Throughout the past year, radios, televisions, and newspapers have been consumed by police brutality cases. You’d have to live under a rock to be unaware of the rising conflict with our nation. Due to a lack of evidence, it’s often hard to tell whether police aggression is justified. However, certain cases have proved that innocent citizens have in fact been victims of unnecessary violence; for example, the recent murder of Walter L. Scott during a routine traffic stop. As a result, a common question today is whether or not police brutality is in fact a problem.
There are thousands of police in our country. It is unfair and irrational to generalize the entire police force due to one cop’s behavior. However, unfortunately, some of these incidents have become so significant that it is hard to wave off the problem as “no big deal,” especially when there have been at least five controversies just this year. As a result, it is not incorrect to say that police brutality is a problem, although we must keep in mind that most cops are not out to get us, but simply to keep us safe.
But a large part the problem has nothing to do with the cops, but with the reaction of the people. Schools in Baltimore were shut down after the extreme riots taking place in the city. Citizens who were protesting the death of Freddie Gray burned down buildings and raised havoc, despite the victim’s family telling them not to protest. People claiming to stand up for their own lives and their own town were the same people to bring around 15 buildings to ashes and to destroy 100 vehicles. What happened to peaceful protest? Evidently, some of the most successful movements in history were won as a result of peaceful protest. How can we demand others to respect our lives and our property when we ourselves are returning the violence?
Overall, the conflict between the people and the police is something to be resolved, no matter who is innocent. The only way for this to occur is for both sides to lay down their weapons and work together.
Sarah Schilke, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Senior Sarah Schilke is Arts & Entertainment Editor for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She is the Girl’s Cross Country captain and participates in Youth Alive Bible Club.