Bias, Racism, and Death in U.S. Communities
Why is Police Brutality causing death? “It could have a lot to do with racism and just their bias about African-Americans”, says Kareem Marshal, Life Academy Middle School PE and Basketball coach and resident of Oakland, California. But, why bias and racism? There is still discrimination on colored people ever since slavery was abolished. Police have been using excessive force or police misconduct on African-Americans mostly! But, after the death of Trayvon Martin in February 26, 2012, something sparked the African-American community, saying enough is enough, and the #BlackLivesMatter Campaign began, but the #BLM protests, from 2012 to 2018, weren’t the first anti-police brutality protests, in 1992 in Los Angeles, there were the Rodney King Riots which started April 29 to May 4, 1992, protesting for justice for those killed by white police officers. And in Oakland, in 2009, there were the Oscar Grant Protests, which protested justice for Oscar Grant from 2009 to 2011 (1 year before the #BLM Campaign)! But as years past, as Kareem admitted, “There’s always protests, there’s always rallies, but, nothing seems to change”(Marshal). So, based on my evidence, Police Brutality impacts the communities of EVERY U.S. city and state because of excessive police misconduct and violence on COLORED people, which causes bias and racism and many deaths of innocent, unarmed African-Americans.
The reason why Police Brutality/Police Misconduct is impactful to communities is that the police are arresting community members based on their racial bias. Many years, colored communities have faced a lot of discrimination and racism from the police and not only the adults, but kids and students are also facing police misconduct, like Marshall when he was 12 years old and Ricardo Cruz, a Latino male from Oakland, when he was in 10th Grade. Adding to this, some major cities like San Francisco are facing an early plague of police brutality, which is worse for communities of color. To begin, a Vox article called “Why Having Police in Schools is a Problem, in 3 Charts” By Dara Lind, who published this on October 28, 2015, talked about how daily police enforcement in schools have impacted the students, school districts, and the school itself in 3 very surprising facts. One fact that looks important was when Lind acknowledged, “Interestingly, for schools where fewer than 75 percent of students qualify for reduced-price lunch, there isn’t a correlation between students’ class and the presence of security. But there is a correlation among all public schools between students’ race and the presence of an SRO or security guard. The more nonwhite students a school has, the more likely it is to have a full-time SRO or private security guard on campus”(Lind). These words stated by the senior reporter proves that police brutality/police misconduct impacts communities by putting more police enforcement in nonwhite schools and poor students’ schools. This shows that there are less police in the white/rich schools than in colored/mid/low schools! Addition to this, an article titled, “Police Brutality and misconduct plague San Francisco Bay Area” by Margaret Faust and Caroline Peacore, published in July 7, 2018, it stated that an early police misconduct situation appeared out of nowhere in the Bay Area, which shows antipathy for the colored communities, especially Latinos because Faust and Peacore stated, “A Latina woman sits with her boyfriend outside his parents’ house in San Jose, California. Two police officers approach the car and explain that there had been multiple car thefts in the neighborhood and the couple were suspects. While the boyfriend shows one officer his ID, the other comes to the woman and asks her to step out of the car. He then unlocks the door from the inside and handcuffs her. He pulls her out of the car, unzips her jacket and touches her breasts claiming he is looking for weapons. When more officers arrive on the scene, the original officer bashes her head into the hood of the car when she does not fully cooperate”(Faust And Peacore). This proves that police enforcement in colored schools and police misconduct in major cities like SF is very impacting to every colored citizen and every colored child in their life because they are most targeted by the bias and rumors of their race like saying ‘the police should target the colored people because they are violent’. These reporters chose these words to shows how bias on race has impacted the African-American and Latino communities between the U.S. police and it’s very absurd because of the more bias, the more violence the police use. The two sources are credible because Dara Lind is a senior Vox reporter who has covered stories based on immigration, justice, and police shootings, Margaret Faust is a rising senior in Piedmont High School and journalist who covers reports around social justice, and Caroline Peacore is an 11th Grade student and a journalist who also covers social justice. Some may argue that police violence is not based on bias, they would prove that the police are just doing their work and arresting violent people, but all of the above evidence and occurrences in our community show this is not true! In conclusion, the causes of police brutality in communities are the bias, discrimination, and disrespectful treatment of the police to innocent colored adults and children.
The last reason why Police Brutality/Police Misconduct impacts Oakland communities is that Police Brutality affects the families and neighbors with death and violence. This is true because police officers have been very biased to colored people and have killed many generations of adults and children and they are still killing innocent people right now, in 2018! First, the article titled, “POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017, and the first half of 2018” by Todd Beer, published on March 1, 2018, updated on August 24, 2018, talked about how police brutality has impacted the U.S. by using data and graphs that support the evidence they collected from the Washington Post. One fact that heartbreaking was when Beer cited, “Data collected by the Washington Post on the use of lethal force by police officers since 2015 indicate that, relative to the portion of the population, Blacks are overrepresented among all those killed by police under all circumstances”(Beer).
