Corruption. Racism. Hate. Prejudice

Mistrust. Judgment. Hate. Prejudice.

 

These terms refer to both law enforcement officers and the communities against them. The abominable acts of the few have tarnished the names of the many. The heartache of  families mourning have led to acts of violence and murder.

 

African American communities suffer the most at the hands of corrupt or prejudice law enforcement officers. People need to stop denying it. Yes, when simply looking at the numbers, it appears as though more Caucasians die at the hands of police. However, when you compare percentages of African Americans versus Caucasians in the country, you’ll see that the percentage of African Americans suffering is much higher.

 

Many news sources report that the number of Caucasians killed by police is nearly double the amount of African Americans killed. They claim that this fact alone should shut down the notion that African Americans are unjustly racially profiled. I mean, this makes sense, right? Wrong. Let me tell you why.

 

According to the United States Census reports for 2015, 77.1% of the U.S. population reported as “White Alone”, or strictly Caucasian. A mere 13.3% reported as "African American Alone". Add that to the “Two or More Races” category and that still only adds an additional 2.6% of the population. For the sake of the argument, we’ll round and say there are roughly 15% of African Americans in the country*.

 

I’ll use a viral image from Facebook as an example. In the image, CNN shows a statistic claiming that a total of 512 Americans had been killed by police so far in 2016. Of those 512 people, the races were as follows: Caucasian 248, African American 123, Hispanic 80, Other 23, and Unknown, 48.

 

Now, let’s look at percentages. The African Americans killed are almost half of the amount of Caucasians killed. However, according to the census, they only represent about 15% of the entire U.S. population in comparison with the 77% of Caucasians.

 

That is where the problem lies. African Americans literally equal about 20% of the amount of Caucasians in the country. Yet, somehow they make up almost half as many deaths. Those numbers just don't make sense if there isn't an underlying problem. 

 

Racially profiling is wrong. Society claiming people need to “stop breaking the law” and the issue will just go away, is wrong. Yes, many individuals die at the hands of law enforcement officers because they aren’t obeying orders. In those cases, the officer does what they had to do. However, in the tragic cases of people being shot and killed without probable cause, racial profiling or prejudice is often the culprit. That is the argument here. If someone is not obeying orders, they are not obeying the law. However, if they are complying and have done nothing wrong, yet still die, there is a massive problem.

 

There are corrupt officers out there, just as there are corrupt individuals in every other aspect of the world. Law enforcement positions are not immune from letting those unworthy people slip through the cracks. Does the hiring process need to be adapted to try and fix the issue? Absolutely. Do we need to keep killing innocent officers in the name of “justice”? Absolutely not.

 

The majority of law enforcement officers are there for the people’s protection. They are there to protect and serve and are proud of the job they have. They’re who you call when you fear a child is being abused, when there is an accident, when you’ve been robbed, or in other emergencies. They’re there when you need them most because they want to help.

 

It is as unjust to place judgement on all police officers for the hateful actions of the few as it is for those unworthy officers to place judgement on those they wrongly profile.

 

Promoting hate only fuels the fire. Instead of attacking or taking innocent lives, continue fighting for change. The Black Lives Matter movement isn't wrong. It isn't claiming that other lives don't matter, it is claiming that the value of African American lives is continually undervalued in American society. However, Blue Lives matter too. Taking out anger and heartache against law enforcement officers that have done nothing wrong is unacceptable.

 

Hold yourself, your family, and your friends accountable. Stop the hate. 

 

*For more information about the U.S. Census, visit http://www.census.gov

Published by Audrey Jo