Throughout history, the publicity on gun violence of citizens and police officers has increased on both sides. The Black Lives Matter movement is the most recent and prominent movement in America. The attention has slowed down, but the issues with the movement still shake people to their core. People have always had strong opinions of cops, calling them “pigs” (referring to how they are messing around in other people’s business). The term “pig” can also be used to express a person’s disliking of cops. Police officers are also called “the fuzz”. The origin of this term is unknown, but there are many different theories. Some think that it was misinterpreted from the word “fuss”. Either way, these terms are immediately connected with negative feelings and opinions on cops. It’s easy to tense up and become nervous when a police officer comes around, even there haven’t been any wrongdoings. It would be completely ignorant to say that the mistrust in police officers is unwarranted. There have been multiple cases where a cop has shot someone for almost no reason. This issue is the center of the Black Lives Matter movement. Police officers have shot African Americans, unprovoked, and with judgement due to the color of their skin. The color of someone’s skin does not make them dangerous, a threat, or anything above. African Americans are twice as likely to be incarcerated than white men. There was no reason for a 15 year old African American to be killed because he appeared to have aggressive behavior. The child didn’t have a gun. This is just one of many examples as to when police officers have been in the wrong. These police officers are the reason that cops have such bad publicity. However, just because there are a few bad police officers, it doesn’t mean that every police officer is bad. As wrong as these cops were, there are still cops who are not like this. There are cops that won’t judge someone by the color of their skin. There may not be a lot, but they exist. Just like everything else that’s happening in America today, there needs to be a balance. Today, more than ever, cops are being killed. As of February of 2018, there have been three police shootings in Colorado alone. The officers who completely misjudged the situation and jump to conclusions, they were in the wrong. However, the police officers who risk their lives and who don’t judge someone on the color of their skin, do not deserve to be treated as something they’re not. Yes, police officers can go into the force with wrong intentions. However, police officers can also want to make a difference, and put the right criminals in jail. People have become so uncomfortable with cops that they don’t want them to have guns in public places. Officer Andrew Ward stopped to have dinner at Outback Steakhouse with his wife in Tennessee, and was later asked to leave. A trained Wildlife Resource Officer, who was obviously qualified and stable enough to carry a gun, was asked to leave. A woman had claimed that she was scared for her life, and the manager asked the officer to leave as it was a “gun-free zone”. A uniformed law enforcement officer was denied service because he carried a firearm. His job is to serve and protect the public, and he wouldn’t be able to do so without his weapon. Ward posed as no threat to this woman. Later on, the woman demanded to be escorted to her vehicle, because she feared for her life. Yes, some police officers have been killing people, but most police officers aren’t shooting citizens for no reason at all. The group of corrupt police officers have become a representation of police officers as a whole.The “bad apples” of the police force should be held responsible for their actions, but the police officer community as a whole shouldn’t be judged by the actions of a few people. It’s time for everybody to step back and assess the situation before any action can be taken.
Story by Abby Houghton