Vigilantes and law enforcement groups have long worked together to create and protect the racial order in the United States.
Law and Order. CSI. Hawaii-Five-Oh. American Sniper. TV shows and movies about law enforcement and the police permeate the screens of Americans across the country. Media portrayals about police officers, detectives, judges, crime fighters, and more firmly implemented into the cultural lexicon. Just because they are on TV does not mean that these shows exclusively exist for entertainment. Many shows actively depict criminal justice without showcasing the many ways it harms the lives of communities of color. These shows often work to bolster law enforcement in the eyes of white supremacy while simultaneously reducing compassion for the disproportionately Black victims of its system.
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Discussions on the hazards of policing misrepresent reality yet are used to protect the police. A closer look into policing and the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. challenges the claim that police are "under attack."
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No-Knock warrants allow police to legally break into people's homes unannounced, often resulting in fatal outcomes like the deaths of Amir Locke and Breonna Taylor.
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The death has been referred to as an “accidental discharge.” But there is nothing accidental about the death of an unarmed Black man by law enforcement. Our system is designed to maximize interactions between Black and brown people and police officers, which all but ensures that harm will happen. This is enforced through the practice of over-policing, initiatives that have justified increased levels of policing for the sake of the greater good, but often with adverse consequences (Scientific American).
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The memeification of Breonna Taylor aims to keep Taylor's name in the media but is often perpetuating the same systems that harm Black women.
For many marginalized communities in America, being patriotic means ignoring a history of violence and oppression that continues to this day.
Sharing graphic videos of police brutality may raise awareness, but also cause harm and obfuscate the real effort needed to create change.
Police face criticism for their use of ketamine in the arrest of individuals they mislabel as "aggressive" following the death of Elijah McClain.