October 5, 2018
Causal Essay (Draft)
Why has trust in law enforcement decreased among America’s citizens of color?
America has had a long, painful and hidden history of police brutality. America's first police and law enforcement officials were slave catchers, which had no police training or instruction what so ever, just unscrupulous individuals that made a living hunting down slaves who were only seeking freedom.
The actions of police in certain U.S. cities -- including Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island, New York; and North Charleston, South Carolina -- have recently come under scrutiny after black men were killed while being apprehended by white police officers. These events very likely contributed to the decline in confidence in police, although it is important to note that conservative, republican, white Americans' trust in police has not been fundamentally shaken -- it remains high in an absolute sense, despite being at a historical low.
Between 80,000 and 84,000 police patrol the halls of public schools. They are there to look after children but also to police them and policing is not an act of caring. It has become an act of containment. And the growth of the in-school police force, as well as the militarization of the out-of-school police force, isn’t going well for children. Little black boys with toy guns have been shot to death. Seventy five percent of the in-school arrests in the state of Virginia are of black children, even though only 39 percent of the state’s public school students are black. The police are on the job, but it’s unclear if they are really working to help kids
Stories of sheriffs and slave patrols play a very large part in the distrust that the African American community has had for police. These stories have been told for generations. As a very young teen, I was told the stories by my father, who was born in 1930, and my grandfather, who was born in the late 1800s, told my father as a child. The slave patrols were designed to catch runaway slaves and were headed by the local sheriff. Warrants were issued for the slaves if they did not have signed permission from their masters to be off the plantation. With that distinction, sheriffs had the ability to physically assault, rape, whip and even hang those found to be in violation of the law.
.That’s why trust in police has decreased.
During America’s civil rights years, something that I experienced, so I can speak from personal experience. Civil Rights era protest in which African American citizens protested were for the same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness along with the civil rights that were enjoyed by every white Americans. There has always protest, during the Civil Rights era there were many protest over police brutality. The Smithsonian Museum of Afri...