Police brutality is not always a matter of race


Leah Newhouse

Senior, Chris Cox

Chris Cox, Opinion Editor

As I lay my head down to sleep, I casually scroll through my various forms of social media in an attempt to ease myself into a calming slumber. I soon realize that this cannot be done because people make me ponder over a very controversial topic. It seems nowadays that everybody “knows” what police brutality is and isn’t. Most people see it as white officer killing black men, but I see it as an officer taking their force of action into extremes against a civilian.

Before I really dig deep and make you, the readers, hate me or like me, I want you to know that I am not naive to racial prejudices. I am not a white supremacist. I am not naive to legitimate police brutality but I am here to say that not all of these altercations are what they seem.

Not every altercation between a caucasian officer and an African American civilian is of a racial matter. Police are not all “pigs” and they are not all awful. People talk about cops nowadays like they are after everyone and they use their badge to purge on innocent civilians. I’m not going to lie when a cop pulls up behind me I get nervous. Not nervous for my life but nervous I will get in trouble for doing something wrong. At the end of the day though, it is the cops job to correct wrongdoing, so why would I be mad at them if I did something I wasn’t supposed to in the first place.

According to an article written in the Washington Times, Walter Scott was shot and killed by Officer Michael Slager. When people say “I’m sick of cops killing and taking paid leave,” do they realize he has been charged with murder and the Justice Department is investigating the case for civil rights violations? In the same article, it mentioned how a caucasian male who was on drugs and naked was shot and killed by an African American Officer, Trevis Austin, who was in fact cleared of wrongdoing. A professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Peter Moskos, has calculated that from May 2013 to April 2016, 49 percent of people killed by officers were white, 30 percent were black and the other 21 percent combines for Asian and Hispanic. This statistic could be misleading due to 72 percent of the population being caucasian, so here’s another stat for you. Over the span of a decade, 2,151 white people were killed by cops versus the 1,130 black people who were killed.

This matter of cops hating African Americans is a generalization that is not every cops mindset. It absolutely is certain ones and I firmly believe that there are cases of injustice and racial discrimination coming from behind the badge, but let’s not generalize it to everyone. That just makes it harder for the fairer cops to do the job they way they should be doing it and the way they want to. Let’s stop the violence to prevent the violence. Let’s stop the hate to prevent the hate.