Police are not doing their job

Is law enforcement here to protect us or make innocence a product of police corruption?

As citizens we believe we should trust the police to enforce laws and handle chaos. We look to them for protection and for solutions to crime. So why have these police officers we are taught to call on in times of need belittling us and letting their egos get in the way of their service to the community? They are killing too many innocent Americans.

Recent cases reported by the media have been eye opening to readers and viewers. Typical criminals —robbers, drug-dealers and serial killers — have not committed these so-called crimes but are perpetrated by our own the protection we are taught to respect and confide in.

Consider the case of 28-year-old Alejandro Nieto, who went one night to a common place in the San Francisco’s Mission District — the top of Bernal Heights to view the city lights. Many family and friends knew he often went up there for peace of mind. I was raised in the same neighborhood as Nieto and a lot of people who want to take a break from much of the city chaos go to the top of the hill for “me-time.”

The San Francisco Police Department claimed they received a call about a man making threats and acting erratically. So they confronted Nieto from a distance, asked what he was doing and told him to drop his weapon. He allegedly reached to put down the Taser he had been carrying because of his job as a security guard. Two officers then fired shots, gunning him down. Occupy.com articles about the Nieto incident underscore the distress many feel about this particular situation, and other like it.

“I am so angry right now,” Ramon Hernandez, of the Mission district, is quoted on the website. “This is happening all over the country: more and more white police officers are killing black and brown kids, misjudging them as a product of their environment… and getting away with it. I understand the anger. I know that we, as minorities, have a little voice and often violence is the only way for us to be heard.”

Jerold Best, who is a 34 year-old African American resident in San Francisco’s Bayview district, believes if Nieto were a white man the police would have not felt threatened.

“Police are trained to be threatened by minorities. Simply by being black or brown you are a threat, so any action we take is seen by a white police officer as a threat.”

With so many recent cases like this it is hard to believe the police are here for our protection. If police officers are trained and certified why are they killing and abusing? Why can’t they opt to shoot at another body part to stop individuals instead of killing them with many bullets? Where is their self-control? Their training skills? Their heart? Their morals?

If innocent individuals are having their lives taken by those who we are supposed to trust, why should we trust them? We should be against them until they are pushed to clean up their acts.

I believe some law enforcement officers prey on the “weak” which they believe we are. They see where we come from and assume we are not intelligent. They know we come from lower income families, and believe we are all up to no good. They are literally killing us off.

It is time we take a stand and change our atmosphere. It is time we change the stereotypes about minorities and prove we can be educated, successful, and accomplish as much as we desire. It is time for us not to become another statistic.

We need to realize we have enough who are against us; we need to stick together to conquer the stereotypes that harm us all.