Police cannot be trusted with their power

The week of April 11, 2021, was marked by the killings of two young men, both under the age of 21. Officer body camera video proves that each death was unnecessary.

Police have adopted the “shoot-first” policy when it comes to minorities, yet they take time to think and consider their options when threatened by whites people.

Law enforcement has continued to display a pattern of racial bias and a “shoot-first” mentality, and therefore cannot be trusted with their power of a firearm.

With their firearms police have the power to act as judge, jury, and executioner. The constitution says each person has the right to due-process, but Derek Wright and Adam Toledo were stripped of this right.

If police firearms were replaced by effective, non-lethal weapons, the police would no longer have the power to play God.

Officer Kate Portman killed 20-year old Derek Wright, claiming she meant to use her taser instead of her gun.

Portman was a police officer of 26 years, and also trained rookie officers. With her years of experience on the police force, after 26 years of strapping in her gun and taser, she should remember the difference between the feel of a gun and a taser.

Her mistake cost Wright his life, but if she did not have a gun, Wright would be alive.

In the case of 13-year old Adam Toledo, he was carrying a gun and running from officers but dropped it and turned around with his hands up when ordered to by officer Eric Stillman.

Despite following orders, Stillman reacted by shooting the unarmed boy when he turned around with his hands up. Stillman’s actions perfectly display the “shoot-first” mentality.

If the officer had taken the time to think instead of pulling the trigger, the 13-year old would still be alive.

It has become an officer’s instinct to use their gun before a non-lethal alternative. Due to their mentality, innocent people like George Floyd, were killed by officers were immediately used lethal force.

There are too many incidents like the killings of Wright, Toledo, and Floyd to dismiss the officers in question as “bad apples.” Law enforcement agencies have become organizations that abuse their power of a firearm and cater to white citizens.

Police officers continue to abuse their power of a firearm, and should be stripped of their power to take lives.

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