As a native of Dallas, I am no stranger to the corruption of some police organizations: in that same breath, as a native of Dallas, I am no stranger to the kindness that most, if not all, Dallas police officers exude. Still, with the racial climate of America, it seems that some police officers still do not place protecting all American citizens as a top priority,
Recently, my hometown has mourned the tragic loss of Botham Jean, a 26-year-old who was shot and killed by a police officer. Amber Guyger, the murderer of Jean, said that she mistook his apartment as hers, and shot him after she thought he was an intruder. This narrative is all too familiar.
Darren Wilson, the policeman that murdered Michael Brown in 2014, said that Brown charged after him in a violent manner, which is why he shot and killed him, despite Brown having his hands up telling him not to shoot.
Although these two incidents are unrelated geographically, they are related because they both spark several conversations about race relations, relationships that officers have with citizens, and the criminalization of black people, specifically in these cases, black men.
Coincidentally, Guyger killed Jean about two months after the two-year anniversary of the death of five Dallas officers. Since that attack, I have seen a drastic shift in support for DPD, as well as, a shift in Dallas officers’ attitude toward the community.
This tragedy made national news, and because of that, it garnered the attention of many politicians looking to place blame on groups like ‘Black Lives Matter,’ making being black and wanting equity, political. Once this incident occurred, many residents of Dallas’ affluent area, blamed minorities for the weakened relationship between police officers and the communities where they live.
This attitude was adopted by many Americans and police officers across America; thus, creating a childish blame game between the oppressed and their oppressor. This is where we as a united people, go wrong.
Minorities shining light on police brutality does not mean that black people are waging a war on cops: it means that we are sick of being treated as second class citizens by an organization put in place to protect us.
I have experienced more police officers concerned with being racists, rather than actually working towards ending police brutality. While a part of police brutality does in fact stem from racism, there are some parts of police brutality that stem from police officers abusing their power simply because they can.
In the cases of both Guyger and Wilson, they both killed two black men for what I perceive as the same reason: the fact that they view black men existing as violent, whether or not they believe so consciously or subconsciously does not matter when two lives are taken.
Even on campus, as a student, I feel as though the priorities of our police officers are messed up. I have had interactions with two cops who have left me feeling very agitated. Granted, the first one I encountered, I was definitely in the wrong, but still, as a cop, there is a level of professionalism that you must hold yourself to, and I do not believe that they hold themselves to that standard.
Although my encounters have not resulted in death, there is still an issue with police asserting themselves over me in a rude manner simply because they have the ability to.
I should not fear my policemen… I don’t, but a lot of people on campus do. I should also not have to get into it with officers because they want
Lastly, I am not saying that citizens have never been wrong because they have, but someone breaking the law warrants and arrest, not a death.