Watching The Hawk’s Tyrel Ventura reflects on police brutality. What changes do we need to make? How can we prevent this from happening?
Greetings and Salutations,
By now most of us have seen the video of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Fields violently subduing a young black female student in a classroom.Thankfully the officer was suspended and fired for his actions.An interesting side note to this story is that the young girl who filmed the altercation, Niya Kenny, was also taken into custody for basically standing up for the girl who was being assaulted.
I guess law enforcement needs to make an addendum to their “If you see something, say something,” campaign. “If you see some something, say something… unless it’s about us.”
This entire incident, sadly, is nothing new for a country where black students are 3 times more likely to be expelled or suspended than their white counterparts despite the fact that there is no real difference in the rate of misbehavior between them.
You see, the moment that unarmed eighteen year old, college bound, Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri the issue of police violence against people of color finally took center stage and demanded that we begin a dialogue on race relations take place in this country. This dialogue has forced us to recognize a pattern.
Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee, Eric Garner in New York, John Crawford in Ohio, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Tony Robinson in Madison and Walter Scott in South Carolina just to name a few, and when I say a few I mean a few, because at least sixty-five unarmed black Americans have been killed by police in 2015 alone.
This open wound of police violence which is two parts prejudice and two parts militarization must be healed.After all, the founding document of our country states that we are all created equal and that equality gives us all the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This includes the ability to stand up to the unchecked vulgar systemic racism that runs rampant in our education and criminal justice systems.
Keep Watching The Hawks,
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