Within the recent month, we have been bombarded with acts of ignorance coming from police brutality. We’ve had an Army Lieutenant threatened with guns and pepper spray for what should have been a routine traffic stop. Another senseless death, this time 20-year-old Daunte Wright, due to an officer mistaking a gun for a taser, and we’re still confused how that can happen after years of serving on the force. Most recently, a 13-year-old boy was killed by Chicago police with his hands up in the air empty. It doesn’t matter what they did or the events that happened before, none of these people deserved death, and none of it deserved to be showcased worldwide, especially the death of a 13-year-old.
This goes to show that this is more than just a trend or phase to stand for social justice. Marginalized groups are constantly targeted by police who use obsessive violent force. These people are more than just social media posts; they are real people with families and lives just like ours.
Last summer, we marched and made our side known. Let’s continue to put pressure on racial equity in America. We can’t keep “saying names” or seeing countless posts of Black Lives Matter. Things still need to change. We’ve made a little progress, but not everything is perfect, clearly.
The excuses — finding someone threatening because of the color of their skin, mistaking a weapon for a gun that you’re trained to know the difference, giving misleading directions to someone who’s trying to comply and many more unjustified acts to someone who was just going for a drive, walking or just sleeping in their own home — need to stop.
You don’t have to post every act of police brutality, especially if it gets too draining or triggering. But for the people who think this is just a trend to stand for social justice, it’s not. This is something Black people and other races deal with on a daily basis.
Najah Hendricks is a fourth-year Social Work major, Youth Empowerment & Urban Studies Minor. Nh871270@wcupa