Calls for Police Reform Echo Across the US in the Wake of Tragedy
By Gabriel Bernstein
Based on many tragic past events, citizens of the United States are starting to ponder whether the police need to reform. Many events proved this theory to be correct, whether it was George Floyd’s death or the many shootings that have occurred. Despite this, however, some citizens are still debating whether it would be beneficial for the police to reform into a new code of behavior.
Unfortunately, it took the sacrifice of multiple people in order to bring the issue to the forefront. People like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor died because of the actions of police, resulting in multiple calls for police reform. According to a reporting by AP News, George Floyd was a man who constantly kept moving forward despite what hand he was given. He had highs like college in his life, and he had lows like poverty and jail time in his life. One day he bought cigarettes with what the shopkeeper thought was a fake twenty. The shopkeeper eventually called the police and an officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck. After nine minutes, the officers checked Floyd’s pulse which was negative, so he was taken to a hospital. He was pronounced dead an hour later.
The chief of police from Minneapolis was called as a witness against Mr. Chauvin in the Floyd trial which is extraordinarily rare in a court case. His thoughts on the matter were that Mr. Chauvin’s actions were unethical and very wrong. “To continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back — that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy.” (Information and Quote from New York Times)
Breonna Taylor was an outgoing person who set goals and accomplished them, according to Buzz Feed News. She had a lot of her life ahead of her at the age of 26 where she was getting ready to go to college for nursing. She had a boyfriend who was going to start a family with her, and she recently just bought a car to drive easily. Her death shocked the entire country when police barged into her home and shot her. Apparently her entire apartment was being raided by police with a no knock search warrant. Breonna had lack of information so her boyfriend had his gun ready when the police barged in. Breonna was shot at least eight times as a result of this action.
According to data from the Washington Post, nearly 1,000 people have been shot and killed by police annually in recent years. In addition, people of color are being shot at a much higher rate than whites.
Luckily, actions are already being taken towards police reform in the US. All of Illinois now requires the police to wear body cameras which will monitor their behavior on a daily basis. New York City formed laws for it to be extremely easy to sue police officers for their actions if they were to do something against their code. Even republican states like Iowa and Utah are reforming the police code by banning chokeholds. With all of these new policies up in the air, it is almost ensured that reform will be coming which will hopefully display a bright future for America.
It is evident that the police could have a huge amount of reformation for the future to come. With the death of multiple innocent people and the new laws already passed restricting police, there might become a major reformation throughout the country to restrict police and their actions.