Police brutality in the United States has been a growing issue this past year. The media have taken notice of the numerous deaths of young black men by officers all over the nation. There have been widespread protests in many cities by civilians who believe that this police brutality is due to the victims’ race.

Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, was fatally shot Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white Ferguson, Missouri, police officer. His death caused protests and chaos to spread throughout the country.

On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, a 46-year-old father of six, was killed by the police, as were 22-year-old John Crawford (Aug. 5, 2014), Ezell Ford (Aug. 11, 2014), Dante Parker (Aug. 12, 2014) and, more recently, Freddie Gray (April 12).

These are just a few of the unarmed black men who have been killed by white police officers. In just one of these cases, arrests were made against the officers. In several other cases, the officers were not indicted, which incited more protests. This is due to the race and class divisions in America.

A solution would be to have officers trained to not shoot unless their target is armed. Shooting an unarmed person is unjust and morally wrong.

Officers should also be trained to know that black people are not dangerous. People tend to associate black people with violent crimes due to the racism that is evident in the criminal justice system.

The solution would be to use money and resources to train officers to use less force. The only time that an officer should use his gun is if it is for self-defense. Officers are trained to handle any other situation without the use of a gun.

Sahra Ahmed

student representative, Portland School Board