10242017Headline:

The Law is Killing Us

By Shannon Daniels

 

“Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012,” according to USA Today. People wouldn’t think that the world as we know it today would have the same racial issues as we have had in the past. Michael Brown, Walter Scott and Eric Garner are names that all have one thing in common; they were black men killed by white police officers. And it isn’t just a handful of instances; the list of black names who suffer similar fates is ever growing. However, it is very rare for police officers to spend any time in jail, despite disobeying the law. Remember, these are the individuals who are supposed to protect us, and yet they hurt us.

Racism still exists and the simple fact that the color of your skin can get you killed by someone with a badge, who will probably face no consequences, should strike fear in your heart. This type of behavior hasn’t just started happening recently, it has been going on for quite some time and people are ready for change. Since 1909, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), has been trying to put an end to these racial issues. The First Amendment to our Constitution protects our right to take pictures and digitally record police officers engaging in their official duties.

In 2015, it appears that the smartphone (in the hands of concerned eyewitnesses) may be one of the most important tools necessary to help obtain the justice that we desperately need. Through these advances we were able to see Officer Michael Slager kill Walter Scott, an unarmed man in South Carolina, first hand. And as he sits in jail awaiting trial, we can only hope he gets the justice he deserves in the courtroom. However, even with this technology a conviction is not always guaranteed. As we saw with the video recording of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo choking Eric Garner to death last year in New York. This compelling video proved futile, as the grand jury decided not to indict the officer. Our hope for the future is dependent upon increased awareness, watchdog groups, and yes, even outlook toward a day when we truly achieve a post-racial climate where all citizens can ultimately stop hurting each other and live in peace.

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