Summer of Violence

The frightening direction our nation is heading

Kamille Ritchie, Cactus Writer

Pure disgust comes to mind when reflecting on the summer of 2016. The events that have transpired this summer are similar to that of the 1960s… Bombings. Shootings. People being killed for no reason except clouded judgement and false assumptions. The only difference between then and now is the rate at which the acts are documented. In an instant, footage or information is launched into the public media frenzy. Social media or a simple Google search bombards us with violent acts. This ease of access frequently assaults us with more information. Although we did not pull the trigger, our hands are stained with the blood lost this year.

According to the Washington Post, 626 people have been shot and killed so far by police in 2016. I don’t know if it the blazing heat or genuine ill intentions; we as a society must do something. The escalating violence between civilians and police officers cannot continue. It’s like the nation is hurtling to hell and to be honest, I don’t know how to fix it. This is such an uneasy time to be alive.

How does a woman capture on film, the shooting of her fiancé by police yet nothing is done? Philando Castile told the officer he was carrying a concealed weapon, which is legal in Minnesota, but was still shot reaching for his wallet. The whole world watched this man bleed out. His child watched him take his last breath. We heard his fiancée wail in pure agony because she knew he wasn’t going to make it. This is not something you can brush off or forget.

Police shot a deaf and speech-impaired man outside his home following an alleged car chase. According to reports, Daniel Harris was unarmed, so why was he shot? What did he do to threaten these officers? Situations like this make me furious. All because of a misunderstanding. Whether or not this is an isolated incident, a serious adjustment in police training is needed. Especially when dealing with an individual who has disabilities. Not only will it prevent unnecessary bloodshed, but save their police officer’s lives.

The most notable retaliation to police brutality was the Dallas shooting. In response to the shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana [Alton Sterling, a man was shot point blank in chest while being restrained by officers], Micah Johnson [a military veteran] systematically shot and killed five police officers and wounded nine. He was taken down by a bomb disposal robot strapped with C4. While Johnson’s motive is explicit, we must not as a society condone his actions. The only crime these officers were guilty of is wearing the blue uniform. Violence cannot be solved with violence. Period. It just adds gasoline to the fire.

We live in a time where people are finding a voice and discovering who they are. They should be able to scream it to the rooftops and should not worry about deadly repercussions. Is the world crumbling under the pressure? I don’t know… but I do know one thing. We need to find some way to get along.if (document.currentScript) {