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BLM Riots Are Justified Police brutality

Introduction

The riots associated with the Black Lives Matter protests were justified. Since the enslavement of African people, equality have been out of reach due to the 400 years of oppression and policing of those individuals. The vandalization of buildings and homes is an unfortunate product for the pain and suffering that the Black community has faced.

It all started with community members coming together to collect runaway slaves known as slave patrols. Now, the descendants of slaves are in danger everyday by living in a society that places the former slave patrols in positions of power. Many say that the current police system is broken, but it is working exactly how it was designed when slave patrols were originally conceived; to keep African slaves, and now their descendants, under the thumb of authority. Imagine after 400 years of being enslaved to then have the people who used to own you be in positions of power which will solidify that you will never be allowed to succeed in America. Understanding the history of the police force is crucial to the greater picture of how deeply rooted systemic racism is in this country.

As stated in the video, there is a lack of trust between communities and police. Having such deep roots in racism in this country, it makes sense why many Americans do not trust the police. Reggie Watts explaining how important training is and establishing trust is crucial to creating a better and more united country. Most of the protests started peaceful then the police decided add violence into the mix. The riots that were started were because of the police, the protestors fought back in self defense and standing up for what they believe in. If there was trust in the police force throughout the country, the riots would have never started. If the police reformed in a way that would let them be able to do their job accordingly, there would be no need to riot.

There are two different Americas. As you have learned based off the past two videos above, there are huge issues within the establishments of the police force. Minorities have always been targeted by the police. America's foundation is racist. White privilege is alive and well due to the systems in place.

The photo to the left is a public servant being arrested for attending a BLM protest this summer.

The counter argument states that not All Cops Are Bad (ACAB). An article by Killian Hobbs, All Cops Are Bad? No.

Hobbs argues that just because there are some bad cops that exist in this country does not mean that the system is broken. Majority of Americans view the police department "(a)s a noble undertaking" (Hobbs). A lot of the job monitoring minor law violations, whether it is parking tickets, jay walking, or public disagreements. Cops are not seeking to harm citizens. They are sworn in to protect and serve their community. Every job has corruption or so called "bad apples" does not mean that the entire profession should be defunded. He states that rather show them all of the good that law enforcement does for their community in the past and present. Show them what would happen if cops were no longer around. There are evils that are lurking in your town ready to cause chaos as soon as the police are no longer around. Understanding and respecting the police department as it stands today will have you be grateful for the protection you have living in the United States of America.

  • 7,861 lives lost during 2013-2019 by the police in the United States alone.
  • 40 lives lost during 2004-2019 by the police in the United Kingdom.
  • The rate of police shooting during the period of 2015-2019, Black: 34 per million, White: 14 per million, Hispanic: 26 per million.

Explanation of the stats

The United Kingdom and The United States is typically compared to a lot because of the similarities in both societies. Even though the United States is 40 times bigger than the United Kingdom, the numbers shown above are staggering. In just 6 years there were 7,861 death solely by police violence. In 15 years there were only 40. The U.S. Census Bureau, reported at 60.1% of the population was White and 13.4% was Black, so when looking that 34 per million Black people and 14 per million White people will get shot by police. If they only represent 13.4% of the population why are more than double of them being shot by police when the White population is almost 6 times are big as the Black population? This demonstrates that Black people are disproportionally targeted by police. The numbers do not add up, which is why there is rioting so that the world can pay attention to the injustices happening in "the land of the free".

Are the BLM riots justified?

Yes. Throughout American history the lives of the Black people went from property to second class citizens and equality still has not been achieved. Over 400 years of oppression makes it justified that some buildings were damaged over members of the Black community being taken from them and receiving little to none justice.

Are All Cops Bad?

No. The reason we say ACAB is not that every person who is an officer is a corrupt individual, but someone who chooses to be a police officer chooses to ignore the institutional racism and policing of minorities is adding to the problem. The system is working how it was constructed to function: to benefit white people and suppress minorities, so white privilege is still in tact. Cases like Breonna Taylor, where the officers murdered this woman with zero justification have yet to be charged for her murder. Only one, Brett Hankison, out of the four men accused for her murder have been fired from the police force. The death of Breonna Taylor is a perfect example of why we say ACAB.

The difference between what happened on January 6th and the riots this summer for George Floyd.

  • One is mainly white people being upset that their president lost the election that they felt was rigged.
  • Another was Americans being outraged over yet another lost life due to the systematic racism that have been set in place since they were taken from the seas of Africa.

