Police Brutality – A Refutation

Due to the recent police killings and creation of Black Lives Matter, many people in this country believe Blue Lives Matter legislation should be introduced. Louisiana was the first state to pass the legislation, but many others have proposed similar bills. Both houses of Congress have introduced “Thin Blue Line” legislation.

According to Time, “Blue Lives Matter legislation has garnered interest this year among lawmakers who believe police are under siege around the country. It’s in part a response to the growing prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement.” The growing support is due to an increase in the number of officers fatally shot on duty. According to the National Officers Law Memorial Fund, last year 42 officers were killed on duty, and 52 officers have been killed on duty this year so far. By introducing this legislation lawmakers are implying that the BLM movement encourages violence against the police. To infer or state that the Black Lives Matter movement encourages violence, hatefulness or retaliation is simply erroneous. The police need to be protected, but to single officers out is inequitable, as citizens need to be protected as well. So far in 2016, 220 blacks were killed in police shootings. The legislation diminishes the importance of the need for change that the BLM movement promotes and creates an even bigger gap between police and blacks in America.

Another misconception about the BLM movement, specifically regarding police brutality, is that police brutality is not the fault of police officers. According to a 2015 video from Fox News, Bill O’Reilly has accredited the brutality to being the fault of “disrespectful youth”. O’Reilly claimed that “the besetting problem of our era, we are insistently told by police and their apologists, is not widespread abuse and other misconduct by law enforcement officers, but increasing ‘disrespect for authority’ that is being abetted by ‘liberals’ and those even more dreadful people called ‘libertarians.’” Although there is some truth to the idea that youths are increasingly disrespectful to authority, this acclamation is just a sad excuse for evidence.

In actuality, police brutality has significantly increased over the past few years, and is more likely to occur for African Americans. According to a study done by a professor at the University of California, Davis, there is “evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.”

The Black Lives Matter movement is essential towards easing the tensions between the police and black communities. Black Lives Matter strives to reveal the truths about racial tensions in America and provide solutions to the problems.

Sources:

http://time.com/4413732/iowa-police-shooting-blue-lives-matter/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-map-us-police-killings

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0141854

Why All Lives Don’t Matter

all-lives-matter

Many people find fault with the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming that the organization is creating an isolationist sentiment that is counter-productive to the fight for unity amongst people from different backgrounds. By dividing the struggle in terms of race, the movement singles out the struggle of Black Americans and does not create an open space for the inclusion of other races. If the aim is to live in a colorblind society where people are not subject to discrimination and oppression based on race, it is counterproductive to try and use race as the focal point in the issue of police violence. The Washington Post did a study that proved that out of the 788 individuals that were killed by police in 2015, 365 of those individuals were white which is more than the combined number of black and Latinx individuals killed by police. This led many people to see that police brutality is not a race issue, but a people issue, and by categorizing this problem as something only Black Americans deal with belittles the issue of police brutality in the United States. For many people it is not that Black lives don’t matter, it’s that Black lives are not the only ones suffering from the side effects of police violence. Black lives matter because all lives matter, and it is only through the reiteration that all lives matter that society will be able to solve these problems.


The purpose of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is to highlight the fact that there is substantial evidence of  discrimination against African Americans in the criminal justice system in the United States. For victims of injustices committed against African Americans in non-white communities, the All Lives Matter (ALM) movement can be excruciatingly insulting. There is a misconception that the BLM group is isolating or racially dividing themselves further, but their principles display the complete opposite. The BLM group in fact has the same idea as their counterpart, that all lives matter equally. The All Lives Matter group brings  a sense of oppression and denial toward racism of Black Americans, diminishing any opportunity for positive change or advocation of equality. Jesse Damiani, who wrote a compelling article for the Huffington Post on the All Lives Matter movement states, “Every time you use the term ‘All Lives Matter’ you’re broadcasting to others that change isn’t necessary when it very much is.”
  All don’t matter until black lives matter, and until we face the racial issues in America we cannot eliminate race from that conversation.

Sources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-damiani/every-time-you-say-all-li_1_b_11004780.html