History Of The Black Lives Matter
Throughout our history, people of another skin color than white seems to be the main target of our systems. Today, people are still targeted because of who they are and where they are from. It was a common thing in the past, but today? It seems like nothing have change.
The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013 after the death of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin is an African American teenage boy that was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a night watcher in Sanford, Florida. The African American community and many other people in the United States were upset of the ruling of the case.
Many people protested in the streets, and people protested on the internet. They would post blogs and articles about what they have to say about the incident and people would follow them. During the same year, the Black Lives Matter Movement was found. A group of female activists started the Black Lives Matter Movement. With the help of our today’s technology, people from all over the world heard them because of their #BlackLivesMatter post. They wanted to spread awareness throughout the world that people should not be target because of who they are and what they look like and that all lives matters. In the United States, people are continuously targeted by the systems that we created because of their skin color. For example, the death of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, etc. These people are all African Americans and they were killed by the police. Why is it always the people of another skin color than white that are beaten or killed by the police officer?
Even long before the Black Lives Matter movement started, people were targeted by the police; like Rodney King. Rodney King was not killed, he was beaten by a few police officers in Los Angeles after a high-speed car chase. From what the police officers said was they thought he was arm and dangerous which was why they beat him (Feuerherd, 2018). The police office officers knocked Rodney King onto the ground and when Rodney King was lying down on the ground, the police continue to beat him. During the trail, the police officers claim that Rodney King was resisting the arrest (Feuerherd, 2018). He was helpless and was beaten very badly. Our criminal justice system is broken (Feuerherd, 2018).
The police officers were found guilty, two of the police officers were sentenced to two years and six months in the state prison and the other two police officers were found guilty of all charges (Feuerherd, 2018). During the time, the African American community in Los Angles went on riots for days. They trashed the streets of Los Angles and broke into stores. They even stole stuff from the stores. According to the Jstor Daily, the Amfircan American community did not what the white police officers did to Rodney King (Feuerherd, 2018). The police officers used their power to control a black man that was harmless, and it was just a police officer, but many of them. Rodney King was beaten so bad that he was sent to the hospital. It was not until 2013 when the Black Lives Matter movement started, people started to realize something is wrong with our system. Some states started to invest in body camera (Feuerherd, 2018). Police officers became more aware of their surroundings before doing anything when they are on duty.
Even after when the movement started, the African American people in the United States were still targeted by the system. In 2014, Eric Garner, a 48 years old African American man was killed by a police officer in New York (Gross, 2017). Eric Garner was a suspect of selling cigarettes. A few police officers went up to him and confronted him. He argued with them. The police officers then tried to arrest Eric Garner, one of the police officers went behind him, grab his head, and choked him which got him go down on the ground. When Eric Garner was on the ground, he kept saying he could not breath. The police officers kept trying to lock his hands. After locking his hands, he stops moving. The police officers called an ambulance to come pick him to the hospital. A few hours later, Eric Garner passed away. According to NRP, Eric Garner died due to the chokehold (Gross, 2017).
The police officer that choked Eric Garner was never indicted even though the death of Eric Garner was ruled as a homicide (Gross, 2017). People were out raged due to the ruling of the trail. People protested throughout the United States. It was the uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement again. Because Eric Garner is a huge African American male, the police officers had to use extra force to get him onto the ground. It was this case that now in some states, police officers cannot put people into a chokehold during an arrest (Gross, 2017). It is a dangerous chokehold if the police officer does not know how to do it. It can kill people which is why it got banned. It is to prevent anymore death during an arrest because there are some people who will try to resist the chokehold and it will be worst for the person if the person is in the chokehold.
A month later after the death of Eric Garner there was another death. On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri (Hafner, 2016). Michael Brown is an 18 years old African American man and Darren Wilson is a white police officer. Michael Brown and his friend was walking home from a convenience store until the police officer roll on next to them with his car and stopped them. They argued, and the police officer shot Michael Brown. The friend ran and hided. The police officer continued to shoot Michael Brown even after the first shot. A moment later the police officer stopped, but Michael Brown was already dead. People throughout the United States protested. At the trail, Darren Wilson, the police officer was not indicted. Darren Wilson argued that even though Michael Brown was not armed, he was still a threat to him which was why he fired the first shot.
And when Michael Brown and Darren Wilson was were fighting, he fired again because he thought Michael Brown was trying to grab his gun. According to USA Today, the criminal justice system is racially bias (Hafner, 2016). People argued that Michael Brown and his friend was stopped because they were black. The African American communities and people from all over the United States did not like the ruling of the case and continued to protest. People started to post #BlackLivesMatter all over the social media and it became a tend again. The people that protested the streets turned these protests into riots. People started to break into stores and steal stuff. Some people did not even know what they were doing (Hafner, 2016). They were just following along with the rest of the people. Many people were injured, and a lot of people even tried to fight with police officers (Hafner, 2016). The whole thing became a mess. The people realized that what they were doing to their city was wrong and it will not change anything, so they stopped. The people were still upset about the ruling. Today, a lot of people officers are to have a body camera on at all time when they are on duty (Feuerherd, 2018).
