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Racial Profiling and The “Law”

Low Income Communities Get Hit the Hardest
Anaheim news

There are many cases where law enforcement officers willingly racially profile an innocent civilian on the street. Some incidents have even been recorded and reported on social media. The reason this is such a big issue is because it has created a society of fear in which people are growing afraid of their own local police departments.

Racial profiling, especially at the hands of those who are supposed to protects us, is unacceptable. No one should be excluded or targeted based off their skin tone, or make fun of based off harmful stereotypes. There are many videos circulating on the internet of officers being racist in the last decade. Some examples include cases relating to Eric Garner, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor just to name a few.

The case of Eric Garner happened in early July 2014 where Eric Garner was detained and assaulted by police just for selling untaxable cigarettes. Long story short, the situation escalated and Garner was held on the ground, in an illegal choke hold which caused his death by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Eric Garner’s last words were reportedly, “I can’t breathe”.

Fast forward  to May 2020 when George Floyd was detained for reportedly using a counterfeit $20 at a nearby store.  MPD Officer Derek Chauvin quickly put Floyd on the ground and placed him a choke-hold similar to Garner’s case. George Floyd died at the scene. These cases have understandably angered many people and caused major outrage and riots. No one should die because of the color of their skin.

There are many untold stories about racial profiling. Many people, especially BIPOCs, are too scared to speak out due to the fear of being targeted, or having no proof of being targeted by local PD.

Everyone has a right to speak out against this issue, and stand in solidarity with those who are oppressed. It isn’t going to stop, but we can prevent it by recording incidents, publicly addressing this problem in public meetings, and standing united.

I, personally, have had multiple racial profiling encounters with local police. In 2019, on one occasion I was walking in my neighborhood wearing all black after coming from an unfortunate event, the passing of one of my friends. I was dressed in black out of respect.

This event, walking while wearing black clothing and being of darker skin tone, is what caused to local PD in my area to be alert. As I came out of a store I noticed a squad car parked in a nearby street. I thought nothing of it, but when I was close to my home the squad car turned on sirens and officers pulled me aside for questioning. They told me I’d matched the description of a suspect walking around yelling slurs and they quickly detained me.

After being released they pushed me forcefully and told me, “Don’t walk around here no more, illegal boy!”

My initial reaction was shock, but after thoroughly thinking about what just happened I went home angry and feeling hopeless. I knew I couldn’t answer back. I told my friends, but no one else. I felt that if I reacted, I know I would’ve been on the news that day. I solemnly believed I was racially profiled for my skin tone and choice of clothing.

My call to action today is this: I ask you to start using your voice and stand up against this illegal racial profiling. If you experience this, I strongly suggest you use your phone and record it.

There are many organizations that stand up and fight for justice for this issue. These organizations include: NAACP (NAACP), NPAP (National Police Accountability Project) and Campaign Zero. It’s never too late to speak up, not only for your own people, but for all oppressed.

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About the Contributor
Valentin Sosa
Valentin Sosa, Staff Writer
Hi. I am Valentin, a senior at Gilbert High School. I like making beats. This is my first semester on the news team.

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