Citizens React to Police Brutality

Americans, especially African Americans, are seeing a corrupt criminal justice system. It seems that many police officers’ No.1 excuse for killing a black man is for their protection.

Several people turned to the Famuan in order to have their voices heard on police brutality.

Professor Rudy-Jean Bart, an assistant professor of history at Broward College, expressed his reaction to the recent deaths of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.

“There is this ambivalent feeling when I hear that a young black male has died, whether it be at the hands of police or at the hands of someone else. I feel a sense of sadness, at the same time I’m not surprised,” Bart said.

“History shows us that many police officers saw themselves as protectors of white citizens and saw black males as potential perpetrators rather than potential victims. So instead of seeing a black male as a victim when a black male was lynched, there were officers that saw them as individuals that deserved to be punished in that regard,” Bart continued.

Mariah Williams, a junior psychology major at Florida A&M University, is afraid for the young men in her family, especially her younger brother.

“I feel sad of course because I feel like black men in our society are always being oppressed and killed. It makes me think because I have a younger brother. I think about how he’s gonna grow up in the world. He has to deal with stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination,” Williams said.

Liza Tillman, a junior economics major at FAMU, does not agree with the actions that citizens are taking.

“I became quickly heartbroken over the news of no indictment in the Mike Brown case. Although America has every reason to be upset, we must advocate for peaceful protests rather than entertaining the “no indictment supporters,” Tillman said.

Many people are losing trust in law enforcement officers. The question that many black men ask themselves is whether or not they should change their appearance and actions to appear less menacing.

Allen McMillan, a junior FAMU broadcast journalism major, expressed his distrust in law enforcement and what he feels black men should do to stay out of trouble.

“These recent events have me a little afraid because growing up I was told that if I was in trouble, I should go to a police officer, but now it’s like to avoid trouble, you should try your best to stay away from police,” McMillan said.

“As black men I think we should try to make ourselves look less menacing because if you walk down the street with baggy clothes and gold teeth, it’ll cast a negative image on ourselves. If or when we get into a situation with an officer, they won’t be so quick to judge us or act so quickly,” McMillan continued.

Many people feel the same way and demonstrate a drive for change through protests.