A few years later after the death of Michael Brown, there was another incident that involved a white cop shooting an African American male. In July of 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in his car in Minnesota (Robinson, 2017). The police officer pulled Philando Castile over because one of his break lights was not on. The police officer told him and asked for his license and insurance. Philando Castile then told the police officer he has a firearm in his car. The police officer told him to not pull it out and Philando Castile proceed to reach over for something. The police officer pulled out his gun and shot him. The police officer did not shoot Philando Castile once, but more than once. Philando Castile died on the scene. At the trail, the police officer was charged with second-degree manslaughter and is charge with 10 years in state prison (Robinson, 2017).
Shooting Philando Castile more than once was not justiciable. The act was cruel, but it can be argued that it is not because he was an African American male which was why the police officer shot him. The African American and many people throughout the United States were mad about the incident. The police officer had no right to shot Philando Castile more than once. Once is enough to keep him down, but the police officer decided to shoot him five times. At the scene of the act, Philando Castile did tell the police officer that he has a firearm in the car and he has a license to carry a firearm. People protested throughout the United States. People wanted a change in our system. Police officers should not be taking advantage of their power and killing people like how the police officer shot Philando. According to the Washington Post, people claimed that is was a systemic racial inequality issue (Robinson, 2017).
Police officers are using their power to target another race in the United States. People of another skin color seems to be the target in the United States since the slavery time. The people have been fighting for their rights since forever nothing seems to be change. Our history is only repeating itself. People have to die for others to realize that something is wrong with our system; and it is always the people of another skin color than white. Is it because they are the target in the United States? We will never know. The United States crime rate has been at its lowest rate than ever before (NAACP, 2018). Less people are committing crimes. Yet, the United States still have the most populated prison population in the world. According to NAACP, as of 2015, 34% of the prison population are African Americans (NAACP, 2018). African Americas are five times more likely to convicted and sent to prison than the white Americans in the United States (NAACP, 2018). There is an issue among our system. People are targeted because of who they are. Even after when the Black Lives Matter movement started, people of race are still killed on the streets of the United States. The incarnation rate of the African American people is still the same. Nothing will change unless everyone works together and change the world together. It is the only how way we can grow as one nation.
- Feuerherd, Peter. (2018). Why Didn’t the Rodney King Video Lead to a Conviction?. JSTOR DAILY. Retrieved from https://daily.jstor.org/why-rodney-king-video-conviction/
- On March 3rd, 1991, Rodney King, an African American male was pulled over by some Los Angeles polices and was brutally beaten. The incident caused a huge outbreak in Los Angeles. The African American communities were upset and protested on the streets, these protests turned into riot and they caused disaster in the city of Los Angeles. It was not only the African American communities, yet, many other people in the United States too. Because it was some white Americans beating an African American, it was heard throughout the United States. The incident is one of the early cases that caused an uprising of the communities in the United States coming together and protested.
- Gross, Terry. (2017). I Can’t Breathe’ Examines Modern Policing And The Life And Death Of Eric Garner. NRP. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2017/10/23/559498678/i-can-t-breathe-explores-life-and-death-at-the-hands-of-police
- On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, a 48 years old African American male was confronted by a few police officers about selling cigarettes in New York. They got into an argument and one of the police officers choked Eric Garner. He later died. This case was one of the first case after the Treyvon Martin case that started the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Because Eric Garner is a African American male, people argued that it is because he was he was black that was why he was targeted. The communities in the United States came together and protested. People were upset about police officers using their power among the citizens. After the case, a few laws changed.
- Hafner, Josh. How Michael Brown’s death, two years ago, pushed #BlackLivesMatter into a movement. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/08/08/how-michael-browns-death-two-years-ago-pushed-blacklivesmatter-into-movement/88424366/
- On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael Brown and his friend were walking home from a store and was stopped by the police officer. They got into an agreement and got into a fight. The police officer shot Michael Brown. He died on the scene. The incident was a few months after the Eric Garner incident and caused another outbreak in the United States. Protesters came together and walked the streets. The people caused riots and police officers got involved in these riots. People got hurt. After the incident, police officers became more aware of surrounding before using deadly force.
- NAACP. (2018). CRIMINAL JUSTICE FACT SHEET. NAACP.org. Retrieved from https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/
- The United States is one of the countries with the highest prison population in the world. Among those prison, the African Americans make up about 34% of its population. African American are more likely to be arrested than another other race in the United States even though the white Americans make up about more than 55% of the prison population. Why is it that the African Americans are more likely to be target by the system? In the United States, poverty plays a huge role on it. Poor people are more likely to be target by the system and a lot of the African American people live in poverty.
- Robinson, Eugene. (2017). The acquittal in Philando Castile’s killing makes clear that black lives still do not matter. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/06/17/the-acquittal-in-philando-castiles-killing-makes-clear-that-black-lives-still-do-not-matter/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a3ea57f28039
- The death of Philando Castile caused a huge outbreak in the United States. Philando Castile, an African American male was shot and killed in his car after being pulled over. He was shot not once, but more than once. He died on the scene. The incident was heard throughout the United States and because Philando Castile is an African American man people argued. The police officer was convicted of second-degree manslaughter. Shooting Philando Castile was not justifiable. The act was cruel. There was no need to shoot him so many times. People protested on the streets for a change. People should not be target because of their skin color.
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