Dear future president,
Why does the law say that police are here to protect and serve us? They break families apart.
One of the officers had told me that he was here to protect and help us, how so? Telling me to lie and go against my dad? Taking my father from my home because he was accused of being a rapist? My family knew the truth… The truth that nobody else believed. I’m writing about a true story, my story. It starts with a happy family to a broken one, the day a man left the house not because he wanted to but how the law had set it to be. It was easier to believe three underage girls than an older man, and what he had left behind, his family. The life of many innocent people are wrongly put away from crimes they didn’t commit and there should be a deeper foundation to find out the truth.
It started off in October 2009, we had just came back from church, and my family and I were in my living room. We heard loud knocks coming from the door downstairs of our building. When my Dad looked out the window he saw a few officers standing outside so he went downstairs to see what was going on and before we knew it, he didn’t come back up. My sisters and I ran to our room and my Mom stayed in the living room wondering why they had taken my Dad with them. A social worker came inside our apartment and told my Mom that three girls had filed a lawsuit saying that my Dad had raped them and my Mom was an accomplice of it all. After delivering the news, we were escorted out of our room and taken to the station.
“Confessions obtained from juveniles are often unreliable — children can be easy to manipulate and are not always fully aware of their situation” (Innocence Project, 3). From personal experience I can say that this is a fact. The police officer tried briefing us by telling my Mom they wouldn’t have us undergo a vaginal examination if we told the truth. An officer tried twisting the problem around and made my sisters and I nervous to answer the questions because we were hiding the truth. We were scared to provide them with the information they really wanted to hear instead of what really happened. We didn’t let them manipulate us, so my family and I remained with the same answer, which was the truth. But in the end, what we said didn’t matter to them because they still made us have the examinations done believing that we were lying, and even after no evidence was found.
My Dad missed so many special occasions in my family’s life, from missing elementary graduations, to birthdays as well. As a little girl, me and my sisters have dreamed and talked about having our Quinceanera (a Mexican tradition), but we’ve always imagined it with my Dad being there and having that special moment with him. It was a moment we never got because he wasn’t able to attend.
My Dad had always told us that he was going to make sure that we had a blast on our special day. It never happened and there’s no way to go back. He missed all our Quinces and the only memory that he got from it was he pictures we were able to send.
My Dad was gone when I was in 3rd grade, and from that day on my sisters and I had to learn how to do things that a father had to teach his daughters. My Mom had to play both roles as a mom and a dad. She was usually busy working her hardest to keep clothes on our backs, food on the table, and a roof over our heads, but it wasn’t easy for her because I could tell by the way she faked a smile. She’s tired of all of this and so am I.
My Dad is just one of the innocent people who will have their lives and liberty ripped away from their hands by a crime they didn’t commit, but can’t prove their innocence by the lack of justice there is to really find out the truth.
I believe that it’s important for our new president to help improve on how each case is taken and to actually take the investigation of looking for evidence more serious rather than using whatever the judge has to sentence an inmate to life in prison.
New Media Academy at Hollywood High School