Police Brutality and Racial Profiling
by grace_ocoin on October 31, 2016 - 9:49pm
TIME Magazine talks to Ramsey Orta, who filmed the murder of Eric Garner before it became viral worldwide. They discuss how he is going to jail because he videotaped the infamous death of Garner. He says he regrets it because it has put him in a horrible predicament. I chose this article because this topic is something I am very passionate about and I don’t think it is right for Orta to be punished for doing the right thing and exposing the violence among American police forces.
According to The Washington Post, a statistic that has gone viral all over the internet says that “Every 28 hours, a black man, woman, or child is murdered by police or vigilante law enforcement.” Another statistic according to this resource says “Among those killed in 2012, 136 people (44 percent) had no weapon on them when they died” Ye Hee Lee, M. (2014, December 24). The viral claim that a black person is killed by police ‘every 28 hours’. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/12/24/the-viral.... These statistics are shocking and scary and I believe that this is the biggest social issue in America. Police officers who were once known as peacekeepers, are now instead known as law enforcers. With rising violence and crime rates, police officers have been practicing more aggressive methods, increasing police-related incidents. It is sad that it is just becoming a topic in media now, because with all we are seeing, we can only imagine what has gone on before media has begun exposing it.
Some of the more well-known cases of police brutality in recent years are Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown. The case of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012 was a big eye-opener to the media of the less-known side of law enforcement. This incident sparked lots of conversation nationwide. George Zimmerman, neighborhood watch volunteer, who shot the unarmed 17 year old, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in 2013. --- 43 year old Eric Garner was killed by New York police on July 17, 2014 for selling illegal cigarettes. In the video recorded by Orta, you can hear Garner repeating “I can’t breathe.” Grand jury decided not to indict officer Pantaleo on December 3. --- Michael Brown was an unarmed 18 year old who was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson in August of 2014. This began months of protest in the area, beginning in November when Wilson was not indicted. It did, however prompt an investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. The report found instances of extreme racism from the officers and targeting of black residents. This caused the Ferguson police chief and city manager to resign. Sanburn, J. (2015, April 10). From Trayvon Martin to Walter Scott: Cases in the Spotlight. Retrieved from http://time.com/3815606/police-violence-timeline/
These cases go along with the article I chose, to show how corrupt the justice system is in this country. It isn’t fair or right that someone like George Zimmerman, Officer Wilson, or Officer Pantaleo get off with no charges, and someone like Ramsey Orta who was doing the right thing gets punished.
Sanburn, J., (2015, July 17). Eric Garner Witness Ramsey Orta Has Regrets One Year Later. Retrieved from http://time.com/ramsey-orta-eric-garner-video/
Ye Hee Lee, M. (2014, December 24). The viral claim that a black person is killed by police ‘every 28 hours’. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/12/24/the-viral...
Sanburn, J. (2015, April 10). From Trayvon Martin to Walter Scott: Cases in the Spotlight. Retrieved from http://time.com/3815606/police-violence-timeline/