The key words of this quote was “Blacks are overrepresented” and this proves the point that police brutality is affecting the community with death and violence because when checking the website of the Washington Post, it states in a graph that 2015: 995 deaths, 2016: 963 deaths, 2017: 987 deaths, and 2018: 996 deaths!? The total would be 3,941 deaths in the U.S. based on police-involved incidents! This is very important to tell and Beer used this quote and evidence to show the world and the U.S. that many innocent colored people and children are dying and Oakland need to solve this heartbreaking topic. Additionally, the website called, “Mapping Police Violence” by Samuel Sinyangwe, published on May 13, 2018, updated on December 4, 2018, showed evidence based on the police brutality in the first and second halves of 2018 and where was it targeted/located. One shocking fact was when Sinyangwe explained, “13 of the 100 largest U.S. city police departments kill black men at HIGHER RATES than the U.S. Murder Rate”(Sinyangwe). The key words “kill black men at higher rates” shows those 13 U.S. city police departments (Reno, Santa Ana, Scottsdale, Oklahoma City, Hialeah, St. Louis, Spokane, Riverside, Albuquerque, Glendale, and Fremont) have killed more innocent colored people than other U.S. cities. The world and the U.S. must know about this fact and have to punish those police departments for killing unarmed, non-violent, colored citizens and the city have to be more hands on their departments. These sources are credible because Todd Beer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College in Chicago and Samuel Sinyangwe is a data scientist and policy analyst who works with communities of color to fight systemic racism through cutting-edge policies and strategies. Some may argue that these facts are fake and that our police departments are protecting our communities the way it should be, which they are protecting it from “violent” or “bloodthirsty” colored people. In conclusion, the effects of police brutality/police misconduct is that it brings a heartbreaking event and it takes away the life of a colored adult and child from a colored family.
The solutions for solving this topic would be to punish those who use force and violence in the communities OR have city officials, mayors, senators, governors, and the community itself to be very focused on their police departments and police officers. The community should not always protest, but also protect their families and residents by reporting any police misconduct/violence and have the city to be more stricter to the chiefs of every police department. To start with, in an interview, Life Academy College and Career Awareness Middle School Advisor Ricardo Cruz talked about the impact of police brutality and Cruz stated, “I think that there needs to be a push to either punish those people that use excessive force against African-Americans and anybody else.” and “I think that city officials need to do more in being hands on the training of the police departments, to make sure that those people are at least culturally competent enough to work in neighborhoods that are predominantly communities of color or African-Americans”(Cruz). The key word that Cruz used in his interview is amazing and clearly understandable that our cities must protect our people more by punishment and for the next years, to be more hands on the training that police departments are giving to their next group of police officers to be protectors, not violent and oppressive officers. This quote is fantastic because Rickey uses these words to show a procedure, a plan, a way that can lead to less bias and racism from our police, have fewer deaths and lives taken in the colored community/population, have less violence, and have peace. This source is credible because Ricardo Cruz is the school advisor that checks on middle school students, knows members of the community who are in gangs and is a friend to the class of 2022 and everyone in the school. But also the communities should be part of this, too because in another interview, Life Academy School Counselor, Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez was also interviewed about this topic and he said that ”If you educate folks around bigotry, racism, prejudice…all of these, like social construct, to make sure that everyone knows that, ‘we’re actually the same and we’re not that different’, that would definitely lead to decreasing violence”(Sandoval-Perez). A reason Sandoval-Perez used these words is that he wanted to show how communities can fix this problem and how they have a voice to directly speak to the police and the city about the violence of police brutality. Also, this is important to tell the reader that they have a voice and they can always use that voice to impact a problem. Speaking about the city and the community, governors, and senators are also making some change to prevent this topic! In the article titled, “Gov. Jerry Brown signs landmark laws that unwind decades of secrecy surrounding police misconduct, use of force” by Liam Dillon and Maya Lau, published in September 30, 2018, talked about how Governor Jerry Brown of California is signing two laws that let the public to have or view the incidents of police misconduct/police brutality to press the departments or known as “police the police” and to make body cams stricter by making the departments to use audio recording and body cams. One fact that was astonishing was when Dillon and Lau acknowledged that, “Lara Bazelon, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, said the measure could expose officer misconduct that was long withheld from defendants and could lead to numerous convictions being dismissed. “We are going to see a lot of skeletons falling out of the closets dating back years, if not decades. That means people who were convicted unjustly and unfairly will finally get a chance to be heard”(Dillon and Lau). This quote is very powerful because of the keywords that Lara Bazelon used are words that are true and show that other governors from other states should do the same to give the public a voice to stand up and step down. This is very clear of what the 2 laws are stating and how it can help the state in the next years and 2019 and to the next generations of citizens and Californians. This source is credible because Liam Dillon is an LA Times journalist who covers California state politics and policy that is based in Sacramento, CA and local politics in San Diego and Southwest Florida and Maya Lau is a reporter on the Metro desk covering the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Some may argue that there is still no change and that not all states are protecting their cities because of police brutality being unnoticed and unreported. In conclusion, the solutions for this topic is that the U.S. states with the Governors, Senators, city representatives, mayors, and citizens can work together to shape a better future to the next generation and for 2019.
