It’s Not Just Getting Beaten Up
Effects of Police Brutality
By: Kamyiah Oliver
In Oakland, California, why do our protectors abuse us for no reason? Police brutality is a controversial topic. Everyone here, and I bet even everyone outside of here, knows about at least one Oakland police brutality case. For example, we can bring up the shooting of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale Bart Station or the Tupac situation in the 1990’s. Police brutality has always been around and I want to shine some intel on how it affects Oakland. Based on many articles and 3 interviews, Police brutality affects the Oakland community members largely because they receive physical and emotional harm.
How does police brutality affect Oakland? The pain the Oakland Police Department (OPD) inflicts on Oakland residents can go from getting harmed from a police officer, all the way to losing a loved one. As stated by one of my interviewees about if police brutality affects Oakland she said, “Absolutely, there is a disproportionate amount of police brutality taken out on Black and Brown people. Especially Black men and women in Oakland, and you know there’s tons of corruption in the OPD that has yet to be dealt with effectively. Also, it just causes more distrust and it’s actually supporting the gentrification process by continually pushing out Native Oakland folks or Black and Brown people…” (Delucchi). Delucchi has been a resident of Oakland for more than 40 years, is a community speaker, and an OUSD Teacher. This evidence illustrates that the Oakland community knows what’s going on around the police brutality and how it affects them. Police brutality helps kick Oakland natives out, helps create targets on certain races who can’t change their assigned identity, and causes distrust between our community and the people whose role is to protect us. Another interviewee stated, “ I don’t like my tax money going to people who beat up on people for no reason, it makes me feel like crap, to be honest with you, I don’t like to see people get hurt because of somebody’s ignorance” (Smith). Smith feels that police brutality does affect Oakland and the money he pays for taxes aren’t helping like they should. It makes him personally feel like crap because of this issue. Smith has been a resident of Oakland for more than 45 years and is a retired worker.
In Oakland, Police officers hurt Oakland residents physically and emotionally. Of course, when dealing with police brutality one is bound to have some scars, whether it be on your body or your heart. From a prisoner activist center website, it explains, “A Catholic priest who said an officer put him in a chokehold and slammed his head into a glass door. A father who claimed officers beat him in the hallway outside of his child’s hospital room until his head was bloody. A bank robber who was shot by officers after a high-speed chase. A man whose head was slammed into something so hard that the bones in his face broke” (Hyatt). These violent actions show the pain it creates here in our home. Each one of these cases were sued, which show that the people who were hurt needed to get back at the people who did do the opposite of their job, by hurting them. Coming from the same website, apparently, “$74 million dollars were spent on these cases to settle lawsuits” (Hyatt). Money that can be used to help our Oakland community is being used because of officers who decided to get violent. Another example of when police officers inflicted pain, was the Tupac Shakur case. According to KQED Arts, it states, “What’s not likely to be forgotten is the Oakland Police Department’s jaywalking stop of Tupac Shakur in October 1991, which resulted in Shakur allegedly slammed to the ground and arrested. That’s because in a rare early case of a rap artist suing the police, Shakur subsequently brought a $10 million civil suit against the OPD for their actions— and in an even rarer conclusion, the suit was settled for a reported $42,000.” (Meline). Money for Oakland is wasted on cases that shouldn’t come up at all between the citizens and the police department, and some of our Oakland Police leave marks some can be satisfactory but as of late they have been hurtful.
Police Brutality is an issue of corruption in the department or just the police themselves. When people think of police brutality they might think of how much they just hurt African Americans because how big that topic is on the news. Police brutality may largely affect that race, but Police brutality is more than just a cop beating a person up, or abusing their power. Coming from my interviewee, she said, “ (Do you think police brutality is based on Race? – interviewer) I used to think that, all the time because I grew up in a segregated society. And I only witnessed it happening to one race, and that was African Americans. But now I see that it happens to any minority…. I think it’s just something in their head that they’re supposed to correct everybody, be in charge.” (Owen-Delucchi). Police brutality affects more groups rather than just one. Police officers in general, who are apart of police brutality, have a mindset that they have to be on top. Police attack community members majorly, for no reason. The hurtful police are very corrupted and that stems from the departments in which they work, in my case the OPD is where the corruption is rooted. There are many others who believe this too, like kids in the #TakeAKnee stand, which was going against many topics including police brutality (Fernandez) and there are so many articles that will discuss Police Brutality in Oakland or anywhere else.
