The number of reported incidents of police brutality and excessive force toward Black men could very easily lead one to believe that the Black man may be American law enforcement’s worst nightmare. None are stranger to the reality of racial profiling in the police force. Profiling continually affects mostly Hispanic and Black males as it’s assumed that Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be the perpetrators of crime than their White and Asian counterparts. With such change that has taken place since the civil rights movement, reported incidents of police brutality are at an all-time high among black males. According to the National Safety Council, statistics show that black males are 21 times more likely to be shot, maimed, or killed at the hands of police than any other racial group. While police officials and vigilantes are continuing to get away with cold-blooded murder in the figurative name of the law.
In less than a decade, deaths of black males by use of excessive police force have become more and more apparent in popular media. John Crawford, III was just gunned down and killed by local police in an Ohio Walmart for holding a BB gun. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman- neighborhood watchman-for walking to his father’s home in Sanford, FL, while holding a pack of skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea. Eric Garner was choked to death by NYPD in Staten Island for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. Jonathan Ferrell, a collegiate football player at Florida A&M, was, allegedly, mistakenly shot and killed ten times in Charlotte, NC by a police officer responding to a breaking and entering call. The most recent and highly disturbing cases in the past two months took place in Ferguson, MO- a suburb of St. Louis. An unarmed Michael Brown was shot six times at the hands of a police officer Darren Wilson. Brown’s death was followed by weeks long protests within the area with some peaceful protesters met with similar aggressive opposition from police. In recent news, 18-year-old Vonderrick Myers was shot and killed by a police officer, allegedly off-duty officer.
As far back as the Rodney King incident in the 90’s, police brutality among black males in America has continued to become an alarming problem met with little opposition. In all of these tragic incidents of police brutality and neighborhood watchman taking the law into their own hands were all white and the murder victims were all black males. Regardless If the officers claim to be protecting and serving, their senseless and overly aggressive acts are on the verge of vigilante in nature-punishing those they feel are guilty. Although some officers may show some remorse, after getting caught, there sentence does not fit the crime that they have committed. Many of the incidents of young black male slaying were completely avoidable and destroying lives. The unmitigated fear of the black male body by law enforcement is literally killing them, and their deaths continue to be justified.
Police brutality is not a new topic within American culture but it seems, for the past decade, it afflicts the black male community above all else. With the senseless death of young black teens increasing and in a highly publicized way, there has to be a solution to the growing problem. In 1990, the string of racially-motivated brutality within police arrests and detains called for the addition of cameras recording each action and confrontation. Though the percentage of reported incidents have decreased, it does not seem to be enough. Maybe a psychological evaluation and camera-on-the-gun needs to take place for unnecessary police brutality to cease.
By Tyler Cole