The Many Victims of Police Misconduct 

January 23, 2020 | PBAT MAGAZINE

By Zhenjiang Qiao, Brithanny Rivera, Wendy SilvaNelson Valencia & Yawen Wang

“But sometimes your voices are not loud enough for people to hear because where we come from and there are a lot of issues that people can talk about, but it’s very important to speak up and stand up for somebody for what’s right. Because there’s sometimes people who have power do not care about people and other people’s life, which is ridiculous. So it is important to see something say something.” said by Baker, a former student of Flushing International High School, when asked about his thoughts and experiences with police bias and misconduct towards him and people he knew. 

There are a lot the data shows of the 1,146 and 1,092 police violence victims in 2015 and 2016, there are 52% were found to be nonwhite, non-Hispanic ethnic groups, 26% were black and 17% were Hispanic. The data also shows that young people and people of color were disproportionately affected.

In the website “The Washington Post” on Dec. 16, 2019 there was a total 933 people that have been shot and killed by police in 2019 in the United States. In the U.S. there are many famous cases about police brutality, but it is not just about a few famous cases, there is proof that the problem of police brutality is not just about one group of people, or one kind of improper action but rather there is an epidemic of police misconduct of all kinds against many different parts of our society.

After the many cases happened such as the Eric Garner, Amy Hughes, Freddie Gray case case people around the country started to focus on the troubling issue. An organization called Black Live Matter was started to organize people to protest to stand up for black people’s rights. Police brutality affects many kinds of people in society. 

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African Americans Suffering Police Brutality

Police brutality is most common against blacks because of their color and discriminate against them. Recently, there was the cases of Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman fatally shot by a white police officer inside her Fort Worth, Texas, home last month. She was killed on Oct. 12 while playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. A police officer Aaron Dean shot her through her bedroom window while conducting a wellness check.” The incident reflected police violence, and he shot them without any reason. This is discrimination against blacks, such atrocities are just commonplace with no punishment.

Baker Albadaani, FIHS Alumni

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The police atrocities against black people are far more than we imagine. According to AMINA, about one in 1,000 black people were killed in the hands of police. When meeting with police, blacks are 2.5 times more likely to die than whites. The analysis also revealed that Hispanic men and boys, black women and girls, and Native American men, women and children were also killed by police. Than their white peers. But blacks are also vulnerable.

Guilty of being Young, Male and Hispanic

One of the counselors in FIHS school her name is Ms. Juliana, she told us, “ when I was with my friend in the car he is from the Dominican Republic he was dark-skinned, we were very calm on the road suddenly a policeman stopped us and my friends very quickly raised his hands and I was surprised because I said what do you do if we are not doing anything. It is just because I have dark skin, and they may think that I have a weapon or I am doing something wrong, the policeman asked for the papers of the car, his documentation my friend gave them to him and my friend asked is there a problem? and the policeman answered very rudely ‘it is not your time to ask f ** talk.’  I felt very uncomfortable and very angry to see that the policeman spoke to us in a bad way without us doing nothing wrong. I felt fear so I kept quiet because I know he had much more power than me and we decided not to say anything so that we can leave soon.” recalled Ms. Juliana.

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Juliana Ruiz, FIHS Counselor

 FIHS Survey

In order to find out how many cases about police misconduct happened around us. Our investigation conducted a survey of 100 students of different grades in FIHS, of different races. Out of 100 there are 6 students said they have been expenrice police misconduct. All of the respondents were students We did a survey in the Flushing International High School, there are some questions such as have they or their friends/family members face the police misconduct problem. Then based on their data, we came up with the graph below. 

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The graph showing that different race students have been affected by Police brutality. Based on the graph, the Asian and South Asian have the less victims which is one, but there are 4 spanish victims that have been affected by the police brutality. Which show that Hispanic is another big group that has been affected.  This affects Hispanic people because the police of New York think all Hispanic people are criminals and discriminate against Hispanics. 

Santiago, an alumnus from FIHS, from Colombia recounted “A few weeks ago, the police stopped him for no reason and put him there for 20 minutes and just because they wanted to see if he had drugs. It is the wrong way to use their rights because they can't do whatever they want to you just based on their appearance.”

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Santiago Pinzon, FIHS Alumnus

While he knows that NYC is a diverse city, Santiago feels that there isn’t decrease the rate of police brutality. Especially in NY, because many people who live there are came from different countries and they all have different cultures and that’s why there is a lot of police violence happened because some policemen are racist. There also is a special cases that show the police misconduct on Hispanic. 

This case is about a Mexican boy was manslaughter by border Agent, because the border agent was thought he was throwing the rocks to them. According to Under Border Patrol policy, “bullets can be a justified response to rocks, because rocks have caused serious injuries to agents in the past.” which means in the past, the rocks has been cause serious injuries to the border agent so they are shooting the bullets for response the rocks. On the other hand, they argued the Border agents are also facing federal civil rights lawsuits. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit that indicates a culture of excessive force among border patrols. and they also argue that the Constitution of US doesn't fit that mexican boy, because the boy was shot in Mexico. However, the result is the border agent name Swartz is not guilty and he will not get any punishment because “said it could not reach a verdict on two lesser manslaughter charges.”  

