Stop Police Brutality Now
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On average, in the United States, a police officer takes the life of a citizen every 7 hours. 52% of police officers report that it is not unusual for law enforcement to turn a blind eye to the improper conduct of other officers. Are you or a loved one next?
There is a significant lack of transparency and communication between the police and the public. No country on the planet is more heavily policed than the United States, yet we are far from the safest country. The police are extremely militarized and quick to resort to deadly violence rather than de-escalation. Racism and stereotyping fuel this violence by law enforcement. Minorities and people of color are heavily targeted for unjust police violence, particularly black people.
According to mappingpoliceviolence.org in 2017, there were 1,147 people killed by police in 2017. Out of those deaths, 282 people or 25% of the population were black people. Despite the high number, black people only make up 13% of the entire United States population. Black people are also 3x more likely to be killed than white people. Another staggering statistic is that in 2015, 30% of unarmed victims killed were black people, as compared to 21% of unarmed white victims who were killed. In 2014, only 31% of victims killed were suspected of a violent crime and allegedly armed.
Crimes and harassment continue being committed by police, yet they are not being convicted. In 2015, 99% of police officers who were involved in criminal cases have not been convicted.
Tamir Rice is one of many innocent victims who had his life taken from him. He was 12 years old when he was shot and killed by police officers who mistook his toy gun for a real weapon. The police officers have not been charged. If he was a 12-year-old white boy with a toy gun would he have been killed like this? Others include Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was shot because of racial profiling. Another is Alton Sterling, who was pinned to the ground and violently shot. The most recent case involved Stephon Clark from Sacramento. Police confronted him and he ran away from them with the entire encounter being filmed on a body camera. Police then shot him 8 times, including 6 times in his back. They believed he pointed a gun at them when it turns out it was his cell phone. The list of deaths goes on, and with each one there is a horrific story.
The disproportionate killing of black people is not a new phenomenon. Even though it was not until 1991 when the first public beating against Rodney King by police officers was captured on camera film, the historical evidence of police brutality towards African Americans dates back to enslavement, and was reinforced when lynching laws were put in place. Today, blacks, Latinos and Native Americans are disproportionately killed by police officers should come as no surprise given that policing in the United States has its origins to conquer Native Americans and also to prevent enslaved Africans from fleeing slave owners.
No matter how uncomfortable it makes one feel, police brutality should be framed as a systematic and structural racism. However, there are many ways to change this. Sign this petition, support calls for more collaboration between communities, policymakers, and law enforcement agencies and let your district representatives know that you oppose and have zero tolerance towards police brutality.
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Justin Low needs your help with “Department of Justice: Stop police brutality”. Join Justin and 208 supporters today.