The Growing Need for Justice

We all remember the incident of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, getting fatally shot by a white police officer named Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. The reason why the officer shot this young man still remains a mystery but from public witnesses the incident is a brutal act of discrimination. Thus, the racial tension in America continues to grow across the nation. Voices calling for proper punishment of Darren Wilson are on the rise and civil unrests have begun to occur as well. However, the response of the local police has worsened the situation. The protestors are doing things simply to seek justice but the law enforcement engaged with militarized weaponries such as heavy artillery, tanks, etc. have drove the protestors angry. As a result, the tension got to its peak leading the protest to get severe cause of fatal losses on both sides.

Considering how the excessively rough response of the police has led to an all-out clash, President Obama has been pushing for a renovation in the American policy. Recently, the Obama administration have moved to prohibit federal agencies from supplying local cops with military equipment such as grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and bayonets in order to deal with the controversy over the ‘militarized’ police.


“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them,” President Obama said. “It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message.”


In December 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order to create a Task Force on the 21st Century Policy to develop ways to strengthen the trust and relationships between local law enforcement and civilian communities. On May 18th, 2015, the Task Force submitted its final report with an outline for law enforcement and communities to utilize including methods of forming trust. One of the main points is to ban a list of military weapons from being supplied to the police. Also, other points such as making police embrace “a guardian- rather than a warrior” mindset, updating technology that allows for greater transparency of police data, expanding the use of police body cameras (for surveillance on both civilians and police) are included as well.


On Monday 18th of May, 2015, the President visited Camden, New Jersey, one of the most dangerous cities in America, in order to highlight crime reduction the city has experienced after the city’s constant efforts to fix the relationship between the locals and the police department. The resulting outcomes are such that violent crime is down 24%, murder is down 47%, open air drug markets have been cut by 65% and the response time for 911 calls plummeted from an hour to five minutes. This result made the administration believe that once such efforts are applied, they could bring great changes to the American society, and thus make Camden a model for all other cities to follow in the future.!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_650/obama-camden.jpg

“We are, without a doubt, sitting at a defining moment in American policing,” Ronald L. Davis, the director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, told reporters in a conference call to discuss the White House’s latest efforts. “We have a unique opportunity to redefine policing in our democracy, to ensure that public safety becomes more than the absence of crime, but it must also include a presence for justice.”