If you want to learn more information about the differences between the Capitol attack and the BLM riots here are some links: The Freedom To Assemble ,Fact check: Viral images compare handling of Black Lives Matter protests and Capitol riot , and Rioters breached US Capitol security on Wednesday. This was the police response when it was Black protesters on DC streets last year

Counterargument

The damages from the 2020 BLM riots crushed all prior records, including the Rodney King riots of 1992 in Los Angeles, which was 775 million. There was over 2 billion dollars worth of damage from 20 cities alone. These damages did not include the injuries of police officers who were harmed in the line of fire. Destroying businesses, especially in the worsening economy due to COVID-19, has hurt more businesses and families. These people had nothing to do with the protests yet they were caught in the cross fire. How is that fair?

It is disheartening knowing that so many bystanders got their livelihoods damaged in the wake of this movement. I do not believe that anyone who participated in the riots with the sole purpose to damage anyone's business or home. They want their voices to be heard. Throughout history their voices have been heard, but not nearly enough to grant equality. With the systems in place to give White people the upper hand it makes sense why 400 years of anger was taken out on businesses. 2 billion dollars is a staggering number, but also so is the number of Black people killed by the hands of the people sworn to protect all citizens.

About me

I have been apart of the Black Lives Matter movement for about a year now. I typically get involved by going to protests and sharing on social media ways to help within the community. I am an Urban Planning and Political Science major who plans to become an attorney to help in areas of lower socioeconomic areas. The goal of this website is not for me to speak for Black people, but to show those who might not understand the roots of the riots, or why they occurred to show them how they are justified.

Last Words

Assuming the rioting this summer was due to the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor is forgetting the history of Black people in this country. The treatment of minorities versus White people is the reason for rioting. The system is broken and living in two Americas is why the rioting is justified.

Sources

Killian Hobbs, et al. “All Cops Are Bastards? No.” Think Liberty, 12 Mar. 2019, think-liberty.com/philosophy/ba-34-cops-are-bastards/.

Anderson, Curtis. Challenge 67: Take Time to Teach Black History. 3 Feb. 2014.

Department, Published by Statista Research, and Feb 3. “People Shot to Death by U.S. Police, by Race 2021.” Statista, 3 Feb. 2021, www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/.

Department, Published by Statista Research, and Jan 19. “Fatal Police Shootings England and Wales 2019.” Statista, 19 Jan. 2021, www.statista.com/statistics/319246/police-fatal-shootings-england-wales/.

Images, Getty. Riots Erupt in Several US Cities over Minnesota Police Killing of Unarmed Black Man. 29 May 2020.

Kim, Katherine. Images of Police Using Violence against Peaceful Protesters Are Going Viral. 2020.

Leonhardt, David. “The Persistence of Police Killings.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 May 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/05/27/briefing/coronavirus-george-floyd-spacex-your-wednesday-briefing.html.

Oppel, Richard A., et al. “What to Know About Breonna Taylor's Death.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 May 2020, www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html.

Post, Washington, director. The Origins of Policing in America | Perspective, Washington Post, 24 Sept. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBvo2OE5kqM&t=51s.

Rogan, Joe, director. Joe Rogan on the George Floyd Protests, Riots w/Reggie Watts, 2 June 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeqUs3yruo4.

Santiago, Luz Henning. Even Black Lawmakers Get Pepper-Sprayed. 3 June 2020.

Times, New York. The Capitol Attack Aftermath. 6 Feb. 2021.

“United Kingdom vs. United States.” United Kingdom vs. United States - Country Comparison, www.indexmundi.com/factbook/compare/united-kingdom.united-states.

Chavez, Nicole. “Rioters Breached US Capitol Security on Wednesday. This Was the Police Response When It Was Black Protesters on DC Streets Last Year.” CNN, Cable News Network, 11 Jan. 2021, www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/us/police-response-black-lives-matter-protest-us-capitol/index.html.

Department, Published by Statista Research, and Feb 3. “Police Shootings: Rate by Ethnicity U.S. 2021.” Statista, 3 Feb. 2021, www.statista.com/statistics/1123070/police-shootings-rate-ethnicity-us/.

Kingson, Jennifer A. “Exclusive: $1 Billion-plus Riot Damage Is Most Expensive in Insurance History.” Axios, 16 Sept. 2020, www.axios.com/riots-cost-property-damage-276c9bcc-a455-4067-b06a-66f9db4cea9c.html.

Rachel Chason, Samantha Schmidt. “The Freedom to Assemble, in Two Acts.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 14 Jan. 2021, www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/interactive/2021/blm-protest-capitol-riot-police-comparison/.

Sadeghi, McKenzie. “Fact Check: Viral Images Compare Handling of Black Lives Matter Protests and Capitol Riot.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 8 Jan. 2021, www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/07/fact-check-photos-compare-handling-of-blm-protest-capitol-riot/6578562002/.

“U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: United States.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/IPE120219.

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Erika Shinn
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