LA River School

When will deaths of minorities by the hands of police officers end?

Recent tension has sparked in the Black Lives Satter movement. The recent shooting and killing was Stephon Clark, an African American male who was shot 20 times by two Sacramento police officers. Police responded to a call that a someone was breaking car windows in the vicinity.

A police helicopter had spotted the suspect jump the fence into Clark’s grandma’s backyard and it is believed that Clark was the suspect. The details if he was actually the suspect are still under investigation. The officers got the information and headed to the backyard guns drawn where Clark was on his phone when the cops rounded the corner to his backyard. They believed that the cell phone was a weapon and both officers opened fire shooting him more than twenty times. Immediately after the shooting, they cut the audio on their body cams- the reason is still unknown.

 This is sparked major outcry with the Black Lives Matter movement and family of Stephon Clark who want justice for the death of their son. Clark was only 22 when he was killed and left behind two daughters that will grow up without a father. The fact that the police officers are Caucasian and the victim is African American makes this tragedy worse, because most of the killings of African American men by law enforcement are shot by the guns of white officers.

Clark is just one of many victims of police brutality. This just shows that racism still runs high in The United States. In 2017, police killed 1,146 people; African Americans being 26 percent of those killed, even though being 13 percent of the population in the United States.

Statistics show that African Americans are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people. In 2015, 99 percent of cases of police shootings have not resulted in a officer or officers being convicted of the crime.

This recent shooting of Clark needs to bring justice for Clark’s family and reform how we train our police officers. The police officers involved in the death of Clark have to answer for this shooting. We can’t be giving so much authority and power to people who don’t know how to handle it. We can’t be giving guns to officers who have racial bias and prejudices towards minorities.

I want to know, like many young men my age and older, when will this stop? When can minorities, like myself, feel safe and protected by police officers? When will the time come when we don’t have to fear the people that are here “to serve and protect” our communities?