NYPD and Latinos
NYPD and Latinos
NYPD and Latinos
The police are one of the units that citizens greatly depend on for protection within their different societies. Civilians expect equal treatment from the police at all times despite differences in culture, economic background and most importantly racial differences. In the recent times, the police have been in the limelight for many cases of racial profiling. Many people tend to think that racial profiling is only against the Black community (Weitzer & Tuch, 2002). However, with the rising events, Latinos have found themselves cornered by police officers. Latinos have faced the police brutal acts where the police beat them up, arrest them for no valid reasons, and shoot them in some cases. Therefore, Latinos, have risen to these inhumane acts in various ways such as protesting both day and night and even highlighting the cases in different media platforms.
Latinos have taken to the streets in protests as a way of addressing law enforcement policies after emerging cases of racial brutality by the police. A good example is the case of a 17-year –old teenage girl, Jessica Hernandez, shot to death on 22 January in the year 2015 by two police officers, Gabriel Jordan and Daniele Greene. Jessica was driving when the two officers fired four gunshots at her left side. The bullets hit the girl’s heart, lung, and hip thus leading to her tragic death (Hensley, 2015). The police department stated that Hernandez was driving at the two police officers and had narrowed one of them between a wall and a fence and the police officers had no option but to shoot her.
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The teen’s friends, who were in the car at the time of the shooting, gave an incompatible recollection of what had transpired. The friends recalled the event showing how the police targeted at Jessica, shot her four times leading to her death on seeing that she was a Latino. This incident of racial brutality sparked a lot of anger not only in her community but also in other societies with Latinos, which resulted in nights of massive protests against police brutality. The protests were a very effective way of bringing Jessica’s incident, which shows Latinos are perceived as dangerous people, to broad daylight. The event made it easier for her family to get justice for her unfortunate death. With the help of such protests, the public gets to know of the very fast- growing imbalance in the relationship between the police and the society that results in discrimination and brutality towards the Latino community. People have now been able to identify the Latinos as a very significant race under attack thanks to protests by the people on various cases of brutality by the police.
With the rising cases of Latinos who have suffered racial profiling in the arms of police officers, societies have started using several media platforms such as newspapers, TV programs, and YouTube to help address such issues. The shooting of 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes on February 10 in 2015 in the state of Washington, is a good example of such cases. Some police officers in Pasco shot the middle-aged father of two 17 times (Lopez, 2015). Antonio was hit by the gunshots fired at him around five to six times, which resulted in his brutal death. The police said that he threw several stones at them and the only way the police officers saw best to defend themselves was to shoot him. Several eyewitnesses who were at the scene, however, caught the shooting on camera. The videos show a contrasting occurrence of events, to that narrated by the police officers. It is not hard to point out that the police only ambushed Antonio as misguided by the fact that he was a Latino. Similarly, the case was also highlighted in several newspapers such as the New York Times where his friends and family did not hesitate to share with the world on the incident that led to Antonio’s death. Other than that, many people, both Latinos, and non-Latinos paraded the brutal killing in social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. People used the media to address the issue of police brutally enforcing the law on Latinos because of their race. This created awareness of racial discrimination from the police thus showing how it affects different societies. People use various media platforms as a way to address the law enforcement policies and demand equality when they are being enforced on different races such as the Latinos.
Cases of Latinos’ oppression because of their race are on the rise. It is however sad to see that most of such cases being reported are by the police. The Latinos need to be respected both as individuals and as a major race in several American societies, to reduce the cases of police brutality. Similarly, law enforcement policies need to be addressed and greatly considered so that the police do not end up racially profiling people from different races. The use of media and protests has been effective in helping the Latino society get justice after police brutality and racial profiling.
Hensley, N. (2015, February 28). Jessica Hernandez’s shooting death by Denver cops is homicide: coroner. Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/jessica-hernandez-death-denver-cops-deemed-homicide-article-1.2133095
Lopez, G. (2015, February 26). Police shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Washington state could be the next Ferguson. Vox. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/2015/2/18/8061701/antonio-zambrano-montes-shooting
Weitzer, R., & Tuch, S. A. (2002). Perceptions of racial profiling: Race, class, and personal experience. Criminology, 40(2), 435-456.
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