Peace & Police

PEACE & POLICE is a nonviolent campaign for social change, aimed at restoring trust and respect between our communities and our police. This campaign is the work of students at Virginia Union University who are majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Many of us will eventually have careers in the field of law enforcement and policing and we want the relationship between the police and our communities to be strong. This Peace & Police campaign is where we offer our thoughts and ideas about how to make this relationship the best it can be.

Police Brutality by Jhaneil Wilson

Nov 21, 2015 | by admin

Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and Michael Brown were all victims of police brutality and they were all African American. Does that mean their race was the cause of their deaths is a question many are asking. I feel the African American race is being targeted.

What exactly is police brutality? Police brutality is civil rights violation that transpires when a police officer uses excessive force towards a civilian. Throughout the world there seems to be a conflict between police officers and civilians. This is the question I would like to address: how does race impact police brutality?

In my opinion, race plays a very important part in police brutality. The only race that I feel is being targeted is the African American race. When you turn on the news or go on social media you often see and hear about police brutality; police officers are killing/beating innocent people. Police brutality has really gotten out of hand, to a point where civilians do not feel safe, and some even hate those in law enforcement.

It seems as though police officers mainly target African Americans. Here are some examples.

Freddie Gray was a recent victim of police brutality. The incident between Freddie Gray happened on April 19th, 2015 when Freddie died of a severe spinal injury after being arrested. He led police on a chase, but no one knows why he ran. When he was arrested a switchblade was found in his pocket. Videos were shown of several officers carrying and dragging Mr. Gray to the police van after he was handcuffed.

Gray was stumbling when he was brought to the van, then the van took 30 minutes to arrive at the police station. Police stated that Gray was not breathing when the van arrived at the police station. He was not treated properly. He requested medical attention but was not giving it.  Freddie died because of a spinal cord injury after his arrest. The six officers that were involved in this case have been charged with misconduct in office.

Sandra Bland was an African American woman who was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change. When she was stopped she became uncooperative. There was a video that showed the officer using his knee to hold Ms. Bland down on the ground. She was heard saying that she could not feel her arm and that the trooper slammed her head to the ground.

Paramedics were called to help Bland but she refused any medical attention. This led up to an investigation of her death. On July 13, she was found in her jail cell dead. It was stated that she hung herself with a plastic bag. Ambulance were called to do CPR.  She was pronounced dead short time later.

Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and also Michael Brown were all victims of police brutality and they were all African American. Does that mean their race was the cause of their deaths is a question many are asking. As a result, people of the African race feel they have been impacted by police brutality.

African Americans in today society live in fear, feeling that their lives can be taken away at any time. I feel as though an image has been created about police officers, and as a criminal justice major I have friends who would like to be police officers. I do not want them to become a statistic.