What is police brutality? Police brutality is abusive power using excessive force in situations where it’s not required and where police are assuming the worse for their  personal “protection.” Many Police Officers have sworn to protect and serve, but have abused their power and authority to cruelly and assault and manipulate people of color, even if they were innocent. People of color  have been attacked and been left with physical and emotional scars that will follow them as the days go by. In order for the Oakland community to trust the police and have a positive relationship, the police need to understand why the community distrusts them so much.

Firstly, people haven’t trusted the police in Oakland because of what has happened in history. In the article “Controversial History Sets Tone for City’s Discord” by Paul Harris from the news source The Guardian he reports “ A 17-year-old Black Panther party member was involved in a shootout with police, but surrendered and stripped down to his underwear to show he was unarmed. However, he died after being shot by police at least 12 times”(Harris). His name was Bobby Hutton. He was one of the youngest and first of the Black Panther Party and was dedicated to making a difference for his people and police relations. On April 6, 1968 Bobby Hutton was shot 12 times and died due to police “assuming” he was armed. Bobby Hutton had many years of life but was taken away so quickly. This clearly shows that police are forgetting history that has left people of color scarred and explains why the community does not trust the police.

Secondly, why should the community  trust the police if they kill innocent people still. In the article “The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant: What You Need to Know” by Tom Head from the news source ThoughCo he states On New Year’s Day, 2009, an Oakland police officer shot and killed an unarmed, pinned suspect.” Oscar Grant was a 22 year-old African American man who was shot by a white police officer that was sentenced to jail for 11 months.”(Head) Oscar Grant clearly said “don’t shoot don’t shoot” demanding that he wasn’t dangerous or armed. The police didn’t cared and killed him anyways. Why should the community  trust the police if they killed Oscar Grant who was innocent and others recently.


In addition to the violence that has happened, also when the community calls the police for an emergency they don’t answer which has broken the trust of people of color. A teacher at Life Academy, a high school in Oakland who teaches about police brutality in his government class, named Yuji Okamura stated “when something does happen the police don’t show up and so people don’t trust them” (Okamura). As a teacher from Oakland he sees how people don’t trust the police because they don’t show up. This affects Oakland because more and more crime will happen. But how can we prevent crimes from happening if polices don’t care to help out. This is supported by the article “Oakland police dispatchers slow to answer emergency calls” by East Bay Times which states “37 percent of 911 emergency calls were not answered within industry standards of 10 and 20 seconds” (Tadayon) This confirms that polices don’t answer the phone right away. Due to this the community abandons their calls and don’t bother calling anymore.


Growing up, children are supposed to look up to and feel safe from the Police, but this is not the case showing again the lack of trust. Lastly in a conversation with  a 9 year old that goes to Global Family Elementary School in Oakland he said “ the police aren’t my hero because everytime a police passed by my parents they get scared”(Garcia). As young as a 9 year old is scared of police officer. Which shows how he doesn’t trust the police because he is scared that they might come up to them and do something horrible. As young as a 9 year old thinks that if he walks on the streets he might be killed or stopped by a police for looking suspicious. This affects the young community because they will always have that though in there mind that it could be there last day living if they see a police officer because they might be stopped.

Others might say that at the end of the day that the police officer still serve the community no matter what but our community want to be served with respect and hoping we won’t be harmed. The Oakland police need to look at back into history and repair the roots for things to improve today.

In conclusion the police don’t deserve our trust yet, because they keep using abusive force. The Oakland policy #100 clearly says  that their department does not tolerate abuse of law enforcement authority but the community is not seeing that which cause them to not be able to trust the police.


Work Cited


Garcia Rafita. “Interview with Rafita Garcia” 10 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed this young 9 year old boy because at least once a week he see a police go by his street. He is a credible source because  since we get lots of adults perspective we don’t we give the young community a chance to express how they feel.


Harris Paul.  Controversial History Sets Tone for City’s Discord” 26 Oct. 2011.

This is from the website The Guardian which is a source is credible because the blogger talked about cases that has happened in Oakland that related to police brutality like the story of Oscar Grant.


Head Tom. “The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant: What You Need to Know” 28 Dec 2017. This is from the website ThoughtCo who has education world wide.  This is a credible source because Tom Head has been a writer for over than 25 years and has won awards for his very unique writing.


Tadayon Ali. “Oakland Police dispatchers slow to answer emergency calls” 16 Feb. 2018.

This is from the website called East Bay Times which is a newspaper that talks about what happens in the Bay Area. This is a credible source because it was recent and it’s evidence from Oakland which is where we live in.


Okamura, Yuji. “Interview with Yuji Okamura.” 10 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed Yuji Okamura who teaches in his government class at Life Academy in Oakland. They are credible source because Yuji Okamura has been teaching in Oakland for years.


Photo by Artondra Hall


CC BY-SA 4.0 Do The Police Deserve Our Trust by Yasmin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Marleni 15 hours ago

    Dear Valerie, Thank you so much for writing this blog for your classmates to be able to learn from you and all the research that you did!!!! A line that really stood out to me is “This clearly shows that police are forgetting history that has left people of color scarred and explains why the community does not trust the police”, it stood out to me because this really shows that you have noticed the unjust situations that have been caused by police in Oakland. I look forward to reading your next post, your writing is very unique!Y our blog taught me about the importance of police brutality. Thank you!! – Marleni ( Tu Mejor Amiga duhh :)) )

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