In conclusion, Police Brutality impacts the communities of EVERY U.S. city and state by using Police misconduct, violence, and racism. It’s pointed out in the three paragraphs by showing bias on race, the deaths and life-taking events, and how states have to change with everyone to shape a better future, and it is shown with interviews, timelines, facts, and articles that prove one of the three claims. But now…it is 2019, police brutality impacted the U.S. from 1992 to 2018 with death and protests beginning, do you think this topic will happen again? Well, we will just have to wait….
- Cruz, Ricardo. “Interview with Ricardo Cruz.” 12 Dec. 2018. I interviewed with a Case Manager and resident and community member in the community of Oakland, CA. We talked about experience, police brutality, and politics. This source is credible because Ricardo Cruz is Life Academy Case Manager and College and Career Awareness Middle School Advisor.
- Dillon, Liam, et al. “Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Laws That Unwind Decades of Secrecy Surrounding Police Misconduct, Use of Force.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sept. 2018, www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-police-misconduct-rules-changed-20180930-story.html. Liam and Mary reported that Governor Jerry Brown of California sign 2 laws that stated the public can record footage of police misconduct and police brutality to report it. This is credible because LA Times is a daily newspaper that reports out news and been publishing in LA since 1881.
- Faust, Margaret. “Police Brutality and Misconduct Plague San Francisco Bay Area.” Lookout, 7 July 2018, lookout.newsroombythebaysites.com/708/features/police-brutality-and-misconduct-plagues-san-francisco-bay-area/. This article talks how police misconduct/police brutality is plaguing the San Francisco Bay Area which is a threat for colored folks and citizens of the Bay Area. This source is credible because Lookout is a student website of news and reports from the communities of the bay area.
- Georgetown University Institutional Repository in Georgetown University Library. “Black Lives Matter Timeline.” Georgetown University Institutional Repository in Georgetown University Library, 2016. Georgetown University shows the timeline of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, from the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, all the way to 2015, when BLM members disrupted a cyber activist convention. This source is credible because Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington D.C. which has a library of many reliable resources.
- Greenlaw, Marshall. “The Oscar Grant (Oakland) Protests, 2009-2011.” Boley, Oklahoma (1903- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed, BlackPast.Org, blackpast.org/aaw/oscar-grant-oakland-protests-2009-2011. This article shows the timeline of the Oscar Grant Protests, protests that argue to punish the BART officer for killing Oscar Grant in an incident at Fruitvale BART Station in New Year’s Day 2009. This source is credible because Blackpast is a website that gives you stories and events based on the African American Past and history.
- Lind, Dara. “Why Having Police in Schools Is a Problem, in 3 Charts.” Vox.com, Vox Media, 28 Oct. 2015, www.vox.com/2015/10/28/9626820/police-school-resource-officers. Dara reports that police are put in schools more and its a problem because of the assault, racism, bias, and police misconduct. This source is credible because Vox is a website of full explanatory journalism and reports American news.
- Marshal, Kareem. “Interview with Kareem Marshal.” 12 Dec. 2018. I interviewed a resident of Oakland and a Middle School PE Coach and Basketball Coach from an OUSD school. We talked about politics, police brutality, and the deaths of African-Americans. this is credible because Kareem Marshal is Life Academy MS PE and Basketball coach and is a current resident in Oakland, CA.
- Pages, The Society. “POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017, and First Half of 2018 – Sociology Toolbox.” Sociological Images Racializing the Abortion Debate Comments, 1 Mar. 2018, thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/. The Society Pages and Associate Professor Todd Beer collected Police involved deaths based on race of 2015, 2016, and 2017. The rates show that there are more deaths on unarmed black citizens. This source is credible because The Society Pages is an open-access social science project headquartered in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. They do podcast and arguments based on topics of today.
- Sinyangwe, Samuel. “Mapping Police Violence.” Mapping Police Violence, mappingpoliceviolence.org/. Mapping Police Violence is a website created by Samuel Sinyangwe that reports the FIRST HALF OF 2018’s Police Violence in the U.S. This source is credible because this website reports any report based on Police-involved violence.
- Sandoval-Perez, Rodrigo. “Interview with Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez.” 11 Dec. 2018. I interviewed a Latino School Advisor and resident of Oakland, California about the topic of Police Brutality. Also, the topic of making change. This source is credible because Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez is Life Academy School Advisor and Part of the administration team and main office team.