Police Brutality And Color Brutality

1523 Words 7 Pages
Bang, bang—shots fired. Such sounds are an innocent imitation of the echoing noise that surrounded the death of Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, Terence Crutcher, and dozens of other men. We deny that the color of their skin had anything to do with the brutality they faced, but in fact, the color of their skin had everything to do with such violence. Ignorance often assumes that racism ended with the civils rights movement in the 60s, however, todays police brutality and colorblindness highlights a system based entirely on racism. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is a movement that surfaced because of unjust police brutality against African Americans and serves as a plea to protest a system infiltrated with oppression towards people of color that …show more content…
Alton Sterling was found selling CDs outside of a Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Fausset, Perez-Pena, and Robertson, A1). According to the police department, a 911 call was made informing the police Sterling had a gun on him. When confronted by officers at the scene Sterling did not pull out his handgun but he was still mauled to the ground and shot (Fausset, Perez-Pena, and Robertson, A1). With numerous camera footage at hand this case was sent to the Justice Department in hopes that with such hard evidence, someone would be punished. But no officer was prosecuted for murder, and the chief of the police department was simply asked to resign (Fausset, Perez-Pena, and Robertson, A1). In a more recent case, Terence Crutcher, had his car stalled in Tulsa, Oklahoma when armed cops approached him. They argued that he was not complying with orders and attempted to reach in his car for a weapon. However, his window was not open and Crutcher’s hands were in fact held high in the helicopter video of the shooting. An officer inside the helicopter can be heard saying “that looks like a bad dude” with no evidence to support his statement other than Crutcher’s black skin and appearance (Stack, A13). We can assume that the color of his skin had everything to do with such a derogatory slur. Terence Crutcher was an unarmed innocent man pronounced dead …show more content…
During this period, lynching, heavy segregation within every American institution, and overall disenfranchisement were far too prominent; such “events were generated by a ‘belief system that defined a people not only as inferior but as less than human’” (Graff, 121). The court ruling sanctioning “separate but equal” in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 provided the legal groundworks for this Jim Crow system (Golash-Boza). African Americans faced barriers of racial exclusion in health, education, and housing and even today, traces of the Jim Crow era are very evident. Blacks were denied the same opportunities in health care as whites and were blamed for HIV and Aids. Furthermore, they were used as test subjects for HIV and instead of being cured, health departments studied their disease and refused to cure them when they could have (Golash-Boza). Black schools were also purposefully structured to be poorly funded, overcrowded, and inadequate in learning materials and instructors as oppose to white schools (Henricks and Seamster, 364). In time, standardized tests were implemented along with the eugenics movement that sprung about to measure black students’ intellectual abilities. The criteria of evaluation assumed biological differences between racial groups and a natural hierarchy of white folk (Henricks and Seamster,

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