top of page
Search

A Plan to End Police Brutality: Steps We Must Take to Protect our Own

The world is a tough place to live in. Look at all of the issues in the United States that are internally deteriorating the nation. From mass incarceration nationwide to stop-and-frisk policies in New York, we hardly have time to observe and empathize with what is going on outside of our country. Nations much poorer than ours are dealing with similar injustices while lacking the necessary resources to fight their system, but the current struggle that people are facing here on the homefront is so burdensome that all of our attention is absorbed nationally.


Everybody seems to be waking up to what has been going on for centuries, but there are not enough people talking about the root of our problems and what solutions need to be derived in order for us to rectify the inconsistencies in our current system. Protesters continue making the emotional case against police brutality while many of their Congressional Representatives are present, finally listening to what the people have to say. The emotional case has to be made and has to be heard, but authentic calls to action are what we need to hold our Representatives accountable when grading them for how they handled the people’s opposition to police brutality.


We need members in Congress who understand that the flaws in our criminal justice system are a result of underdeveloped, reactive policies legislated and passed by both Democrats and Republicans. Neither of the two major parties in America have been on the right side of history.


They have both granted immunity to police, approved overpriced budgets for police, and approved police tactics that are obvious infringements on individual Constitutional rights. We see criminal justice reform on every platform during every election cycle, but we still have people locked away in a cage for nonviolent drug offenses. Both parties have approved moving forward with the War on Drugs and have armed the police to combat the very citizens that the War on Drugs was said to intend to protect. Candidates from the two major parties have enjoyed endorsements and campaign donations in one shape or another from police unions. Everyone is working together, but this type of unity is unified against the people.


The old ways of fighting crime and talking about crime are not working anymore. Thanks to the technological revolution, the negative impacts that result from policies that lack expertise are being illuminated on a national scale. We are currently watching fellow citizens from the freest country in the world die at the hands of the police in the comfort of our own homes. Months to years later, we watch these murderers who hide behind their badge being acquitted from all charges. Then, the country starts to burn while protesters fill the streets peacefully, fighting against the same injustices that their parents fought. After, we achieve nothing in regards to criminal justice reform, we continue to elect either Democrats or Republicans, and we move on until another abuse of power catches national attention.


This time is different; we cannot keep doing the same thing over and over again. Derek Chauvin forced millions of Americans to watch as he knelt on the neck of George Floyd until the life literally left his body. Almost nine minutes of George Floyd pleading for his life, while other officers stood by preventing any bystander interaction. If we do not take our anger, metabolise it into energy, and fuel ourselves up to combat government corruption and police brutality after witnessing what the police are capable of doing, then we cannot expect another incident like this to not occur.


There are many steps we need to take when it comes to criminal justice reform. We do not have time to waste, as there are people who are rotting away in prisons for minor nonviolent offenses. We need to examine laws that mostly result in the incarceration of black people and other minority groups. For example, the War on Drugs has allowed the police to violate the privacy of black men and women, oftentimes resulting in their incarceration.


Certain traffic violations that do little to nothing to increase safety and security have also resulted in the death or incarceration of black men and women. These violations need to be observed for adverse impacts. There are plenty of ‘bad laws’ that remain on the books today. I would need multiple servers to be able to list them all, but they do not serve any relevant purpose in regards to serving and protecting our society. However, police officers often cite these laws when justifying the arrest of an individual. These laws are used as an open window to harass and arrest black men and women. We need to abolish these bad laws. They are often ignored because of their lack of relevancy, but they do still hold up when being judged in court.


