This summer, President Trump raised controversy when making “insensitive” jokes pertaining to police brutality during his speech in Long Island. Many believed that his comment supported the attacks that had been occurring over the past few years. Trump stated, “please don’t be too nice”, referring to police officer’s treatments to suspects. Although he and some of the officers in attendance at his speech may have found it funny, what about the innocent victims who had to deal with these cruel acts of unfairness, or what about their loved ones who had to bury them. It may not raise brows as much today, but let’s not forget about those that died in the past 6 years.
Police Brutality is nothing new to world. If anything, data has shown that in the last three years, numbers have dropped. Over the years, the topic of police shooting has resurfaced, by the help of social media and smartphones. Record, post, share! In the matter of moments, a new video is released via social media.
Between 2011-2016, thousands of people have died in police related shootings. Some have even suffered from the rough handling displayed by the police officers. More recently, the most prominent factor that each incident has had in common is that the victims were unarmed, black men.
Many people argued that the media portrayed black men as criminals without giving them the satisfaction of being suspects. People took to Twitter to start hashtags such as, #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, which promoted awareness to the insensitive acts of media hegemony that depicted black men to be evil based on the images used on the news. One of the most famous pictured being that of Mike Brown, after he was murdered.
Could these shootings support claims that dominant ideologies overrule what is ethically and morally accepted in our society, in regards to police brutality?
“When people say ‘black lives matter,’ it doesn’t mean that blue lives don’t matter,” – Barack Obama.
In the middle of all of the controversy, the Black Lives Matter Movement, was structured. The sole purpose was to unify groups and allow people to stand up against police brutality civilly, but things did not always turn out peaceful.
Many people have been arrested for peacefully protesting. Take Ieshia Evans for instance, she silently stood in the streets during a protests and was sent to jail.
In the years to come let’s not forget about Kelly Thomas. Let’s not forget Alton Sterling, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, and the thousands of men and women who lost their lives. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” Don’t for a second overlook the cases like, Kyam Livingston. Police brutality doesn’t only define the shootings that took place; remember those whose needs were ignored. “I can’t breathe”, 11 times Eric Garner cried out. Remember that these people did not have mercy. Remember that their lives were taken from them.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King.