Cops: Friend or Foe to A Person of Color?


Growing up it always amazed me about how people made heroes out of cops, because for me, cops were something to be weary of. People of color have very different experiences in this society than White people. This is something that many White people don’t understand. We have to utilize a different set of rules when we interact in society and specifically the police.

The Talk 

For people of color“The Talk”  is nothing new. Parents have to teach their children, especially males, on how to interact with the police, it literally could save their life. This talk is basically the do’s and donts when having encounters with the police.

From a very young age I learned that not all cops play by the rules and follow the laws that they are paid to uphold. I personally have been ruffed up and mistreated dozens of times by the police for unjust reasons or no reason at all.

I now have had to have this talk with my own son, who was recently abused and ruffed up by the police.

Mayor of New York City, Bill De Blasio, whose son is half Black, took flack from the NYC police union for publicly speaking about having this talk with his son for many years. Especially after the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. But he knows the reality of our society.

So far this year at least 31 unarmed African Americans have been shot and killed by the police. This does not include the unarmed African Americans like Freddie Gray in Baltimore, who was killed by the police but not shot.

I wish we didn’t have to have these conversations with our children. Speaking to a young child about how they could be abused by the cops is not a fun conversation to have. But that knowledge could be the difference in being alive, or dead.







2 thoughts on “Cops: Friend or Foe to A Person of Color?

  1. Coincidentally, I had a mini version of “the talk” with my 10 year old just last week. I was watching the news and they showed the video of police officers shooting that kid in Chicago (without any warning that it was about to be graphic). It’s weird to have to have a conversation with a young boy who hasn’t developed a sense of the racial disparity in the world yet, but it came about naturally so I had to be honest with him. It sucks having to tell a kid that others may be threatened by him based solely on the color of his skin, and that HE is responsible for being mindful of that and doing things to prevent getting himself in trouble (or worse, harmed) because of it. It’s not the way it should be, and it’s not the way it always is, but it does happen. It feels so counterproductive to teach a kid that they must adapt their own behaviors to ease the fears/stereotypes of others, but like you said it could also be the difference between a matter of life and death.

  2. Cops: Friend or Foe to A Person of Color? hmmm I am ” a person of color” I have different experiencing with police encounter. I have had a police get really aggressive with me for no reason and I also had police treating me like anybody else. Usually those negative encounters tend to stick in my mind not because of what was said or happened but the way I felt about the situation. Now days I have seen many black youth getting shot and killed over minor incident and easy. I am trying to understand why? why killing become so easy? why not detain? Why not shot in leg or somewhere else less deadly than in the head? Why not use other means to detain a youth? Why let cops who cover for the bad cop, stay on the job? Why are the few bad cops making other good cops look bad and they do not stand up to change it. Honestly I have lots of question that only a few can have answer.

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