OPINION: We Must Come Together to Stop Police Brutality

By: Amanda Moreno
OwlFeed Journalist

Editor’s Note: This was the last story our beloved Amanda Moreno wrote for our journalism class. We decided to publish it posthumously to honor the passion and dedication she showed for journalism and for the world at large.

When it comes to our society’s norms, they are changing everyday. Whether it’s the environment or people’s health, trying to persuade someone to change or adapt can be very difficult.

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Photo courtesy of: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/my-opinion-on-police-brutality

Acts of hate happen everyday, and there’s lots of resentment and anger towards individuals. It’s 2018 and there’s still a strong atmosphere of racism, discrimination, and unjustified police brutality cases. Not only does this affect the African American community, but minorities, immigrants, refugees, and everyday people outside of these groups.

So many people allow others to step on their dignity and treat them with a lack of respect because it is a natural behavior humans have. We fear more of what might happen if we do stand up to those people. Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick recently starred in a Nike ad with the saying ‘’Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,’’ causing an extreme uproar in the social media and in the public.

Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racism and police brutality helped increase Nike sales stock by 30%, however, not everyone was not too happy with Kaepernick being the face of Nike, due to the fact he kneeled during the national anthem for football games. Furious with the outcome, people took extreme measures by burning Nike merchandise.

Police brutality is something to be taken very seriously, for not only does it affect the victim, but it also creates chaos in the public and social media. Such excessive force by police is particularly disturbing given its disproportionate impact on people of color.

Back in 2011, former police officer Jason Stockley, who is white, was charged with first-degree murder after he fatally shot an unarmed black man, Anthony Lamar Smith. According to an article from the Nation Review, black men are constantly harassed by the police and routinely brutalized with impunity, even when they have done nothing wrong.

‘’There is an epidemic of police shootings of unarmed black men,” wrote Philipee Lemonie. Even high-profile black celebrities often claim to be afraid of the police because the same thing might happen to them.

The media’s acceptance of the false narrative poisons the relations between law enforcement and black communities. While citizens witness police brutality at its worst, a lot of the people don’t say anything because of a lack of compassion towards it, fear of reprisal, or their agreement with such force. The people that do make an effort to change how the community works are the ones who are shut out.

Everyday there are more and more people taking a stand while trying to make their voices heard. For years on end, the police brutality rate has increased with ‘white on black crimes.’ According to Mapping Police Violence, police have killed 646 citizens in 2018. African Americans are more than three times more likely to be killed by police than white people, and in 2015, 30% of black victims were unarmed.

We as people should come together, teach each other how to spread kindness, and express the importance of ending police brutality and what it’s doing to the community around us. Taking a stand and trying to make a change is just one step closer to creating peace.