People might say that only the “bad” cops need to be punished, but that’s not it. It’s not just the “bad” cops that need to get in order, yet the whole system. The whole system affecting us in Oakland and citizens in the U.S, is institutional oppression. The Oakland Police Department system is really messed up. There are many problems within each Police system. Yet, obviously the cops who are apart of police brutality didn’t get trained in the best way to be our protectors or they were just violent people who shouldn’t have been let in the group in the first place, and that’s not just the system at fault but everyone contributing to police brutality. Not only the individual cop that abuses a person should get the entire blame but as I said before, everyone who is a contributor.
In conclusion, Police Brutality affects the Oakland community members largely because they cause physical and emotional harm. Some of the pain that impacts Oakland people with police brutality isn’t looked upon enough, so there are still so many problems. Also the corruption of the system causes the problems with police brutality. Police brutality should be looked into more by students as a way to educate themselves for future encounters with police and to help them decrease their fear of trust or being harmed by police.
Delucchi, Simone. “Police Brutality Interview.” 4 Jan. 2018.
Simone Delucchi talked about her own experiences with police brutality. She talked about how it affected Oakland and her. She also said some opinions of the police system in Oakland. Simone is a credible source because she is a OUSD teacher and an Oakland community speaker.
Delucchi, Alma Owen. “Police Brutality Interview .” 6 Jan. 2018.
Alma talked about her experiences with police brutality. She is an senior in the Oakland community and had lots to share. She talked about the Oakland police system and her opinions about that. She also shared some stories about times with the police. She’s a credible source because she’s a retired teacher of OUSD and she’s a living resident in Oakland.
Fernandez, Lisa. “Oakland students #TakeAKnee at A’s game to protest police brutality, the president.” Oakland students #TakeAKnee at A’s game to protest police brutality, the president, KTVU, 26 Sept. 2017, PDT, www.ktvu.com/news/oakland-students-takeaknee-at-as-game-to-protest-police-brutality-the-president.
Students from OUSD took a knee at the A’s game while playing the national anthem as a way to protest for many reasons, including police brutality. It refers back to the Colin Kaepernick situation and they wanted to support them, along with A’s catcher, Bruce Maxwell. This source is credible because students from the OUSD community did this and at an Oakland baseball game.
Hyatt, Abraham. “Oakland, CA Spent $74 Million Settling 417 Police Brutality Lawsuits.” Oakland, CA Spent $74 Million Settling 417 Police Brutality Lawsuits | Prison Activist Resource Center, Prison Activist Resource Center , 14 Apr. 2014, www.prisonactivist.org/alerts/oakland-ca-spent-74-million-settling-417-police-brutality-lawsuits.
This website has many people’s cases and the details of their times with police brutality (not the exact full details of each case just minor ones). It explains about how Oakland had to spend so much money because of these cases victims of Police brutality take to court. It also puts in about how Oakland usually settles with cases, and Oakland’s police system being compared to other data of cities in California. This source is credible because the website is a prisoner activist site and therefore they have a lot of information on these topics for their use and others.
Meline, Gabe. “Remembering the Time Tupac Shakur Sued the Oakland Police for $10 Million.” Remembering the Time Tupac Shakur Sued the Oakland Police for $10 Million, KQED Arts, KQED POP, 16 June 2016, ww2.kqed.org/arts/2016/06/16/its-tupac-day-in-oakland-where-he-once-sued-the-police-for-10-million/.
The website discusses Tupac’s opinion of the Oakland Police department. Some things Tupac mentioned are in an interview section. Tupac’s relations to Oakland are also said. This source is credible because Tupac was a resident of Oakland, claimed Oakland, and had a physical problem and court problem with the Oakland police before.
Smith, John . “Police Brutality Interview .” 6 Jan. 2018.
John Smith discussed about the corruption of the police system in Oakland. He also told me about some stories of his time in San Francisco dealing with the racist and police brutality in the 60s. He also mentioned his opinion of the Oakland Police brutality. He is a credible source because he is a current Oakland senior living resident.