Are they really the good guys?

Dan Moreno

I remember the first and only time, four months ago, I was pulled over by a police officer because one of my tail lights had stopped working. Right when he turned on the blue and red lights I was terrified.

He got out of his car and slowly walked to mine like they do in the movies, he turned on his flash light and with a sarcastic look on his face he said, “Your tail light is not working.” I couldn’t talk; I just said “I’m sorry.”

Nothing happened. He let me go because it was the first and only time I had ever been stopped, but later that night I thought to myself, “Why was I so afraid of the police if they are the good guys?”

After having lived in the US for a little over three years, I have lost track of how many times I read news that involved police brutality and abuse towards civilians all over the country.

Ferguson, Mo., is one of the most recent examples. 18-year-old Michael Brown was walking on the street unarmed and got murdered after six shots fired from officer Darren Wilson’s gun.

Last week, 17-year-old Bryce Masters was pulled over by officer Tim Runnels at 3:07 p.m. in Independence, Mo. The stop was a result of a warrant associated with the license plate on the vehicle that Masters was driving, which is registered to a female.

Masters, son of a KCPD officer, was subdued with a stun gun, which hit him inches away from the heart. This occurred after he was not able to roll down his car window, which was broken.

Runnels then pulled him out of the car and dragged his body to the sidewalk to handcuff him while Masters experienced convulsions. Masters suffered cardiac arrest before being placed in a medically induced coma in critical condition and with brain damage.

In Baltimore, police officer Vincent Cosom is currently facing a $5 million dollar lawsuit for repeatedly beating a man while another officer held him. Cosom’s blows were delivered to the man’s head and torso.

I am against generalizations. Often times when talking about this topic, some people tell me that not all cops are the same and that a lot of police officers often put their lives in jeopardy to protect society, and I believe so, too, but the high numbers of police brutality tell a different story.

The fact that a police officer makes an illegal U-turn, breaks the speed limit and forces other drivers off the road with flashing strobe lights so they can stop someone whose tail light broke down, and extort money from them to teach a lesson about unsafe driving habits just doesn’t make sense.

The fact that a police officer feels threatened enough to shoot and kill or cause brain damage with a stun gun to an unarmed teenager intimidates me.

The fact that passing by a police car terrifies me instead of making me feel safe makes me wonder, are they really the good guys?