Police Killings Spark Plenty of Controversy Around Nation


Keyana Williams, Special Sections Editor

This last year has been a world wind of emotions to say the least, hundreds of people have been reported killed by police officers within the last 16 months.

Yes hundreds, an extremely large number of people who have lost their lives due to the hand of a police officer, and about one third of the victims were unarmed African Americans.

According to the statistics on Statista.com, in 2019, 24 percent of all police killings were of black Americans when just 13 percent of the U.S. population is black.

Mapping Police Violence also showed that 99 percent of all officers involved in all police killings had no criminal charges pressed against them.

Constantly seeing these killings is very upsetting and it just shows more and more how much this world needs to change,” said sophomore Ta’Najah Young.

Things like this have become a part of the new normal because of how often it’s happening, especially to young people who had their whole lives ahead of them.

Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor was a 26 year old African American woman who was shot in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13th, 2020.

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping in their apartment when three plain clothed police officers arrived to execute a search warrant for drugs. Her boyfriend thought it was a break in and called 911, he then fired his licenced firearm. Taylor was unarmed and shot eight times.

Adam Toledo

Toledo was a 13 year old Hispanic boy who was shot in Little Village, Chicago on March 29th, 2021.

Toledo was reported to be in an alley with a 21 year old man when police responded to a call of what sounded like gunshots fired. Both Toledo and the guy fled the area and when an officer caught up with Toledo who was reportedly holding a gun at some point before he was shot. He was hit in the chest and pronounced dead at the scene.

Daunte Wright

Wright was a 20 year old African American man who was shot in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 11th, 2021.

Wright was pulled over for expired license plate tabs and after the police looked up Wright’s record, they found a misdemeanor warrant and decided to arrest him. Wright gets out of his car to be handcuffed, but slips back behind the driver’s seat while the female police officer aims her gun at him screaming “Taser! Taser!” “I’ll tase you!”. A single bullet is fired hitting him in the chest causing Wright to press the gas and collide with another car. He died at the scene.

Ma’Khia Bryant

Bryant was a 16 year old African American girl who was shot in Columbus, Ohio on April 20th, 2021.

Bryant allegedly called the police because they were older kids threatening to assault her. Police arrive on the scene to a physical altercation happening outside of their house. That is when a police officer fatally shoots Bryant, who was lunging at one of the women with a steak knife. 

Those were just a few of the lives lost recently, but there are so many more victims who have had their lives taken away from them so abruptly.

 Whether it was a mistake on the victims part or the police officers part, there were other ways to handle the situation.

Unfortunately, the events concerning police brutality and racism are not accidental, nor do they happen only once because of fate,” Resource teacher Ms. Quintero said. “They are events well-rooted in our collective mind and social mantle. They are ‘part of the system.’ ”

Theft or drug possession is not punishable by death and it’s very disheartening that that is what this society has become.

Although police killings, of minorities in particular, have been happening for decades, it’s more broadcasted now than ever because everyone has a phone or something to document with.

“I am disappointed in the unfortunate police killings that have been happening over the past year, but I’m not surprised at all,” said English teacher Mr. Paul. “Police have been killing innocent people of color, especially black people for decades without any probable cause. The only thing that’s different now is the evolution of technology and the power of social media.  Personally, I’ve become numb to seeing or hearing or watching an innocent–black person being killed and trying not to indulge too much in it, no matter how much the media forces it on us.”

Events like this repeatedly happening begin to desensitize the public, when it should encourage more change to help stop these killings from continuing.

“I think it will have to stop eventually,” English teacher Mr. Porter said. “I don’t think this country will survive if it doesn’t. I feel ashamed that this is still an issue in the greatest country in the world.”

With the direction the world is going now, it’s hard to tell if the killings will ever stop. The past year, people from all races have started to come together more and more.

As long as there is growing unity from all sides, then hopefully in time, the killings will subside.