Letter to the editor: In response to ‘Patriots or Pigs?’ (Nov. 3)

Quinn Hughes, Class of 2021

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Evanston police officers do a vital job in keeping us safe, however defending the police while ignoring the voices of black people perpetuates a system of oppression. The police do an important job in keeping communities protected; however acknowledging the pattern of violence specifically targeting at minority groups is not disrespectful, it is necessary. A study by the Guardian shows that young Black men (specifically between the ages of 15 and 34) are nine times more likely to be killed by the police. Communities aren’t enraged at the police force as an institution, instead anger comes from the pattern of police culture to defend the officer’s unnecessary use of lethal force and to eventually get acquitted.

According to a 2015 study 6 out of 10 Black men feel as though they have been unfairly targeted by the police, instead of addressing this issue and attempting to better community relationships police tend to paint themselves as the victim, an unfair outlet for ‘angry negroes’. This is extremely dangerous because when someone is killed unjustly the police won’t be held accountable and when accountability is not consistent marginalized groups relationship with the police are threatened and often worsen. Making the police always held as truthful forces the narrative to change for the worse. When Black and latino people have been proven time and time again to be disproportionately targeted by law enforcement, the reaction should not be ‘he couldn’t be wrong, he’s a policeman’ instead it needs to be to listen to marginalized groups and to take their concerns seriously.

To quote President Barack Obama “When people say ‘black lives matter,’ it doesn’t mean that blue lives don’t matter. But right now, the data shows that black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.” Police reform isn’t calling Americans to spit in the eyes of their neighborhood policeman, instead it is demanding accountability, acknowledgement and change.