“He didn’t see a man with hopes and dreams, with disappointments and accomplishments. All he saw in front of him was just another [n-word].”-Kenneth Eade, Unreasonable Force
I am a victim of police brutality. What happens to me happens every day. The first time I experienced police brutality I got slammed up against the police car and punched in the stomach and in the chest. If I did not yell and scream, “I’m a female,” I knew that they were going to hurt me. My friends came running down the street to check on me as I was getting jumped. The police stopped when my friends came running.
Then there was a second time. I was sitting in the park with a friend. This is when the cops walked the streets. It was called “on the beat.” I was minding my own business that night, out there getting high, not bothering anyone, and an officer started harassing me. I got up and walked away so he walked behind me and pushed me in my back. I fell on some glass and cut my wrist. I got arrested for no reason. He made up a charge on me and I was locked in a cell the whole night with no bail. My wrist was hurting and I complained until I was taken to the hospital where the doctor said I had glass in my wrist, and I had stitches inside and outside. This is an experience that I will never forget.
I will start with George Floyd, the latest to hit national TV, crying for his deceased mom saying, “I can’t breathe,” among others like Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, and Eric Garner. These men are among a lot of others, and some were females like myself, but I thank God for the friends who came running down the street to help me so that people would not be “saying my name.”
I feel that police body cams are not worth it because they can only capture the officer’s point of view. There is no guarantee that all of the details will be captured on the video, and if a crime is caught on video, the police will not be held accountable for their actions because the body cam can be turned off while the officer is committing a crime on an unarmed Black man. So it will not make a different if they wear a body cam or not. I do not care how many people protest in the streets, or in front of the White House for justice and to stop police from killing African American people. Now they ordering all police to wear body cams instead of the police getting fired and charges being brought upon them. Like the saying goes, “No justice, no peace.” Not even peace for the families who lost loved ones to this horrible world we all live in by the hands of the police. Now all of a sudden they want the police to wear body cams. It’s a little too late for that because the issue should have been brought about a long time ago when Rodney King was beat down from running a red light. It’s unbelievable how Rodney King got beat like that. Enough is enough. The police even killed young kids twelve and fourteen years of age, then tried to cover it up. That is when the civil rights movement arose and is now one of the most known movements today, Black Lives Matter.
The conclusion to these crimes is the tension and lack of trust between the police and Black communities throughout America. Police officers have been abusing their power and our judicial system has let the police get away with it all. Police officers should be held responsible for their crimes and by using the body cams to prove that they are using unnecessary force can turn these statistics around and lower the rates of death of Black men and women due to police brutality.
I experienced police brutality first hand. I was beat on until I yelled that I was a female, and then I was pushed to the ground from behind by a sergeant. I fell on glass which got caught in my wrist and the doctor had to pull out the glass which caused me to have stitches inside and out, so I do not feel that this is going to end. Police reform, I do not believe in it at all.
“Our police force was not created to serve black Americans; it was created to police black Americans and serve white Americans.”-Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race
Celeste Gainey: I am a recovering addict and a mentor for the sheriff’s department. I love working with women in recovery, and I also love singing. I am working on my high set test so I can go to college and study human services.
We, Too, Are America is made possible through “Democracy and the Informed Citizen,” an initiative administered by the Federation of State Humanities Council through a grant from the Mellon Foundation.