Dear Anne E. Kirkpatrick:

We are choosing to write to you about the actions of your police department. Since you are the chief of police you are known as the leader of the OPD. Therefore, you lead and check over your department to enforce the law that makes the city safe (“Police”). The harm that OPD has caused to innocent black people is tragic because young black folks are getting the wrong idea about police. The actions that your crew of police has inflicted on our community is causing a negative impact on people. Police brutality is now being seen as a cycle that keeps going on and on because police are killing black people for irrelevant reasons. Police should stop hurting people but instead they revert back to their old negative ways and keep causing more harm. When your police department takes away the lives of black folks it only makes matters worse. We are scared to get pulled over by the cops because we fear of getting shot if we reach for our license. Also, we fear the people who are supposed to be protecting us because of all the accounts of black people being killed. Our community doesn’t think police are bad my people just feel misunderstood in the eyes of your police. For this reason we are writing this letter  because as a leader you can make a change.

The issue that we are trying to address is police brutality in Oakland. Police brutality has been an issue for many many years that has caused a lot of harm. Usually lower class people or people of color are the ones  that face the most police misconduct which is extremely absurd because people of higher class never face any type of brutality. Could it be due to class or wealth or can it be a racial issue? If we consider the fact that people of color are always targeted than the most common reason why people face police brutality is due racism and its effects on people. To begin, since police brutality has been an issue for many years, one example that is extremely shocking and horrendous is the case of George Stinney Jr. George Stinney was the youngest person to have ever been executed by the electric chair. George was wrongfully convicted for the killing of two white girls and had to face the death penalty at the age of 14. Lindsey Bever stated, “[The police] were looking for someone to blame it on, so they used my brother as a scapegoat,On June 16, 1944, he was executed, becoming the youngest person in modern times to be put to death”(Bever). George Stinney was a person of color who was wrongfully convicted for a crime that he did not do. He died at the age of 14 because he was blamed by police. This is an example that can be known as the root of police brutality because it shows the way that police have been careless towards people’s lives. The root of police brutality has grown throughout the years and has gotten worse and worse especially towards people of color. Furthermore, Oscar Grant was a young black man who was shot and killed in Fruitvale Bart in the city of Oakland California. Braimah states, “Grant’s death at the hands of police was part of a pattern of highly controversial police shootings across the United States involving black women and men and various police departments”(Braimah).Police brutality has become an issue that is intentionally hurting people of color. Innocent lives are being lost and each of these deaths has been in the hands of police. Innocent people who aren’t supposed to die, die everyday but what happens to the people who are supposed to keep us safe but kill instead? Do we stay quiet or do we fight towards a more equitable world? Equality and justice is what we need for these people not more lives lost.

 Over the past couple of years in the United States there have been many ways that we can address the issue of police brutality. Some ways being,  social media, marches and rallies, and civil disobedience. The Black Lives Matter Movement has tried everything they can to bring up the issue of police brutality with the use of social media whether some activists going on to the news and bring up the fact that police officers kill innocent people or they go on Facebook or instagram to talk about another innocent killing that another police officer has done. On July 10th 2016 A Large crowd of Black Lives Matter supporters March through Memphis, in which they shut down 1-40 bridge. This was a response to a deadly officer involved in the shooting of two black men one Minnesota and another in Louisiana “It started as a peaceful rally at FedExForum at 6 p.m. with hundreds of people. Things heated up when protesters interrupted Interim Police Director Michael Rallings”(Ott). Another way that the Black Lives Matter community has tried to bring the issue of police brutality is in a sit-in which this sit in was more at a recent time period.

 On March 11 2019 Black Lives Matter Sacramento organized three days of sit-ins at the Sacramento Police Department. This was a response to the death of Stephon Clark and for the imprisonment of two officers that were involved with his death. The name of the two officers are Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 3 p.m., protesters stood in front of the Sacramento Police Department with signs showing support of Stephon Clark and calling for the imprisonment of the two officers who shot and killed him, Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet”(Silva-Benham, Pierce,Vitiello, Simmons, Bobo, Byers).

