BURNEY: From student to policeman, a difficult transition

Social injustice is a big topic in the world today, and one of the biggest social injustices that American people are divisive on is police brutality. With cases like Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and Stephon Clark, all unarmed black men that were killed at the hands of police officers, it makes some people feel uneasy about the police.


  The officers in the cases mentioned were not immediately held accountable in the all cases mentioned, which sparked national outrage. 


“Considering that black people, particularly black males are 3 times more likely to be murdered by police, it is very hard for me, personally, to put my trust into an established group of people that are trained to deescalate certain situations,” said Kobe Ross. Ross is a junior majoring in marketing from Atlanta who understands why people are distrustful of police. “Police are supposed to protect society, yet when they feel “threatened” by unarmed people, their first instinct is to shoot and kill.  How can anyone trust that?”


Even with some of the community withdrawing all trust from the police enforcement, students like Omar Sims still have hope they can change the system and want to become part of the Police force. 


Sims is a junior majoring in criminal justice from Flint, Mich., and he wants to be that change that he so desperately wants to see. With the most recent murder of Botham Jean by Dallas officer Amber Guyger, Sims wishes that police officers would hold one another accountable.  “I was completely upset about the death of Botham Jean, and seeing it all unfold. I wish police would hold each other more accountable.  It was a mistake, I just want more accountability,” said Sims.  “I see the importance and need in our community for people of color to see people like myself working to help and not hurt them,” said Sims.  


Furthermore, he is the junior class president, member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and a member of GSU’s royal court. 


He has always wanted to get into law enforcement, but he did not know what avenue he wanted to take.  “I just know that I have always wanted to protect people for a living, I think it is very important to have the public feeling safe in times that pose danger and threat.”  Even when seeing police always in the news portrayed as the bad guys, Sims is up to the challenge.  “


Being a leader on campus has taught me that you cannot please everyone, but you can try to be the best leader you can be for the university, and I will apply that to when I jump into the workforce.”


Some students have a hard time trusting police on Grambling State University’s campus.  “I feel like they pick and choose who they harass on campus, they show favoritism to some in which they will look out for but for others, they hassle them with tickets and harshness,” said Malik Walker, a senior from Los Angeles majoring in mass communication.  


However, Sims is confident that GSU’s new Chief of Police will rebuild that trust with students. “Currently, I believe GSUPD is trying to do the best that they can with the resources that are available to them. 


 Chief Kelly’s vision for the department is definitely going to benefit the campus and once his vision is put into place, we will see many changes.”