Racism is sometimes treated in this country as a non-issue. Many think it doesn’t exist anymore; some think it’s worse than ever. Often times, this underlying tone of racism leads to police brutality.
Events in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, Md. and now McKinney have proved the existence of racism and just how bad it still is.
Racism has evolved in the U.S., and there are certainly other countries that outright ignore the humanity of some individuals – looking at you, Qatar. But there is still a line between racism and ignorance that United States citizens cross.
Most minorities will experience some form of racism during their lives, whether it be direct or indirect.
In McKinney, it was a 911 call because a large group of black teenagers were at the community pool.
But there are a few different stories being told about what happened.
Someone who lives in Craig Ranch, the suburb where the incident occurred, said there was loud music and teenagers behaving erratically.
But another neighbor said that a couple of white, adult residents of the neighborhood were yelling racial slurs and assaulting a black teenager.
The police showed up either way, and Cpl. Eric Casebolt didn’t seem able to handle the stress.
He was recorded yelling profanity at black teenagers, manhandling 15 year-old Dejerria Becton and drawing his gun on two teens who tried to help her.
Becton was in a bikini, and it’s hard to see what harm she could have caused or what weapons she could have been hiding.
What’s baffling is some people are defending Casebolt. To defend him is to ignore his erratic behavior.
Four days after the incident, Casebolt resigned accepting the guilt.
Yes, some teenagers might have been a little scared and caught up in the commotion, but Casebolt’s aggressive actions seem to be clear signs of a lack of situational management skills.
None of the other officers on the scene had a problem keeping their cool, which should be of the utmost importance in a high-intensity job.
We hold cops to a higher standard when it comes to lethal force, and we should. They are supposed to protect and serve.
It takes courage to wear a uniform in 2015 and officers nowadays find themselves as open targets.
But these instances show a failing within the law enforcement system; they divide the police and minority cultures.
Citizens have rights that are being violated on a regular basis. It seems to be the standard for stories to break involving a videotape of a police officer abusing his power.
And not much is done in the aftermath.
Remember, Darren Wilson, the police officer involved in the Ferguson shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, is a free man. In a lot of these cases, the officers in question barely get any form of punishment.
Casebolt quickly resigned, but is that enough? A discussion of how to properly handle these situations needs to be held.
Shootings, spine-breakings, choke holds… there seems to be a pattern here of police brutality. Is this 1940’s Nazi Germany?
No, and it probably won’t get to that point. But some cops seem to think their status as a law enforcer gives them the right to act like something out of “Schindler’s List.”
Opinion columnist Anthony Torres is a political science junior and may be reached at [email protected]