      Another form that people have tried to address the issue of police brutality is in a form of a movie.The Movie is called The Hate U Give which shows an innocent killing that a police officer has done and the main character is a girl named Starr who is the only witness to the scene of the crime and whatever she says will change the way that her community will see of her. You can see this movie here on the link “Starr Carter, who lives in two worlds: the poor, black neighborhood where she resides and the mostly white prep school she attends. This uneasy balance is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a policeman”(Thomas).  One last form that is believed has been shown multiple times and is a way to get attention and to get the media’s attention. On July 9th 2016 protesters in St. Paul Minnesota protesters went onto 94 interstate in which police met with the protesters. Something that started peacefully then was turned into a clash out with police on the interstate. Over 200 protesters have passed Minnesota state patrol troopers. “While many were peaceful, events turned ugly in St. Paul, Minnesota, where protesters clashed with police on Interstate 94.

At least two officers were injured by protesters — one hit with a glass bottle and the other by fireworks, according to St. Paul police.Police used crowd control measures including smoke, police spokesman Steve Linders said.Parts of the freeway are closed after as many as 200 people forced their way past Minnesota state patrol troopers who were trying to block them from getting on the road”(CNN).

              There is many different ways that the Black Lives Matter Movement or people that are against police brutality and these are the least of what they are trying to do to address the problem of police brutality.Whether it is doing 20 marches and trying real hard to get the attention of police officers and the police departments. Most officers in cases that involves innocent deaths some officers get released from there charges and are let free to roam the streets. It is our job to address these issues and to get the attention of everyone in the country and to get the attention of everyone in the world. We have to announce the injustice that officers are doing to people of color and killing them innocently.

Our plan is to enlighten young folks on the issue of police brutality because it’s important to raise awareness about a topic that can hurt many people and has created such a negative impact in our communities. One way that we plan on educating young folks is by screening the movie The Hate You Give because its a film that shows the reality of our world and its impact on people. Also, it allows us to show folks in what ways they can create change by empowering them to get more involved in their communities. Another idea that we had was to create a survey to give to middle school students 6th, 7th, and 8th grade to see if they’ve ever been educated or even know about the topic. We asked about their knowledge on police brutality and what they have heard in the news or through their parents. We have already gotten reponses in which many of these young folks stated that they don’t know what police brutality is or what they have done to people of color around the country. We feel that it’s important that our youth know about this topic because we need people to fight against such an oppressive issue. By gathering people together we can create a positive change.

As you see, Anne E. Kirkpatrick, we are writing to you because you are one of the leaders that can help us make a change in the world. Whether we address the issue or not  police officers, deputies, and even sherif’s from all the country don’t realise the issue that this country going through. You will be a great help to addressing police brutality, you a high ranking chief will get the attention of everyone single person in the world to realise the injustice that policemen are doing to people that don’t deserve to die. In this letter we have stated the reason why we are contacting you and shown every tactic people have done to get your attention and the government’s attention. We can start little by little getting the attention of everyone and then getting the support we need from all the citizens in the country.

Sincerely, Kenya Sanchez, Adrian Terriquez, Costello White

Annotated Bibliography

“Police.” City of Oakland, 18 Jan. 2019,

This website shows all about the oakland police and news, background information about the OPD and they work . some of this background information includes when the OPD shootings have happened and how the people of oakland where all over it. this source is credible because it is published by the OPS and is updated every day and the demain is gov.

Bever, Lindsey. “It Took 10 Minutes to Convict 14-Year-Old George Stinney Jr. It Took 70 Years after His Execution to Exonerate Him.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 Dec. 2014,

This article is based on the story of a 14 year old black boy who was the youngest person ever to be put to death by the electric chair. The Washington Post is a very good source because it gave me clear information about what happened in the time of the event. The strengths of this source is that there are examples of what happened at the tie of the event and how people acted towards it. A weakness of this source is that it hasn’t been updated since 2016. This source is relevant to my field o research because it helps me give examples of ow police brutality first started and how it has grown through time time.Lindsey Bever is a very credible author because she talks about national and breaking news.

