By Xuxin He
The biggest form of systemic injustice in modern day America is ranges from Police brutality in the streets to the sentencing in the criminal Justice System particularly against minorities especially those off African American decent. There are countless witnessing of unjust and egregious acts of both police brutality across multiple states in America. Apart from these situations, there are countless other cases where courts give higher sentences or bail to minorities and African American offenders. Fueling this are the attitudes associated with racial profiling. In most cases minorities are considered social ills, they are seen as predominantly disadvantaged in the school or moral system and are thereby categorized as prone to crime or illegal activities that would otherwise predispose them to experiencing such injustices.
The sad reality behind these injustices is that as much as some offenders duly deserve the punishments they receive, a majority including the poor are incarcerated for no viable crime, receiving punishments much higher than is justly deserved. Examples of such incidents are seen all over the media and on countless reports put out. On the rise especially are countless shootings of unarmed African American individuals ranging from children to adult. With the likes of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri to the choking of Eric Garner in New York City (Sekhon, 2017). According to a police violence report (2017), there were 1,147 killings in 2017 with 92% of them the result of police shootings, Tasers, physical force and police vehicles. Those charged for these cases were only 13, a whopping 1% of all killings.
The irony behind it is that witnesses were able to identify 569 of these officers, with at least 48 having shot or killed someone and 12 with multiple prior shootings. In these cases, the police had responded to suspected non-violent offenses (Violence, 2017). The evident air of such incidents as well as advocacy by activists has led to little to no change in many police departments across the country. Pictures such as the one displayed at the bottom are the result of countless activists, ordinary citizens and community leaders protesting the indiscriminate rise of police brutality across various states in America
Protesters march after a fatal shooting by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2016. Credit: William Widmer/New York Times/eyevine (Peeples, 2019, September 4).
Protestors march and hold their fists aloft as they march during ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 16, 2014 (Reuters, 2016, February 26).
Peeples, L. (2019, September 4). What the data say about police shootings. Retrieved March 6, 2020, from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02601-9
Reuters. (2016, February 26). Justice Department to Conduct Independent Autopsy of Michael Brown. Retrieved March 6, 2020, from https://www.newsweek.com/justice-department-conduct-independent-autopsy-michael-brown-265118
Sekhon, N. (2017). Blue on Black: An empirical assessment of police shootings. Am. Crim. L. Rev., 54, 189.
Violence, M. P. (2017). Police violence report.