If we abolish bad laws, laws that were enacted strictly to target black and minority populations, and traffic violations that do little to nothing to serve and protect the community, we, in return, are able to start the process of defunding the police. Less laws needing to be enforced results in less of a need for law enforcement. It would be bad business for New York City to continue to fund police departments at the current capacity if there is less of a need for their services. Defunding the police often gets confused with abolishing the police. While police still serve an important role in our society in regards to maintaining law and order, their mass presence will not be necessary one we restore liberties back to the individual. We will still need the police as protectors of life, liberty, and property, but we will no longer need police forming special task forces targeting citizens who are committing nonviolent offenses. The only state that needs a police officer around every corner, in every school, at every public protest, is a police state. The United States of America is not a police state; we are a free country. We are currently operating under quasi-freedom, but our resistance to the police has illustrated that we will not concur to fascism.


Abolishing laws and defunding the police will not be the end all be all to police brutality. We need to end qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is the legal doctrine that protects police from being held liable, even when they clearly infringed on an individual’s constitutional rights. They are constantly being acquitted on murder charges because there is said to be no clear legal precedent strictly stating that the police officer acted outside of their rights. Police then get to walk free, oftentimes returning back to the very force that granted them the power to violate human rights in the first place. If their original force doesn’t take them back, they hide behind their protections and find employment elsewhere. Therefore, qualified immunity allows for the system to remove bad cops, just to have them recycled back into the system once they clear their names from any wrongdoing. This can only stop by ending qualified immunity and holding police accountable through trial by jury. We seem to forget, at times, that the police are our peers. They operate under the same rules and laws. Qualified immunity violates that very understanding of how a government in a free country is supposed to operate. Instead, we literally have a legal doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court that puts government actors above the law.


We have granted the police too much power. We need to begin to reel back that authority, assess the good and evil of our current criminal justice system, and undergo a complete reformation of said system if we want to bring an absolute end to systemic injustice and police brutality. A justice system rooted in injustice will never be capable of justice. We cannot let the cycle keep repeating. We need to vote. We need to learn about every candidate running for every office. We need to find where they stand on criminal justice reform. Ask your Representative and their opponent if they support ending the War on Drugs. Ask them if they will support legislation that brings an absolute end to qualified immunity. Where they stand on these two topics alone will give you a glimpse into their idea of what criminal justice reform entails.


We need to evaluate every law that is currently the law of the land. If the law does not apply anymore, we must abolish it. If the law originated out of ill-intent, we must abolish it. If the law was specifically passed as an effort to target certain communities, we must abolish it. We need to get rid of every law that does not serve to protect. Furthermore, we must stop funding special task forces that combat fellow citizens committing nonviolent offenses. We do not need a police van around every corner. We need the police to protect our life, liberty, and property. Anything outside of that is not within their jurisdiction. We then must start defunding the police and only funding their essential functions. A decrease of police presence will increase the need for individual protections. The laws that prevent minority groups from purchasing guns need to be reevaluated so that everybody has the right to protect their own life, liberty, and property. We need to educate people on how to get a gun and how to use a gun, efforts that can be made in the private sector.


While we may never see a day where the nation agrees that violent offenders should have the right to bear arms, I believe that we are at the point where nonviolent offenders certainly have said right. Less police gives the government less control over the people. I promise you that this is a great outcome.


Lastly, we must end qualified immunity now. Ending qualified immunity will act as a deterrent for police who may have otherwise engaged in brutal disobedience against a fellow citizen. Police officers are not above the law. Politicians are not above the law. Judges, even at the Supreme Court level, are not above the law. Therefore, all government actors should be held accountable by a jury of their peers. We can no longer stand by and allow these people to hide behind laws and precedents that we the people do not support.


We are not the only country in the world dealing with these problems. If we open our eyes a little bit more, we can observe these injustices occurring in almost every other country. As Americans, we are lucky to have the resources to combat these injustices. We have unlimited access to information that grants us the ability to inform ourselves. We have social media outlets that help us organize against corrupt and oppressive governments. We are currently on the world stage. We have the opportunity to set the example for criminal justice reform internationally. If we take real steps towards reform, and we continue to press our legislators at every level of government, we might not just change the country; we might change the world.



Recent Posts

See All

Commentaires


bottom of page