Braimah, Ayodale. “Oscar Juliuss III Grant (1986–2009) • BlackPast.” BlackPast, Black Past, 29 Jan. 2019,

This Article is based on the story of Oscar Grant and how he was killed by Police in Oakland California. The Black Post is a very important source because it provides stories about people like Oscar Grant who was unfairly killed by police. Some strengths of this source is that they describe what happened in the event but when we are talking about a human being like Oscar Grant they give a really good summary of who he was. A weakness that this source has is That it hasn’t been updated since 2017. This Source is relevant to my research because it provides information on police brutality and how it affects people. Ayodale Braimah is a very credible author because he allows hi readers to get a sense of the cause and effect from his topics.

Ott, Kelsey. “Huge Crowd of Black Lives Matter Supporters Marches through Memphis, Shuts down I-40 Bridge.”, News Channel 3, 11 July 2016, .

News Channel 3 is a credible source because this news channel is showing pictures of the events that happened in Memphis Tennessee. Some strengths of this website it shows the reasoning and background information of what the Black Lives Matter supporters were rallying for on the 1-40 bridge. This source is relevant because this post was from 3 years ago and shows what response Memphis had on the Deaths of two Black men.

Park, Madison, et al. “Black Lives Matter Protesters Return to Streets.” CNN, Cable News Network, 10 July 2016,

               CNN is a credible source because they are known throughout

the world and has been seen by nearly everyone in the country.Some Strengths that CNN has is talking and giving context on what is happening in the march.Some weaknesses is they don’t get the point of view protesters and they don’t get the point of view of policemen guarding.

Staff, The State Hornet. “Black Lives Matter Organizes 3 Days of Sit-Ins.” The State Hornet, The State Hornet, 12 Mar. 2019,

This is credible source because they interview someone that is a part of the sit-in. Some strengths is that they give a picture of the victim that has passed away and they show where they are going to do the sit-in

20thcenturyfox, Angie Thomas. “The Hate U Give | Fox Movies.” 20th Century Fox, Wyck Godfrey, P.g.a., 19 Oct. 2018,

Fox Movies is a credible source because these are high-quality producers that took a book and then turn it into a movie that is showing police brutality in a realistic film. Some Strengths are they get the point of view of everyone that is involved in the main characters life whether it is the main characters father or the siblings. Some weaknesses are they don’t show the point of view of the victim and don’t show the point of view or the thoughts of the police officer that was involved with the shooting.

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May 6, 2019 6:26 pm

Dear Kenya,
This topic that you and your group decided to take upon is very important and also controversial in these times. I really like how you guys were able to give many examples of different forms of police brutality towards colored people. It was nice to see that you had them from different times instead of just one specific year. I also enjoyed how you guys were able to tie in film that is relevant to this issue today. One thing I would say is look at both sides of the argument you are making. Look at the training that police officers receive when they are in preparation in becoming a officer is important. Asking and talking to an office can add on to your argument. I know that they can’t really trust anyone in any situation, but you could bring in the argument of who do they feel safer around: white American people or colored people and why?
But, overall, you guys did a really good job!

May 1, 2019 9:49 pm

Dear Kenya, Adrian, and Costello,

I really enjoyed reading your post on this important issue in society. Police brutality has been an ongoing issue that happens everywhere over the world. I am glad you guys gave more attention and research to this topic. What stood out to me was “Do we stay quiet or do we fight towards a more equitable world?” and I couldn’t agree more! We all need to speak out and fight for what we believe is right. Secondly, you guys did an amazing job researching about individual victim cases and giving potential solutions to raise awareness. I thought you guys came up with great and mature solutions that focused on nonviolent resistance. I do have a question for you guys as well, is there anything else you guys plan to do to educate your peers about police brutality? Lastly, you guys did a fantastic job with this post and I even learned a thing or two about police brutality. I look forward to reading more of each of your writings as well!

Ms Qadeer
April 29, 2019 12:33 am

Wow. The fear you describe in the first paragraph of this letter to Anne Kirkpatrick is chilling. It’s sad to have to live your life in fear of the people who are supposed to be protecting you.

I have to admit that I am a little confused about the details of your proposal for change. You mention that you’re planning to do a survey and have a screening of the movie The Hate U Give. I haven’t seen it, but I have heard it’s a powerful movie. I’m just wondering if your plan is to educate other young people about police violence and you just want support from the police chief, or if you are asking the chief of police to do something specific.

Either way, it’s a very important topic, and I wish you luck in being proactive Upstanders.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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