Stop the Brutality, Wear a Body Camera

Student Ambassador: Rashad Calhoun

OWEd Ambassador Since: 2016

Grade 7

School William E. Doar Jr. Public Charter School

Reflection Experience

Why are police officers killing and being mean to black people in our communities? The police brutality in our communities is a very important issue to me as I am a young black male and hearing on the news how police are killing and abusing black people affects and scares me. I grew up learning that police were around to help and protect all people, so why is this happening? In this paper, I will argue that police brutality is happening more each day and a solution that can probably solve this issue. I think the reason this is happening is because some police officers are racist and some are using and abusing their power of being a police officer to get away with killing and hurting black people. I think that police officers should stop police brutality, by wearing body cameras and being held accountable for their actions.

An article from the LA Times states that a police officer “who was white, yanked the student, who was black” (Pierce) from her seat who was sitting in her seat. It is unclear why he yanked her, but he was twice her size and he didn’t have to yank her the way he did. He could have hurt her. I think that he used physical force on her because he was trying to prove to all the students in the class that he has power or control over her because he is a police officer. I think that he was abusing his power of being a police officer. Therefore, I believe that if he was wearing a body camera with a microphone, it would have been recorded and it would have given us an explanation of why he yanked her the way that he did. I think that if the police officer were made to wear a body camera he would not have treated her the way he did because he would have known that he would get in trouble for his actions.

Furthermore, I think that all police officers should wear body cameras to show what is really going on in our community and why they are acting the way that they are towards black people. An article from Stateline.org states “the cameras would be worn and record video when officers are patrolling” (Grovum). Police should wear cameras because a lot of police brutality is happening to black people and incidents should be recorded to show what really happened. If the police wear the body cameras it will allow for people to see what happened and it would be easier to punish the police for their actions. In addition, PoliceOne states “Davis said the presence of body cameras ‘compels, enhances and encourages civility’ and there will be consequences for officers who misuse the cameras” (“Baltimore Police”). I think that if they are made to wear cameras they would not do some of the things that they do because they know they can get fired, locked up, or even hurt for treating people badly for no reason.

Even more, punishing police officers for police brutality will change the way some or most police officers behave on the job. Even though some people say that footage from body cameras will still be questioned in court, I think if police officers wear body cameras, it will make a difference in the way police officers treat people as it will show evidence and allow for justice to be served to those hurt or killed by police brutality. In fact, one study has shown that “the use of force dropped more than 50 percent, from 3.5 to 1.6 times on average” (Bailey). Wearing the body cameras will make the brutality that is happening be greatly reduced or even go away because the police officers would know that they can’t hide or make excuses for what was recorded.

In other words, if the police officers are required to wear body cameras I would feel happy and safer. I would feel this way because I think that if the police have the body cameras on, they would not kill or hurt black people as much or will be held responsible if they do. I don’t think that they would use their power of being a police officer to hurt people as much. Making the police wear body cameras would help improve our community and stop police brutality.

 

Works Cited

Bailey, Ronald. “Police Body Cameras Reduce Violence, says Yet Another Study.” Reason.com. Reason, 14 Oct. 2015. Wed. 13 June 2016.

“Baltimore Police to Start Wearing Body Cameras.” PoliceOne. Associated Press, 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 12 May 2016.

Grovum, Jake, Stateline.org via Newsela (Ed. Newsela version 940L). “Many Agree Police Body Cameras are a Good Idea, but the Cost is a Struggle.” 11 May 2015. Web. 12 May 2015.

Pierce, Matt and Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times via Newsela (Ed. Newsela version 850L). “Struggle During Classroom Arrest Fuels Debate About Discipline in Schools.” 30 Oct. 2015. Web. 12 May 2016.