“All of those who are responsible for these deaths are free from punishment, and none of the victims nor their family members have ever been afforded a path to justice.”  said by Kino Border, he also relate this to other six people killed by Border Patrol agents on Mexican soil. And the result of these people die but they don’t get any punishment. He argued that “Border patrols continue to face ongoing obstacles to accountability, especially with regard to the use of force.” The following is a chart of how many Hispanic die because of Police Misconduct in the United States in 2019. There are 933 victims has been shot and killed in 2019, 17% of them are Hispanic, which is 155 people.

Anti-Muslim Actions

“Once when I went to the train station with my friend, we both swiped student Metrocards to enter. My friend is a 17 year old, but he looks older than he actually is. So we got stopped by the police. These two police are undercover cops. They don’t trust my friend’s age. So they pat him down, they also took his face on the wall very hard. They warn him not to move. Then they take out my friends wallet to find his ID card to check how old he. But these two cops didn't give the chance to let my friends talks. In facted, they acted right away by hitting him. That makes me feel very shocked, why they do that?” said by Beaker who graduated from FIHS and from Yemen. 

The interviewee is a Musilm, he told us the people from yemen have beard in their face which makes them look much older. Also, there is a big problem is the United States consider they as terrorists.

As a matter of facts of many terrorists problems happened in United States. After that the  U.S. President Donald Trump past a law name Executive Order 13769 on March 6, 2017. It is about "Protecting the State from Foreign Terrorists Entering the United States" also known as the Muslim ban or travel ban. This law limit seven countries of Muslims and Syria refugees to come here. That’s the most important reason they abuse musilm rights. In the article “Traveling While Muslim Complicates Air Travel” by Michael T. Luongo, the article discussed the author named Ms. Syed, she is a American and Musilim, everytime when she and her friend went to the airport, she need to arrive there extra one hour earlier. University of California professor Hilal Elver said: "Unfortunately, the global terrorist network has caused racial discrimination against Muslims, which means that people around the world are scared about  Musilim because Their appearance make people make the connection between Musilim and the terrorists."

That’s another reason why people stop musilim in the airport, and check them. It is important for these people to stand up and speak for themselves, religion doesn’t matter. 

Immigrant Vendors

 Dolores Madariaga said “Immigration, police the same crap” Police used their power to practice brutality with street vendors because most of the  street vendors don't have permits and licenses. Police brutality means when police use their power to harm others physically and mentally. 

Dolores Madariaga, she is from Mexico and sells coffee, churros and other things in the street. I ask her if she has an experience or someone who she know that have experience give police brutality.

When I ask her  for the experience she doesn't want to talk about this topic, She is scared about the police ( one thing that call me attention was she talked to me in secret that she doesn't want trouble with they .If you are going to  use this video in different sited wed to expose the police that she did not want to participe) When she tells me that I'm trying to explain about this project, a few minutes later she tells me the experience that she has. 

About a week ago there was a big group of young people (103 , Roosevelt) with posters and banners making a protest about the brutality , One of the young began to shout immigration, “police the same crap and the others young follow him.” 

When the police heard those words, they began to assault verbally after they did not hide, they began to hit people to shut up the boy who was injured, he was the son of a sales woman who protested the rights and the respect they deserve sellers.

On November 8, a churros vendor was surrounded by police officers (Brooklyn) who made fun of her, handcuffed her and removed her churros car. Sophia recorded as the surrounding officers, watched over the lady selling churros. Also on November 11 and 12, the police arrested a churros vendor who worked in Brooklyn and an adolescent of color selling candy in the Manhattan subway. Most people arrested in the metro or on the streets are vendors looking to get ahead.

(https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-nypd-subway-vendor-arrests-and-summonses-are-declining-20191117-4tvvo3hmqjdohhalgqaojh4ev4-story.html)

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The bar graph showing the number of  arrests and summonses vendors. In 2014 is the largest number of vendors who were arrested and summonses, while it decreased from 2014 to 2018, the numbers are similar in 2019. Which means there still have this bad problem and it is dangerous and bad for vendors.

What Can Be Done?

Through these, we know that some policemen will cover the other side and only show the good side, but we know this is not enough to cover up the truth. We know that some police enforce laws through violence and discrimination against certain races. 

We can protect this person's rights according to section 14 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment gives us equal protection. In our real society, these police judge people based on countries and skin colors even religions and they abuse human’s right such as Hispanics, blacks, Vendors and Muslims, they will be harmed in some circumstances. Especially blacks will be racially discriminated against. People will also feel panic about police brutality. 

Not even our president Donald Trump think in that way, they also create the law called Qualified Immunity to protect police. This laws interpret that police right is been protect, they can shoot people without be sue and get punishment. In our daily life, we saw police body camera on the front, and this actually help people and decrease the number the people deaths which mean taking action can protect our rights.

Through these narratives, we want to let people know that police brutality is bad, and it will scare some people, but we should understand things about police brutality and know how to solve this When we encounter such things. There are many organizations that can help us with that. One of the organizations is the Blacks Lives Matter. Take action to protect ourselves, that need to be stopped. Another one is CCRB which stands for The New York City Citizens' Complaints Review Board is an independent agency that helps people regulate issues with police charges. And conducted an investigation. The allegations are that the police used unreasonable powers. The people conducting the investigation are civilians, who will conduct the investigation fairly. The commission will give the results to the police chief.