Black Lives Matter, But They Aren't the Only Ones | Teen Ink

Black Lives Matter, But They Aren't the Only Ones

May 1, 2018
By Nanda_Gremo_04 BRONZE, Beijing, Other
Nanda_Gremo_04 BRONZE, Beijing, Other
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

It was a peaceful afternoon that day. It was not long after the recent death of a young African American, and there was a large group of seemingly peaceful protesters walking along the silent and remorseful streets of Ferguson, Missouri. People were holding signs that read “black lives matter” in honor of the recent death. The protesters walked past a local police station, where a few police officers were standing. The chanting got louder and more aggressive when suddenly, somebody charged towards the cops and started to physically assault the officer. The reason behind those actions was that a young innocent black person was murdered, and absolutely nothing was done about it. The action of that person triggered a chain reaction, and almost immediately, a riot broke out. People were fighting, breaking windows, and even burning things because something had to be done, and this was the only way to get noticed.

It was a peaceful afternoon that day. Outside a police station, a few police officers stood. On the outside, everything was fine, although it was clear that there was still tension about the recent shooting from an officer in another precinct 6 blocks away. Another officer in another police station in the same area had shot an innocent black person and was not convicted. Even though these officers had nothing to do with it, they did still feel extremely tense, and like they did have some distant connection to the case, even though there was none. Suddenly, they hear a chant. They saw a group of people holding signs coming around the corner. Knowing that they were protesters, the police officers did their best to hide and seem as innocent as possible. All of a sudden, somebody comes up behind them and physically attacks them. Soon, everybody is fighting and everything is a mess. There are 2 very contradicting sides, each with their own story, but which side is right? Does the truth lie with the cops or the black community? What should really be done?

It is clear that there is a serious issue arising between white cops and black victims, and from the perspective of a large majority of people involved with the issue, it is obvious that the cops deserve instant prosecution for the killings and deaths that they have brought to the black community. African Americans are getting shot more than white people of the same age, and more specifically, the death rate for young African American’s was 5 times higher than white people of the same age. According to those in favor of the immediate prosecution, white cops are racially profiling and shooting many people just because of the color of their skin and the stereotypic profile that is instantaneously identified to be with those of that particular race. In most cases, even though there is an obvious series of events (trial and conviction) that should immediately take place, there is still hesitation from the police force and the court of what to do. It is clear who is guilty and who is not, and it is also clear what needs to be done, yet the opposing side is still struggling to do so. Many family members and loved ones have been killed, and so predictably, people suffering from losses have resentment and anger due to the court’s inability to come to the realization that the police have indeed killed innocent black people far too many times. All the anger and frustration that the black community had for the white community resulted in countless protests, the most famous one being the black lives matter movement, which still continues to be a large association. These protests may have a large impact, but it may be that these protests are getting a little bit out of hand.

These protests started off as peaceful protests, with participants wanting nothing more than to make a change. But soon, due to the upsetting fact that many guilty police officers are walking free of charge, black protesters are becoming violent because of their sensationalism towards the topic. The things that black protesters do as a result really contributes to the cop’s stress level and tenseness. Police stations around the U.S these days are receiving so much hate from black communities, even if the police station has no say in the situation and is not a part of it. There are also more and more riots and protests happening around the states directed towards the police officers. Even on a seemingly peaceful day, police are always prepared, and are always on the lookout for any suspicious activity, just in case another riot breaks out. They now have reason to believe that any black person on the street could start acting out or beginning something dangerous. For instance, not too long ago in Texas, there was a story involving a black person and the cops. According to star-telegram news, the police station received a 911 call from a nearby playground stating that there was some illicit and suspicious activity from an unknown caller. Immediately, cops rushed to the scene only to discover that it was a setup. An African American was hiding in a creek nearby with multiple firearms and dangerous weapons. Once the police had realized, it was too late, for shots have already been fired. The shooter, Jorge Brian Gonzalez, ended up fatally shooting police officer David Hoffer. Gonzalez shot an innocent officer who had absolutely nothing to do with the current problem. That is a perfect example, for police with the intent of saving lives rushed to the scene, and resulted in the deaths of police instead. Police have so much pressure, and if they had experienced perhaps a protest gone wrong, or even the shooting of a police officer, they could easily lash out, which could possibly end up in a death. Protesters who think that they are making a difference by protesting and rioting and reprimanding the officers are wrong. They simply create more tension for the police force, which really worsens the issue instead of working for a solution.

But this is not the only contributor to the problem. When a person is killed, the people there to record and document the events are the press and newspaper companies. The articles produced could sometimes have extremely strong language and opinions, which often gives the impression that all cops are just as bad as the one cop who disobeyed the law. It is true, that the police officer who killed an unarmed African American should immediately be prosecuted, but there are indeed 2 sides to every story. In some cases, the police may have had an actual reason behind his/her actions, but it is rare that the press includes it in their articles. Even if there is information about the cop, it is information that helps prove the guiltiness of the cop, and not help counterclaim the victim and help the cop. The press is constantly suppressing the cop’s point of view in stories like this, and when the black community reads the article, it simply makes them resent the police force more and more, which would lead to more riots and protests. It makes African American’s completely forget about the rights and point of view of cops. They are not the only people that have suffered. Cops have problems too. Cops have also experienced loss, but the black community would never know that. If the press did include viewpoints from both sides of the story, it would be easier for the black community to empathize with the cops, so that they could understand that it is not only about their losses. It could also help ease down the protests and riots, would could help give police a relief. Having unbiased articles could really contribute to solving the problem. 

The only real way to put an end to the issue is to have contributing factors from the two sides. First, police officers must learn not to question the innocence of a human person based on the color of their skin, learning not to assign specific stereotypes at the same time. Then, the black community must learn to understand that the problem isn’t only about them and that the police have a say in the situation as well. The press must learn to write articles that don’t only specifically lean towards the side that seems most obvious, but the side that is palpably being suppressed. If both sides can work together, the chance of a peaceful relationship between the two sides is much more likely.



Police Shootings against Black Community Members Draw Criticism and Legal Action against Law Enforcement. (2016). In Historic U.S. Events. Detroit: Gale. 

Osborne, R. (n.d.). Killer fired gun in Euless park, waited to ambush police. 

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