Fear and hate of police

Philip Zoppi – General Assignment Reporter

Police brutality and racial profiling is a prevalent concern among people today. This being a concern in our society needs to change.

According to The Guardian, 872 people have been killed by the police in 2015. Obviously, some of these killings are justified, but that number is still far too large.

You should feel safe when you see the police. Aisha Bellow, a junior at Southern, does not always feel safe around cops and feels that police sometimes racially profile people.

“There’s always that stereotype that African Americans are violent even though they’ve never had a violent tendency. I think that [police] look at a black person and think that they’re going to commit a crime,” said Bellow.

Bellow’s claim has statistics to back it up. According to USA Today, a white police officer killed a black person two times each week during a seven-year period, ending in 2012.

Another interesting fact that the study showed is that 18 percent of the black people killed during the seven-year period were under 21 years old, compared to just 8.7 percent of whites.

When a person in society fears a police officer instead of feeling safe around one, that is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Matthew Lopez, a freshman at Southern, has first hand experience with the police. Lopez’s father is in the police force so he thinks that police make him feel more safe than unsafe.

“My father’s a police officer so I do know what good police officers are like,” said Lopez. “They do make you feel safe and are there to do their job. The only thing is that the criteria to become a police officer isn’t very strict so a lot of people can become a police officer no matter if they’re a good person or not.”

Lopez thinks a way that could end this problem is making the process to become a police officer more challenging. Lopez also believes that police brutality needs to end or there will be no more trust in the police from the public.

It might be too late for trust because studies have shown the public has already lost trust in the police. USA Today and Pew Research conducted a study that found two out of three Americans say officers don’t do a good job when it comes to force, fair treatment and accountability.

That same study pointed out that incidents like the Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin incidents aren’t isolated events. These happen all the time, some are just not made as public as others.

Maurice Alston, a junior at Southern, falls into the category of not trusting the police. Alston has some serious problems with the way police handle themselves. 

“The police definitely over-exert their force,” said Alston. “I don’t think there’s any way you can really fix that. They’re going to do what they want because they have the power.”

From the three people interviewed and the studies of police brutality, it’s safe to say that something needs to be changed.

If society does not trust the people who are supposed to protect them then society can’t run properly and that’s a serious problem.

There have been many suggestions on how to make the problem of police brutality to go away but nothing has been changed as of yet.

Photo Credit: Paul Sullivan


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