By We’Ced Youth Media
Image via Flickr
Editor’s Note: The emergence of two new videos highlighting police brutality incidents in Austin and Miami, have furthered supported #BlackLivesMatter activists’ claims of law enforcement’s bias treatment of African-Americans. In the Miami case, Charles Kinsey, 47, a behavioral therapist, was shot albeit lying on the ground with his hands up. In Austin, an elementary school teacher, Breaion King, was slammed on the ground for purportedly resisting arrest. Bryan Richter, the police officer who arrested King, later told her White people are afraid of the Black community because of their “violent tendencies.”
After discussing the topic, including the killings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, We’Ced reporters weighed in on what needs to be done to address the recent surge of violence and address police brutality across the nation. Below are their responses.
“I believe in Black Lives Matter because for hundreds of years, we have been led to believe that White people only matter because they “made” this country. We know that is not true. Black Lives Matter is important, it brings attention to the plight of people of color. Everyone is important, not only White people. In order to change the situation we are in, we, as a country, need to start caring that Black people are being disproportionately murdered by police.”
– Aaliyah Lannerd, 15.
“I feel as though nothing will change because police brutality has been happening for far too long. The damage is done. The police have killed so many people, not only people of color, but disproportionately African-Americans. We are sick of everyone dying and innocent lives being taken away. I stand by Black Lives Matter.
– Layla Ornelas, 14.
“There’s no way to stop this violence anymore. With the shootings in Texas and Louisiana, there is no going back. More idiotic vigilantes will show up and kill more police to ‘stop police brutality.’ And as a result, officers will use these murders as a reason to kill more people. Black lives matter is not a hate group they just have a few bad apples. Police aren’t murders, they just have a few trigger happy jerks who abuse their power. Until they work together, this is never going to stop.”
-Victor Seguin, 17.
“The Black Lives Matter movement is important because it is giving a voice to people who have been oppressed, marginalized, and silenced for too long. Enough is enough. It’s time for the ‘Blue Wall of Silence’ to be torn down. This wall is what enables police brutality. In order for the violence to stop, officers need to be held accountable for their actions. They need to be prosecuted like every other civilian who has committed crime. That’s what the term ‘justice for all’ is about. Until this changes, there is no justice and police officers are not doing their job. They are making it seem as if it is them versus us. We are not the enemy, and they shouldn’t be ours. In order to address police brutality, law enforcement needs to be reconstructed and be held to the the highest ethical standards.”
– Crystal Rivera, 22.
“I think the media has to stop sensationalizing all the killings and violence. Police officers have to be instructed to deescalate situations and use non-lethal weapons before proceeding to use lethal force. Police who killed should also be prosecuted. Until a cops are prosecuted for their actions, this will never end.”
-David Macias, 18.