Police Brutality

Ashton Carter

Over the past year and in particular the last several weeks, we have seen a rise in police-involved incidents where a person of color was the target. However, police brutality has been a constant in America because of systemic racism. Whether it was a $20 bill, blocking a Wendy’s drive-thru, or sleeping in their own house, people of color have been harassed and killed by those who are supposed to signal safety and protection for mundane reasons.

In most cases, the police officers are not taken into custody, let alone convicted. On average, there are 1000 fatal police shootings a year, with only 1% of the cases resulting in officers being arrested. 139 officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter as a result of an on-duty killing since 2005; of the 97 cases that have concluded, a mere 44 resulted in a conviction. 

Recently, the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd concluded with a jury finding the former Minneapolis police officer guilty on all charges. This breakthrough could signal a change in the trend of police officer accountability we have seen throughout the past.