The History Of Police Brutality

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Police brutality has had a long lineage in the United States of America. Beginning in 1877 with the Great Railroad Strike, police began targeting poor labor workers as they attempted to make a fair living. The Pullman Strike of 1894, the Lawrence textile strike of 1912, the Ludlow massacre of 1914, police brutally attacked labor workers on strike. Fast-forward to the 1960s where Native Americans, Latino immigrants, LGBT people, and blacks were the new target, low on the totem pole. Police misconduct has been written in our history since this country was born. Brutality in the police force is not isolated, it’s deliberate in its targeting of minorities and poor people.
Picture this: hundreds of men working in the disgusting heat of Pittsburgh,
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They are slammed against hoods of cars, forced to lie on the ground, for absolutely nothing-except being black at the wrong time and the wrong place. This experience with police officers in contemporary racist America is what formed the group’s signature song about hating the police. Accusing the police of thinking all black kids do is sell drugs, they form a hypothetical courtroom for the police to be put on trial over their profiling and racism. This movie was released at a pivotal time in America today. Coming up on the year anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder, the year anniversary of the LAPD’s fatal shooting of a mentally ill black man, Ezell Ford and, the fiftieth anniversary of the 1965 Watts riot. The film based in 1980s LA, was almost like watching the live news in their depictions of police brutality. Today, we see police targeting many black, unarmed teenagers because of racial profiling (Trayvon Martin), accusations of crimes they didn’t have proof of were committed (Michel Brown), missing a turn signal (Sandra Bland), running away (Freddie Gray). Since the beginning of time cops have had no problem with slamming black men and women on the ground, killing them, placing them in jail for petty crimes, or targeting them in general for being black. Cincinnati, 2001, Timothy Thomas a 19 year old unarmed black kid was shot and killed after being pulled over for a traffic violation. Oakland, 2009, Oscar Grant was shot and killed in the BART subway station. After the officer repeatedly stated he was going to tase Grant, he instead shot him. Instead of being charged with murder he was only given a charge of involuntary manslaughter, lessening his,in my opinion, deserved sentence. Black people, black males especially, have had to deal with

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