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April 18, 2024

  • Jeanette Winterson for “gAyPRIL”
    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

A response to “Police provocation to brutality”

There was recently a column that commented on police brutality and stated citizens should not provoke officers to avoid being brutalized or killed by police.

It starts with the argument that police should be treated like armed robbers because they have guns and can use them at any point in time that they feel it is necessary. This completely ignores that an officer’s job is to serve and protect the people. If everyone fears the police because they can kill at will, the police are not doing their job. They are terrorizing the masses and, at that point, something needs to change. It’s not regular people’s attitudes while dealing with police.

Being a police officer is stressful, but their training should put them in a position where they make good decisions about when to use force.

Additionally, if people are terrified of the police, they can’t trust the police to help them in situations when they need help and would not feel like the force deserves their respect.

There are two definitions of respect: one is treating someone like they are a human being and the other is treating someone like they are an authority figure. If police are not protecting people and doing their job, they do not deserve to be treated like an authority figure.

This is something that is actually addressed in the article. However, it still says that people must comply fully and completely when dealing with officers, even if the officer is putting them in danger or doing something illegal, to avoid death.

No one is saying people interacting with police should be outright hostile or even rude, but police, in their ideal form, should be able to handle rowdy, mean or hostile people. This is the fault of the system when police are unable to deal with those situations.

The column continues, mentioning the nurse in Utah who was wrongly arrested and grabbed by police for refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient. Not only is such a drawing of blood illegal, she was on the phone with one of her superiors who was saying it is illegal. The officer had no right to act the way he did, and while this is acknowledged, the column mentions that the nurse should have done what the officer said, even though it was a direct violation of the law.

This officer was punished, but not everyone has the privilege of public outcry and being a white woman.

The way police deal with black men is much different than how they deal with white women, and this is not acknowledged.

Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, was fatally shot by police immediately after they arrived on the scene for playing with a toy gun. Charles Kinsey, a black man, was shot by police while laying on the ground with his hands in the air. Luckily, he survived.

There have also been many cases where black men were killed by police and then not convicted or punished. Most of these officers site “fear” when they explain their reason to shoot. There is a problem with officers being able to claim “fear” even in situations they should be able to handle without any gun violence.

Dealing with the police isn’t as simple as complying, surviving and reporting later. There is no guarantee people will survive or officers will be punished when people comply, even with footage from body cams and phone videos.

The New York Times reported on a former Marine who was fired from his police force for not shooting a suicidal man whose gun was not loaded.

This problem is not from people who do not comply with the police. There is a deep-rooted systematic problem with our police force, and blaming the victims of brutality for not complying and hoping police officers are punished correctly does not solve this problem.

Calling out violence and pushing for real change with the way police officers are trained and tried is a start.

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