With police infraction on a rise, communities are beginning to question if the people who are supposed to protect them are actually creating a harmful environment. It is becoming a trend for police officers to overuse their authority in sensitive matters.
In the case of Jonathan Ferrell, an innocent young man was shot and killed by a police officer when he was supposedly trying to locate help after being involved in a serious car accident.
On Thursday, a new case arose that is even more difficult to justify. Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old hygienist, was shot and killed by police after ramming her luxury car into barricades and police cruisers near the U.S. Capitol.
The victim suffered from postpartum depression with psychosis, according to her sister, who told CNN. Authorities said they found discharge papers from a mental health evaluation that listed prescriptions for medications to treat depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Carey's 1-year-old child was also in the car when police fatally killed Carey as she was driving in reverse.
Was shooting at an unarmed, disabled woman with a child in the backseat a reasonable action? With nearly six police officers on the scene, there was no possible way shooting to kill was the only option.
Someone like me, with no law enforcement experience, would think first to shoot at the tires to make the vehicle halt. Did police even consider the circumstances that would arise if they shot the child?
Race is no longer the key factor in this issue. In another case, police brutality caused skepticism from Florida state commissioners when a white woman was arrested for driving under the influence and relentlessly abused by two male Tallahassee police officers. There are numerous cases of every ethnicity experiencing police brutality across the nation. Every race is in danger.
This has been going on for years. The problem is that it has been thrown under the rug to protect the image of the police department, but with cases intensifying, they can no longer protect themselves.
Law enforcement officers go through hundreds of seminars and workshops to prepare for the worst incidents, but maybe it's their judgment of the severity that puts us in this place we are currently in.
Police are people just like us, so could it be that they make mistakes?
Law enforcement symbolizes power. When police officers put on their uniforms, they are supposed to project authority. Yet when they don't have control of the situation, they react just like any person. They react on first instinct instead of thinking rationally like they were trained to do. This is dangerous.
So who can we trust with our safety? The answer is no one. As a community, we have to be cautious. It's time to become aware of the situation at hand. We can no longer rely on police to protect us. Sometimes we have to protect ourselves from even the police.