The Battle Against Police Brutality: Saving Black Lives

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The Battle Against Police Brutality: Saving Black Lives

DeAnte Washington, Staff Writer

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Some of y’all about to be real mad at me, but it must be said. We’re not new to police brutality. We can add to the list of problems that black people deal with in America today. White people will never understand the battle black people have with their safety even when dealing with law enforcement.

For white people, it has always been taught to put their trust into the policemen, but for us, it’s about making sure we don’t get shot every time a cop pulls us over.  No one but black people will truly understand the emotional and psychological aspect of being pulled over or stopped by a police officer. As we are still fighting for justice every day for our future children, there are black advocates doing everything in their power to help this problem.

I read an article on, The Root written by Jay Connor on a new way to make black people feel safer in situations like this. In 2016, Philando Castile was shot dead during a traffic stop, he was pulled over by Minnesota officer, Jeronimo Yanez. Castile stated he had a license to carry a firearm but then reached to get his ID and wallet. Yanez saw him reaching and assumed he was reaching for the firearm. He then repeatedly told Castile to stop reaching and shot Castile seven times. Castile died. Yanez was charged with manslaughter but acquitted.

If the officer had known and was sure of what Castile was reaching for instead of assuming it was a firearm, Castile would be alive today.  Jackie Carter has come up with a device she hopes will help battle police brutality. She has created a pouch for black people to put in their car. It is used to notify police officers that a person in the car is not reaching for anything except the following listed on the pouch. On the pouch it states “Not Reaching, Officer I’m NOT Reaching,” and has a bulleted list of “Driver’s License, Insurance card, Registration.”

As a black community, we have come to the conclusion that some policemen who we have trusted to protect us, don’t protect us but abuse that power. The saying goes, it’s truly impossible to be black and comfortable in this country, but as small as the pouch may be -it’s a start.

I believe this will open the eyes of people who don’t understand how serious this issue is. A pouch may not have an effect or determine if a cop will let a innocent black male or female live to see another day. The purpose of it is to let the police officer know there is no reason to assume they are reaching for a weapon or anything else while in the car.

As a black man, it infuriates me how we have to go through desperate measures in order for a family to not get a call at night that their child has been killed. We’re tired of hearing that there is another Trayvon, Philando, Michael and Laquan in this world who didn’t get the justice they deserve. I believe the fight with law enforcement will only be fixed if there is an understanding that black people are human, our voices demand to be heard, and our fight will never be over.


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