The rampant cases of police brutalities in the country seem to prove the notion that officers are taught to shoot first before interrogation.
Taking a look at the circumstances that surrounded most of the police killings, it has become an unavoidable fact that the level of force police officers applied to counter the situation was highly in-proportionate to the threat they faced. In view of this, some Black lives which otherwise could have been preserved have been sadly and carelessly lost.
It is acceptable that there is the need of some lethal force by the police in some cases; especially in a country like the U.S. were the number of guns outnumbers the total population. Hence, investigations into the death of Kendres McDade, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Tamir Rice and other unarmed Black-Americans who were shot by police officers clearly ascertains the fact that the level of force used by the officers never matches up with the risk these people posed.
Tackling a few cases to prove the use of unwarranted force by the police, we can say that Eric Garner didn’t deserve to be killed. How does an unarmed Black man selling cigarettes at the corner of Staten Island pose a high risk to the safety of trained police officers? Therefore choking him to death by the police was simply out of place.
How about the Black woman; Sandra Bland who was violently handled by police officers for not putting on her turn signal before changing lanes while driving? The unarmed Black woman was even threatened to be tased by the officer just for a traffic offense. She, however, ended up dying mysteriously while in custody. Once again, an act unprofessionalism displayed by trained officers.
In another case, 8 San Francisco police officers turned the arrest of a mentally ill Mario Woods into a death sentence. How is it possible that such a number of experienced officers cannot handle one Black man unless they shoot and kill him? If a doctor can handle a psychiatric patient without the use of guns, can’t the police do the same or even better?
It is obvious that the rights of the police officer have been placed above every other citizen. Most of these crimes committed by officers go unpunished. Further, the law has given the police enough room to execute their barbarism and unprofessionalism. The law gives an officer the right to use his discretion to ascertain what threat is. In other words, they have been given the liberty to imagine what they deem as a threat. No wonder they shoot Black people indiscriminately because they imagine them as a threat even before the Black person is alleged to commit a crime.
The police need to be given a clear cut procedure for an arrest. They should be a required use of force continuums. With which an officer moves from one level to the other when necessary. The privilege given them to imagine threat is ambiguous and it’s like giving them a license to kill.
Also, good police officers should stand against bad officers. The cover-ups for police brutalities rather encourages more to engage in it. The duty of the police is to restore peace, security, and confidence; but not to create tension, insecurity, and fear among the citizens.
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