Police Power

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In the United States, we have many police officers. Most people trust them. Although I think that we, the citizens, should feel like we can trust them, they don’t always earn our trust.

I am going to tell you a personal example of this.

I was nine years old. It was the end of the summer, and I was coming home from an improv camp. It had been a long day, my nanny and I were almost home, and I was exhausted, so I closed my eyes when we were at the intersection of Boren and Howell. Unfortunately, I did not get long to rest because I immediately heard:

“PUT THE KNIFE DOWN! PUT THE KNIFE DOWN!”

I opened my eyes and looked out the window to see a young policeman yelling at a Native American wood carver. I found it very interesting and peered out my window for a closer look. Just when I started paying attention to the action, the light turned green and we left the scene. 

Being a nine year old, I quickly changed my thought and started talking to my nanny about improv skills I had learned that day until…

“BANG! BANG!”

There were gunshots in the distance behind us. 

I have a dream that one day, our country’s police officers will earn our trust. I know that that is a big, vague dream, but it is not impossible or unreasonable: we, the people of the USA have a right to feel safe, to trust the people who put our lives in their hands. Witnessing the murder of John T. Williams definitely did not make me feel safe with the security the country has.

“His only crime appears to have been walking across the street carrying a carving knife and a chunk of cedar.” 

To clarify, I am not saying that all police officers are prejudiced people, but some are, and we need to take that into account. Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and this is true in my experiences with police brutality and prejudice. Injustice with experiences like the murder of John T. Williams, or Ferguson, or a recent case of police shooting of a teenager in Denver, and many more cases are a threat to everyone’s safety. Police officers should be able to be trusted, and I have a dream that they will be trusted.

Read more about John T. Williams here.

-Mara '16