U.S.A. The very thought of having to choose between gangsters and police officers, to decide which group is scarier should give pause to any society, much more so in a civilized society. And yet, in full swing of the 21st century, it is a decision that fits comfortably within our society. What’s even most troubling is the mere fact there is a sector of our society which has failed to understand that to kill is wrong, period. To kill unarmed individuals, especially by those whose primary job is to protect, cannot be argued as okay under any circumstance.
There was a time when gangs of all fabrics claimed the streets of America. Some neighborhoods were tagged as “war zones”. It is common belief there were areas that police officers would not even go to assist or help every day citizen for fear they could be trapped, ambushed or killed during gang activities. It was a time when gangs used to roam the streets and dictate to non-gang members what they could or could not do, where they could or could not go, when they could or could not leave their homes. It was such time when the very presence of a police officer patrolling the streets gave a sense of security, a sense of protection.
Today, gangsters are no longer the problem on the streets; police officers are. By all accounts, police officers are killing civilians at a faster rate than even the most hardcore gang groups used to. At least, gangsters used to kill their competitors, gangsters of other tribes and people who interfered in their affairs (illegal activities). A young man in Ferguson, MO – who was among the protesters clamoring the injustice done to Michael Brown’s family (and the community) by officer Darren Wilson – put it best: “if I have someone chasing me with a knife, and I see a police officer, I would be more afraid of being killed by the police officer than the man chasing me with the knife.” That is a very damning statement.
That young man captured the essence of what the streets across the country are like nowadays, at least for young black men; police officers are no longer seen as security for the neighborhoods but rather as a threat to those young men’s lives. This is not an exaggeration! In Utah (a State in the West of the country) for instance, The Salt Lake Tribune is out with some stunning facts about police shootings. In the last five years, more people have been killed by police than homicides from gang violence, drug deals and child abuse combined. (Read that again; this is not an error).
The current justice system condones cops’ bad behavior on the streets; the officers are very rarely disciplined by their superiors, let alone tried for wrongdoings. According to a December 8, 2014 article in the Daily News, out of 179 fatal shootings in New York City by police officers, only three (3) were indicted by a Grand Jury; just one (1) of those three was convicted. Surely those officers have no incentive to act within the boundaries of the law. The system condones their wrongdoings; it even encourages that in certain circumstances. Today, Police Officers Are Scarier Than Gang Members. That needs to change.