I'm Scared
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Politics and Activism

I'm Scared


I'm Scared

Over the last few days, months and years, black people have been targeted— senseless killing of black men, women and even children out of what cops call, “fearing for their life." They are defended by a corrupt justice system and never receive punishment for their crimes.

When the #BlackLivesMatter movement started, many began to ask my opinion on what was going on. This was hard to answer because I am a criminal justice student and I didn’t want to think that the career I had chosen was corrupt. But I am also a young black woman who fears for the men in her life, the friends I have and, well, lately everybody. But once I accepted the hard truth, I knew without a doubt that the police officers were wrong and guilty.

Here’s why: in my class we learned all about racial profiling, subcultures, gangs and how to interact with suspects in every situation. We are taught early to not judge and assume things about a potential suspect because of their race or area code, but to respect them no matter what they are accused of doing until the evidence proves them guilty.

As we all see, that is never the case out in the work field. Emotions are high on both sides, but death should never be the outcome. In all the cases the officers abused their power, and used stereotypes and judgment before finding the truth. They then used deadly force on many innocent people who they misjudged and murdered.

Being a police officer should make people feel safe when we are in their presence, but it’s the exact opposite. We fear for our lives. Parents shouldn’t have to sit and explain to their children what to do around the police in hopes it will bring them home alive. A mother shouldn’t have to fear that her son, her black son, will be killed on his way from the store (Trayvon Martin), my own mother shouldn’t have to fear me driving because of what might happen if I get pulled over (Sandra Bland), or teens would have to worry about being too loud with their music because it will end in their death (Jordan Davis). These are unnecessary, yet strong fears in the black community.

We deserve justice and are tired of being ignored. We were silenced during slavery, disrespected with our voting rights, ignored when we wanted to be treated and seen as a whole person and tortured through years of segregation. And yet no one understands why the riots happened.

The media only shows the violence we can bring to the world to be able to say this is why we fear them. No, we should be feared for our peaceful protests and the sense of community we share that cannot be broken.

The police have a community of their own. It's called, “police culture," and it is what makes all the guilty officers get paid leave, partners plant evidence on innocent people and lawyers to find as much incriminating evidence on the victim as possible. I say "victim" because they are usually dead by this point. If their defense is the officer feared for his life, a picture of the victim with their family doesn’t give the same appearance as a mug shot. Just to say I am in no way saying there are no good police officers because they are out there and need to come out of the shadows and give us justice.

When they release the mug shot it's because they know the officer is guilty and want to avoid a lawsuit, violence and admitting to weak spots in the force. The officers usually have files that show their prejudice and violent tendencies that are overlooked because they are a decent cop. Police culture has slowly evolved into a gang-like system. They are violent, racist, they come in groups and are never charged for their crimes. They make those who know the truth fear their lives so they walk freely.

I believe that we need justice for everyone: the killed, the scared and the future. Our future. They are killing our black community in front of us; they want us to watch and feel powerless. But that is where they are wrong. We are a powerful race. If we all join together, the gangs, the cops, the teachers, lawyers, celebrities and especially our president, Obama, we can make a change. We rioted and we marched peacefully like Martin Luther King, Jr., but it's 2016 and we can take a stand to demand change.

This means going to the ones who can change things, the ones in office. We need to control who is in charge, we need to show them what we mean to their businesses, we have to stand together and give them a real reason to fear us, not because we are violent, but because we are smart. It won’t be an easy fight, but with everyone standing together against corruption and police brutality, we will win.

Don’t just say their name. Make their death mean something. Fight for them and don’t forget them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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