How Police Brutality Has Led To A Rigged System
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Politics and Activism

How Police Brutality Has Led To A Rigged System

The system cannot fail those who it was never designed to protect.

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How Police Brutality Has Led To A Rigged System
Gannett-CDN

There have been far too many instances of police brutality, even in the past few months, let alone 2015. There have been far too many instances of racial profiling, and the need for profits.

It's becoming clear more than ever that the system is rigged. This is not an attack on individual police. I fully believe that police are still people, and most of them are trying to do their job to the best of their ability. But some of them do step over the line, in more ways than one. Let's break this up into a few different issues, then address them as a whole: racism, police brutality, and the privatization of our Criminal Justice system.

Police Racism

Racism is not a clean cut issue, but there have been many clearly identifiable instances and deaths that point towards systemic racism running rampant in the police force. Here are just a few of the many cases of unarmed African-Americans killed by the police. Some of these gained a tremendous amount of news coverage, while some didn't, but they all matter in different ways. I will not list descriptions here, but if you have time to research even a few of these deaths, I promise it will help you to understand where I'm coming from.

Trayvon Martin, 2012

Eric Garner, July 2014

Michael Brown, August 2014

Tamir Rice, November 2014

Rumain Brisbon, December 2014

Eric Harris, April 2015

Walter Scott, April 2015

Freddie Gray, April 2015

This is a very short list, and does not even begin to cover the number of unarmed minority citizens who were shot and killed by police. These are some of the most widely known cases, and they all represent an extremely disturbing pattern of systemic racism and police brutality. 461 people have been killed so far in this year alone.

A Note About Black on Black Crime

Some people like to use the excuse, "Oh well they kill each other all the time! It's not racism, it's just statistics." This point is invalid for multiple reasons. The first is that just because homicide rates among the black on black population are high (not to be confused with crime rates), this does not make police brutality okay. The second point is that, yes, 93% of African-Americans are killed by other African-Americans. Yet 83% of Whites are also killed by other Whites. So the 93% statistic cannot be used to devaluate a very genuine concern of racial profiling and racism within the police force. White on White crime, Black on Black crime, etc, it's all just crime. Research has proven that you are more likely to commit a crime with a person of your same race. So if you're White and you want to go rob a store, chances are, you're going to do it with another White person. If you're Black, and you want to go rob a store, chances are, you're going to do it with another Black person. Crime rates within individual races have a strong correlation to the fact that African-Americans are more likely to live in mostly African-American neighborhoods, while Whites are more likely to live in mostly White neighborhoods. Sure, it's just a correlation, but it's also undeniable.

Police Brutality

Let's shift our focus to the larger issue of Police brutality. As mentioned earlier, 461 people have already been killed by Police this year alone. In 2015, 1,207 people were killed by police. 1,112 in 2014. 772 in 2013. That makes 3,552 people in about the past 3 1/2 years alone. In our Northern neighbor, Canada, fewer than 200 people have been killed by police in the past 3 1/2 years. Is it just me, or does it seem like there's something wrong with that? Aren't the police supposed to be protecting and defending the people and the law? I'm sure that some of those killed were posing a danger to other citizens, but all of them? I doubt it...

The Privatization of the Criminal Justice System

This is yet another messed up aspect of our Criminal Justice System today. Personally, I firmly believe that a few things should not be privatized, or used for profits. Those are: Education, the Healthcare system, and the Criminal Justice System. Today, although some of us may not realize it, the Justice System is heavily privatized. Police are forced to meet a set "quota" of arrests made per month, in order to bring in enough revenue to the state. So isn't this essentially preventing those cops who are trying to do a good job, with the best interest of the people and the law in mind, from doing their job properly? We are forcing what could be very good people into a system of corruption. Crime rates among US citizens are at an all time low, while police crime on US citizens is at an all time high. Doesn't that seem weird? Yeah I think so too.

By forcing officers to meet a monthly quota for certain types of arrests and tickets, etc. we are making it hard for officers to do their jobs correctly. America does not have the largest population in the world, but it does have the largest incarcerated population in the world. One of the problems with this is that our prisons have been privatized as well. So every time the state sends someone to a privatized prison, one of the richest people in the world (1%), gets even richer, while our prisons continue to be overpopulated and downright unsafe, with harsh penalties. Is this really helping anyone to get back on the right track and or make a successful re-entry into the everyday world?

Racism, Police Brutality, and The Privatization of the Criminal Justice System

The combination of racism, police brutality, and the privatization of the Criminal Justice System is dangerous. Systemic racism and police brutality feed into each other, along with this sense that police officers are "above the law", because they are rarely indicted, and even then, rarely convicted of any wrongdoings in a meaningful way. In a lot of ways, officers do not fear being indicted for any wrongdoing anymore, because it is very unlikely they would be indicted. This is because as long as they are bringing in more money and profits for the state, and the rest of the criminal justice system, these wrongdoings are overlooked.

With every person jailed, the rich get richer, and more people are likely to become trapped in this endless cycle. The United States should not be a Police State. The system needs to change. Let's start by doing what we can, with the tools we have now, to end these three main issues and other ones like 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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