Lets be honest Police brutality has been a hot topic controversial topic for years, but it has been re-visited the most since the Trayvon Martin incident in 2012. Although, the Trayvon Martin case wasn’t quite caused by Police Brutality it was the domino effect that led individual’s to re-visit the idea of Police brutality, rights of individuals, laws, and the justice system. Police brutality is a sensitive controversial subject, but it is one that must be talked about. Police Brutality is the deliberate use of excessive force, usually physical, carried out during law enforcement activities with the population. Lately, it seems as though Police brutality is happening more often due to racism.
Statistics prove Police Brutality is occurring more than it should. According to Huffington Post, Between January 1st and May 31st, 2015 it is reported that 464 individuals were killed by police in a 5 month span. The average number of people killed every day in 2015 is three individuals. 102 individuals are considered unarmed. There were 16 children under the age of 18 that were shot to death by police. There were 92 mentally ill people shot by the police. These numbers don’t even justify the many lives that were lost to police brutality.
Lets get to the reasoning as to why some individuals believe Police Brutality occurs due to Racism. Racism is defined as the bias against an individual or a group of individuals based on the individuals race/ethnicity. According to the Black Lives Matter Movement police kill blacks at a rate disproportionate to there total percentage of the population. Blacks were fatally shot and killed at 3x the rate compared to Whites and other races. 32 percent of black people who were unarmed when killed by police. Black Americans were more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed during encounters with police as White people. 62.7 percent of individuals that were killed by the police in 2015 were minorities. Lets go in slight detail of the cases that began the racial debate within police brutality.
July 17th, 2014: Garner was killed after a New York police officer used a banned chokehold technique to restrain him, despite being unarmed. He was wrestled to the ground by several police officers after a complaint he was illegally selling loose cigarettes. In a video that went viral, the black 43-year-old said: “I can’t breathe” which was soon adopted by protesters after Daniel Pantaleo, the only officer that was investigated by a grand jury, was not charged.
August 9th, 2014: an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white Ferguson police officer. The disputed circumstances of the shooting of the unarmed man sparked existing tensions in the predominantly black city, and protests and civil unrest erupted.
These two controversial cases started a spiral of events that led to protests and marches to stop and bring awareness to Police Brutality. From these two cases it may be clear as to why individuals believe police officers act upon racism towards Black individuals. Statistics prove that Police Officers use excessive force when it comes to Black individuals.
- Nick Wing – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/01/police-killings-numbers_n_7486476.html
- Raziye Akkoc – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11446472/A-timeline-of-police-attacks-in-the-USA.html