Current Issues
Tiffany Smith
Monroe College

The most recent community issues that our society face today and on a day to day basis is police excessive force and racial profiling. Its being publicize all over the news, especially the fact that they are killing innocent people, majority of which are male minorities. As much as we don't want to admit it but racism still exists and most of it is within the police department. "Among the day to day acts of discrimination that shadows African Americans, none are more stressful and dangerous than those that are committed by police, some who treat minorities people like criminals until proven otherwise" (staple 380) or until it's too late. Since the early 1960's, during the civil rights movement, law enforcement has been using the form of racial profiling.
There are many cases where minorities are not given the chance to thrive in American society. The same system that promises all men equal opportunity has turned its back in the face of minorities. Lately we been seeing how police uses excessive force to make an arrest, shoot first ask questions later seems to be the motto they are going by.
In 2015 statistics shows that Police officers killed at least 102 unarmed black people, nearly twice each week. Although some incidents have gone unreported, 1 out of 3 African American were killed by a police officer. African Americans only take up 13% of the U.S population and out of that 13 %, 37% African American were unarmed and killed with in 1 year. Unarmed African Americans were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015
Minority's more than anything African American individuals are mistreated by law enforcement and face social discrimination in several or more situations than those who aren't people of color. People make judgments of others based on their physical appearance such as the color of their skin or the environment that they have no choice but to live in. A man of color, editor of the New York Times, Brent Staples, shares one of his experiences of racial profiling "One day rushing into the office I was mistaken as a burglar, the office manager called security and pursed me through the labyrinthine halls". Although he was dressed professionally, all because of the color of his skin Mr. Staples was questioned and was considered a suspect to burglary.
The trending topic which seems to have resurfaced is police brutality; I saw "resurfaced" because it never topped it was just under the radar for a while. Police brutality is defined to be the use of excessive or unnecessary force by police when dealing with someone. "Excessive use of force" is a force beyond what would be necessary in order to handle a situation. Police brutality is a serious situation that should not be taken lightly especially if the people that are trusted to protect us from harm are the ones that are harming us.
Police brutality affects the entire community and not just the person directly affected by the police. In famous cases of police brutality, such as Eric Gardner, In the Gardner case he was not only wrongfully accused for selling cigarettes he then was attacked by four officers. One officer placing Mr. Gardner in the choke hold over 20 seconds causing Gardner to lose his breath and then eventually dying due to the force the officer used while choking him.
On August 9th 2014, 18 year old Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer. Brown stole several packages of cigarillos from a store and while trying to escape shoved the store clerk who was trying to stop him from trying to leave. Police officers later on saw Brown and a friend walking down the street. After a tussle with the officer Brown tried to flee the scene after being shot once in the arm Brown then turned to surrender to the officer. With hands in the air Officer Wilson continue to proceed to shoot Brown. In total brown was shot 12 times, both cases were African American men who were unarmed at the time although Brown seem to have been a threat officers should be trained to apprehend an uncooperative suspect.
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