough, and if we don't put a stop to it, this problem will only worsen.
Nobody refutes the fact that working in law enforcement takes bravery and responsibility. Police officers are in charge of properly handling the power thrust upon them. What we assert, instead, is how irresponsible it is for police officers to so readily abuse their given power, without batting an eye. It is truly horrific how blatantly some of these officers lie and try to hide what they have done, using the protection of their job to do so.
The underlying problem with police brutality is the fact that the very people hired to protect and serve citizens are in fact doing the exact opposite. Citizens no longer feel safe in the presence of law enforcement. The danger meant to be stopped by officers is only growing due to the recklessness of their behavior. We must stand up and speak out against the wrongful treatment of citizens by officers of the law. This never ending cycle of lying and abuse must be stopped in order for law enforcement and citizens to be on the same side once again.